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Multinational: A British Racing Green BMW from California

A BMW R75/5 scrambler restomod built by photographer Josh Withers
Any project worth doing has a few challenges along the way. This tidy BMW R75/5 started out as a true basket case, and took almost five years to complete—but judging by the results, it was time well spent.

The builder, Josh Withers, agrees. He’s a photographer based in Culver City, California, who tinkers on old airheads when he’s not shooting. And now that he’s finally wrapped up work on the BMW, he’s pleased to report it’s “completely sorted, and a blast to ride.”

A BMW R75/5 scrambler restomod built by photographer Josh Withers
“A guy from Michigan contacted me through YouTube,” he explains, “and we joked that I’d build him a bike for 10 cents an hour. Before I knew it, I had a parts bike in my van.”

“Then, after six months of him unsure of what kind of bike he wanted, he disappeared for two years. Just as I was about to sell his pile of parts, he resurfaced. I had a back surgery, a sidecar restoration project to finish, a new baby girl, and other projects before I could get to this, but the last year I felt like I worked on it relentlessly.”

A BMW R75/5 scrambler restomod built by photographer Josh Withers
The customer wanted something that would suit Michigan’s forest roads, so Josh opted for a laid-back scrambler style, with a healthy dose of British Racing Green. But he truly had his work cut out for him: apart from the fuel tank, everything needed rebuilding, restoring or replacing.

Josh used the opportunity to upgrade the old boxer motor, so it now runs a mighty 1,000 cc Siebenrock upgrade, and a five-speed kickstart transmission from a R90/6.

A BMW R75/5 scrambler restomod built by photographer Josh Withers
Josh also installed a crank-fired electronic ignition from Euro Moto Electrics, along with a lightweight starter and a handful of modern electrical upgrades.

Most of the engine is original (Josh kept the air box too), but there’s a new blacked-out electronics box lurking under the seat. The exhaust cans are stainless steel units from Spark in Italy.

A BMW R75/5 scrambler restomod built by photographer Josh Withers
For the tail section, Josh ordered an aftermarket subframe and seat pan kit—but those parts didn’t quite fit as advertised, and needed a lot of modifications to eventually work. The seat was given a medium amount of padding, and upholstered in a classic diamond stitch. The rear is finished off with a stubby fender and Bates-style LED tail \light.

Lower down, the swing arm was braced, and the wheels re-laced to gorgeous Excel rims with stainless steel spokes. A set of black anodized swingarm mount plugs from Oshmo adds a nice subtle touch.

A BMW R75/5 scrambler restomod built by photographer Josh Withers
Up in the control area, you’ll find classic Tommaselli bars in the same style as the BMW R80G/S, capped off with leather grips, and Motogadget turn signals and mirrors. The front end also features the original BMW headlight and speedo combo, and a custom front fender.

This classy R75/5 resto-mod does have one blatantly modern touch: a pair of Denali high-output accessory lights, mounted to the crash bars. The owner asked Josh to add them at the last minute, because he actually intends to ride this one in the woods.

A BMW R75/5 scrambler restomod built by photographer Josh Withers
Wrapped in green, with a number of blacked-out parts and the iconic chromed ‘toaster’ tank side panels, this R75/5 is as charming as it is capable. And with a secret 1,000 cubic centimeters hiding inside the motor, it’s a bit of a sleeper too.

That said, we’re betting Josh is happy to finally have it off his workbench!

Josh Withers | Instagram | Images by Josh Withers, Mitch and Amanda Lappo, and Toma Kostygina

A BMW R75/5 scrambler restomod built by photographer Josh Withers

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