BMW R75/5 Café Racer

BMW R75/5 Cafe RacerCanadian Hector Catre sent us these pictures of his gorgeous BMW R75/5. He spent 700 hours restoring this classy café racer, which actually started life as a 1972 BMW R60/5 short wheelbase ‘Toaster’. The R75/5 was one of the lightest 750cc motorbikes of the early 70s, and extremely reliable. Many are still on the road with over 100,000 miles on the clock, even without overhaul. Hector will get a lot of mileage out of this beauty.

  • Fantastic bike. Not only does it look great, but is inviting for miles of riding enjoyment!

  • Thanks Lumpycam. As a testament to the bike and the build, my friends and I rode from Toronto to Leeds, AL to go to the Barber Festival last year in ’08. On the way back, we took a detour and did the Tail of the Dragon. 7000 miles and a couple of things came loose, and I snapped a clutch cable, but had a spare with me. I’m ready to do it all again once the weather gets warmer :-)

  • It’s great! I especially like the speedo built into the headlight. I used to have a R75/7, which started out life as the trusty steed of a German Missionary in Zambia. That bike served him well for many many years, so I’m sure Hector’s bike will give him many years of Joy :)

  • It already has .. and will continue to ..

    Here’s a 3 part video fo the bike from my perspective doing the Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee/North Carolina in the USA.

    The Tail fo the Dragon is one of the twistiest roads in the USA, having 318 turns in 11 miles – and is VERY challenging to ride.

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

  • Those videos are great! They make me miss riding so much…I have a R75/6 that needs some loving and registration papers…but your videos will have to do for now.

    Great road – must have kept you on your toes!

  • Phoebe

    It’s gorgeous. I have a love of cafe racers, but unfortunately many of them are way over-done these days. I love the beautiful simplicity of this bike. It looks like it could have come from the factory that way.

  • Hey Jason, It was pretty insane. Here’s the map of Deals Gap.

  • Great camera angle on the videos above the light.

  • Thanks Phoebe! My belief with Cafe Racers is that you start with a proper end to end restoration. Once you’ve got the bike to an original state, then be selective about what you upgrade and don’t.

    For example: the seat is 100% custom crafted by myself, including the seat pad based on the 1968 BMW Rennsport R69s racer.

    I think this is the only bike I’ve ever seen where the pain scheme continues from the fender, through the tank through, seat and to the tail. Simple but effective. (My kudos to my painter for suggesting the paint scheme:

  • Hey Lumpycam,
    The video was shot with a Canon point and shoot mounted on my handlebars using a ram-mount

    Here’s a pic of what it looked like when I was riding/shooting the video

  • The guys over at Gateway BMW did something similar with an old RT. Check out the R100 Rocker Boxer.

    All the RT stuff was stripped off and everything was replaced with custom stuff. It’s pretty cool looking and fun to ride…sounds good too.

  • That R100 Rockers Boxer is a pretty sweet ride. Awesome!