Motorcycle Data Sheet
Model: 1971 BMW R60/5 (SWB)
Engine: 599cc 2-valve boxer twin (40 HP)
Years of Production: 1970-1973
Number Produced: 22,721
Purchase Date: November 2002
Previous Location: Liberty, MO
Previous Owners: 3
Mileage at Purchase: 145,000
Mileage to Date: 147,000
Restoration Projection: $3,730
Restoration Costs to Date: $2,685
The /5 models are the next BMW Airheads to move from the "classic" category into the "vintage" category. I had already purchased the two /7s when I became interested in the possibility of owning one of these, and finding one for under a grand was a challenge. I also thought this one would be a good bike for my wife to learn to ride.
Although the motorcycle I found was a 1971, it was my firm intention from the start to restore it as a 1972 model, considered the quintessence of the /5 series because of its infamously stylish chrome-plated gas tank. The delay in receiving the bike gave me time to comb the Internet and find a kind-hearted local Airhead enthusiast who sold me a smaller 1972 4-1/2-gallon "toaster tank" and matching fenders with original paint in excellent condition, off a /5 with less than 30,000 miles, obviating the need for a costly paint job for the bike's existing bodywork. I also hunted down the missing engine badges from the crankcase.
This R60/5 also needed some important "little" things, like new mirrors. As is common with /5s, my left-side mirror mount is stripped of its threads, so I installed Napoleon chrome bar-end models. It still needs a tune-up and some new top end seals and gaskets. I want to do some other upgrades as well, like low handlebars (provided my wife likes them) and the brighter headlamp internals from the R65, which matches the diameter of this older headlamp bucket. There is some slap in the timing chain, and given this bike's mileage, I'll opt for a complete refurbishment of double-rown chain with all its associated tensionsers, springs, and seals in the near future. I also have a 25-amp circuit breaker ready to install to add some electrical system protection to this early fuseless Airhead model.
Thanks to the following individuals for assisting in this restoration project: Barbara Bynum, John Falconer, Carl Fulkerson, Stephen Gaulin, Fred Inman, John Hopkins, Mike Kruse, Peter Locke, DL Powers, Bo Stewart, Mick Vallantine, and Jacqueline Young.