Travelling on a /5

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Beezer Josh, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. Beezer Josh

    Beezer Josh Moto-Amish

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
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    15.6 miles from the U.S. Capitol
    Hey guys, I have an itch that I'm beginning to scratch. Has anyone done any long distance travelling on a /5, i.e. several days of more than several hundred miles each day? Obviously, there will be better bikes for comfort and maybe reliability. Pros? Cons? Ride reports?
    #1
  2. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
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    Road Island
    Well, back in the day.... the Slash 5 was THE long distance bike. It's aircooled motor is tough, the transmission and drivetrain are automotive, and many many of these bikes are well into the hundreds of thousands of miles. The bike can certainly do it, it YOU can.... :wink:


    :D
    #2
  3. Mikepotter86

    Mikepotter86 Been here awhile

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    Alexandria VA
    Hey Josh,

    Talk to George at BUA, he rode his /5 from Seattle or somewhere on the west coast to DC and probably has some pointers. I've ridden my RT about 8k this year, including several long trips, and hope to take it on an 8k trip next year. No trouble so far.

    Good luck!
    Mike
    #3
  4. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    Just point and go.
    #4
  5. JonnyCash

    JonnyCash turd polisher

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    Location:
    Midcoast, Maine
    I rode mine from GA to Maine and back when I was 22. I should add that the bike had club mans on it then. I rode the last 400miles with a broken clutch cable, just to make things colorful. Otherwise, no troubles!
    #5
  6. Voltaire

    Voltaire Bored Of The Rings

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Auckland,New Zealand
    Late 80's early 90's took mine on a two up 25000 km trip around Europe, following year fitted a sidecar and a month in the Nordic countries ( that was before the internet said sidecars break the frames)
    Only problems I had was the gearbox was due for an overhaul....Ireland in 1989 was not the place to find this out. Bought a used one at Motobins, swapped it out on the footpath and carried on.
    Have fun.
    Oh and drum brakes are fine, better than the SLS Triumph ones.:clap
    #6
  7. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

    Joined:
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    Location:
    jaw ja
    many long distance trips on mine.


    [​IMG]

    2 yrs as only transportation

    only vechicle I owned when I met my wife
    #7
  8. JonnyCash

    JonnyCash turd polisher

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    Midcoast, Maine
    ^ Oh man, that's a great picture!
    #8
  9. Ron Bernert

    Ron Bernert hiding in plain sight

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    Oxford, Ohio
    Spend a little time making it 'right'. Make sure the wheel bearings are good and have some slippery stuff along with new seals. Change your fluids. Take along a points/condenser set, a full set of BMW tools and go ride the thing as far as you want. They're not a newfangled super injected bike, but to the blessing of the airheads, the /5 models are two things that make them perfect for long distance touring. 1. Simple. Adjust the valves in the hotel parking lot (or campground) in a matter of minutes with no fuss. 2. Bulletproof reliable when they're maintained correctly.
    My daily bike for a few years was my trusty R100RS. I've got oilheads, Triumphs, Suzukis etc.. The airheads (like my R75/5) are not only fun to ride, but worry free! Best of luck!
    #9
  10. jdiaz

    jdiaz .

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    Location:
    Flyover State
    My wife traveled via R75/5 for years, even after buying much more modern sport touring rides. Had one flat tire, and the spline coupling rivets let go once when we were in British Columbia. Other than that, it always got her home.
    #10
  11. SculptD

    SculptD Smells like tech

    Joined:
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    Location:
    SF, CA
    I haven't done anything epic, but I have no hesitation to head out on my /5. Love it, actually. Along with the very good advice here, I would ask what condition your seat is in. 40 year old foam is not so great for long days in the saddle.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

    Joined:
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    4,603
    Location:
    MONTANA NATIVE from NATIVE MONTANA

    GO FOR IT!

    I've done 1000's of highway miles on /5's.
    Spares I always hauled:
    Extra points / condenser
    replacement fuses
    pair of spare spark plugs
    spare Bing carb 32mm diaphragm
    extra 4w bulb (for charging "idiot light".)
    Alternator rotor / removal tool (never needed it)
    Diode board (never needed it)
    Clutch cable / extra "cable nipple" (that falls out on the highway when the clutch cable breaks.)
    [​IMG]

    I've had a few road side repairs but my /5's never left me stranded.
    Always packed my full tool roll with a few spare odds and ends / bolts.
    couple feet of tie wire
    zip ties
    couple feet of electrical wire
    assorted wire ends

    I always spent a day checking out the bike ahead of time....fluid levels, tire pressures, lube wheel bearings, basically a good once-over on everything.


    [​IMG]

    This 73 LWB /5 had a 1974 R90/6 top end and a /2 US front fender & brace.

    [​IMG]

    Same bike w/ 8 gal. Heinrich Tank
    I've never found a stock /5 seat that was comfortable for me on long road trips. Went to the older (kinda ugly) sprung "QSL solo seats"....much better for my boney ass.

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. tlub

    tlub Been here awhile

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    Madison, WI
    My son (age 19) and I (age 59) went to Quebec City from Madison WI and return this summer; I was on my R75/5 (owned since Feb of 1976); he was on my R69US. We did days of approximately 380, 480 and 580 miles. We did not travel direct or shortest route. The /5 was superb, and the R69US not far behind. I have a Bill Mayer seat and YSS shocks, and low R90S bars with a generic $60 cafe fairing. I used a Harro Elefantenboy and Wixom bags (both of which I had 30 years ago). It has only about 175,000 miles on it so it is not high mileage.
    I see no reason not to tour anywhere on it. It is a 42 year old machine that works very well. Do all the maintenance and checks that others have mentioned, and it won't let you down. This is at the Voyageur Inn in Mattawa, ON, on the way back.
    [​IMG]
    Do it!:clap
    #13
  14. JonnyCash

    JonnyCash turd polisher

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    That's awesome. I daydream about doing some touring with my son someday. He's 5 now, so I should have time to get "his" R75/5 together by then.:1drink
    #14
  15. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    #15
  16. darmahman

    darmahman "Illogically Deluded"

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    Fort Collins, CO
    Great story Pokie.


    #16
  17. kwb210

    kwb210 Been here awhile

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    Washington, the state
    I usually ride a newer bike, 1977 R100, but last summer my son was visiting and we decided to ride a couple of my 5's to the Salem Rally. He rode a 1971 R75 and I rode a 1973 R75. We did about 1,200 miles or so, no problems except for a large rock hiding in the shade on a sharp corner, huge dent in rim but no flat. I found that on country roads I could leave the gearbox in 3rd for hours! I had done the usual pre trip maintenance items and installed some lightly used Avon Road Riders on both bikes. We rode the tires off those bikes and overall had a blast. If I were to take a longer trip the first thing I would most likely do is figure out a safer (from theft) ignition system. That's probably about it! Oh, and a comfortable seat like on my R100.
    Like someone said, some maintenance and point it!
    Kurt
    #17
  18. Beater

    Beater The Bavarian Butcher

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    That is freakin' awesome. Well done.

    :clap
    #18
  19. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Been here awhile

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    Back home in the UK
    Here are my friends Sam Manicom and Birgit Schunemann a few years ago before they set off on a 5 year tour of Africa, South and North America on their motorcycles. Birgit's bike is a 1971 R60/5 which covered tens of thousands miles often on dirt roads with few problems, what you plan will be a breeze, enjoy.

    http://www.sam-manicom.com/

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    Chico, California
    I worked on her bike. If you look at Sam's book Tortillas to Totems they talk about it. The /5 is the most reliable BMW ever made.
    #20