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Thread: R75/5 vs the /6 bikes - DIY rebuild rating.

  1. #1
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    R75/5 vs the /6 bikes - DIY rebuild rating.

    Hi,
    I am looking for a bike to work on and ride - not a full blown restoration, just enough to be clean, reliable and wrench able. My skills are mediocre - confident in earlier rebuilds of dirt bikes, a couple of marine outboards and one old jeep motor/suspension.

    I have the chance to pick up a R75/5 in very nice shape physically but doesn't run after a long time in storage. Similar opportunity with a R90/6. Thinking I'd tear them down pretty far to learn, replace various seals and gaskets, cables, rebuild carbs, etc.

    From a parts availability and complexity perspective does anyone have a strong opinion of one over the other?

    Thanks
    John
    '01 r1150gs

  2. #2
    Bluenoser
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    Parts are available for both the 75/5 and the 90/6 but it will take a bit of digging to find the best source, depending on what you need.

    My suggestion would be to buy the bike that is the most complete or original. Less hassle that way. The bikes from about 1976 up had some refinements in the cylinder to block area that made it easier to use more modern pieces, should the need arise.

    I should add that you should be prepared to spend a minimum of $1000. to get the bike on the road. I've currently passed the $ 2500 mark and still don't have the bike on the road.
    1971 R50/5 SWB with R75/6 drivetrain
    2013 DL650

  3. #3
    Registered User dmftoy1's Avatar
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    Join the airhead beemers club for $25 a year and subscribe to the mailing list at micapeak.com. These bikes are dead easy to work on and lots of help available. I just finished replacing pretty much every rubber bit in my 74 R90/6.

  4. #4
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    What year R75/5 ?

    I would venture that all of the /5s would be easier to wrench on than /6 models. As an example, the entire wiring harness can be replaced for about $175 vs. the /6 harness (with all it's trick "modern" electrical connectors and terminals) will set you back about $500. /5 brakes are mechanical but some would debate that they were/are as effective as the "new" disc brakes on the /6.

    1970 - 1972; short wheel base (SWB), kinda squirrely
    1973 - long wheel base (LWB), better handling
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmo1131 View Post
    What year R75/5 ?

    I would venture that all of the /5s would be easier to wrench on than /6 models. As an example, the entire wiring harness can be replaced for about $175 vs. the /6 harness (with all it's trick "modern" electrical connectors and terminals) will set you back about $500. /5 brakes are mechanical but some would debate that they were/are as effective as the "new" disc brakes on the /6.

    1970 - 1972; short wheel base (SWB), kinda squirrely
    1973 - long wheel base (LWB), better handling

    Actually I've heard quite a few state that the drums on the /5 were better than the single disc on the /6. Which ever one you end up with, the braking will be very different from a modern bike.

    One thing you may need to consider is the /5 is a four speed and the /6 a five speed, if you have a preference there.

    There are a lot of similarities between the two bikes, either one can make a good daily rider.
    '99 R1100S

  6. #6
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    Decisions,desisions

    Having had both,my choice would be the R90/6,especially a '76.The larger engine just loafs along with its higher gearing and 5-speed transmission.I regularly got 10 MPG more than the R75 and nearly 300 miles to a tank.With the added torque,5th gear passing was a breeze.Good comments about the front disc brake,though.When well adjusted they work OK.MY 2c
    Russ

  7. #7
    Registered User georgej's Avatar
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    I guess I'll be the first to say it. "Get them both."
    1978 R100RS Motorsport
    1978 R80/7
    1977 Triumph Bonneville
    1980 Honda XL500S

  8. #8
    lubbent
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    What a choice!

    Well, I've had a SWB R75/5 since 1976 and it is still my daily ride. My wife has had an R90/6 since 1984 and it is her daily ride. And sometimes mine, if I'm lucky. I would give a gently nod to the R90/6. Evry time I ride it I wonder how anyone could want any other bike. It is really well balanced and capable. A little more plastic on it than on the R75/5, but not bad. My R75/5 is very much like a glove to me, and I really like it, but I have to say the R90/6 is just a bit better. Better electrics, 5-speed, and a real feeling of loafing at 80. Very 'together'.
    Go for both if you can

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9662 View Post
    Well, I've had a SWB R75/5 since 1976 and it is still my daily ride. My wife has had an R90/6 since 1984 and it is her daily ride. And sometimes mine, if I'm lucky. I would give a gently nod to the R90/6. Evry time I ride it I wonder how anyone could want any other bike. It is really well balanced and capable. A little more plastic on it than on the R75/5, but not bad. My R75/5 is very much like a glove to me, and I really like it, but I have to say the R90/6 is just a bit better. Better electrics, 5-speed, and a real feeling of loafing at 80. Very 'together'.
    Go for both if you can
    Thanks everyone. I like the "both" option, and the 5th gear of the /6. It might come down to which is a better deal - looking at them this week.

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