BMW Motorrad Spezial

BMW R75/5

BMW R75/5
I love this image. And not just because I have a soft spot for old BMW airheads: it’s also a classic example of a picture telling a story. William Pruyn bought this 1972 ‘toaster’ (check the chrome-paneled tank) two years ago in San Francisco, and grabbed the shot four months ago in the Nevada desert as he rode coast-to-coast on Route 50.

The 750 cc R75/5 was one of the fastest production motorcycles of its time, and the first BMW bike to be manufactured completely in Berlin. Pruyn remembers that his bike “came with a ton of paperwork, including a log from the first owner which included details like location, mileage, amount of fuel bought, mechanical notes, and ambient temperature.” The bike is mostly original except for a reproduction seat, and Pruyn has added a Dyna condenser and Hepco & Becker reproductions of the vintage Krauser cases.

“When we decided to move back to NYC, I planned a trip across the US of backroads and camping,” says Pruyn. “I had Dave of Recommended Service give it his blessing—he even used a few drops of water from a milk jug he kept in the shop labeled ‘Bavarian Holy Water’—and it ran great the entire way.”

  • prasanth

    motorcyclist AND pentaxian, nice!

  • Thanks for giving a shout-out to my friend Dave Gardner at Recommended Service in San Francisco. He is truly a wizard with air-head BMW Twins, Call him at 415/822-2041.

  • mingh

    this picture IS Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, at lease before he loses it

  • Check out Mr. Pruyn’s other photography at

  • teo

    That’s what I mean riding…

  • Have had a R75/5 for 7 years or so. Haven’t toured it much. FL to DC and mostly around FL. Big tours with K1200RS. FL to AK. Sold the K bike and now I just have to trust the R75 for touring. I could use a few drops of that Bavarian Holy Water. Think there’s any on EBay?

  • Aline

    I love this image too! (from freezing London)