Chrome Dreams: A 1972 ‘toaster’ 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.”