Restoring a 1973 BMW R75/5 Motorcycle

February 25, 2007

Basic black

Filed under: 1973, airhead, BMW motorcycle, motorcycle restoration, R75/5 — Penforhire @ 1:55 pm

I followed Duane Ausherman’s instructions on fork lock removal.


Yep, sure as rain, the pivoting cover pieces spray across the room when you punch them out.


Y’all be sure to catch them because, well, someone has to. Took me about a half hour to find that little “nail.”

You know what this means, right? My frame is ready for powdercoating (assuming the shop I use does the prep work too). Woo-hoo! So that means I had to get moving on the other parts for powdercoat. Here’s my pile of parts ready for basic black powdercoating.


The USA handlebar controls were annoying to strip because the bike must have fallen on the right side once upon a time. The end of the bar was slightly flared, enough to prevent the controls from sliding off. Grrr. That took some ingenuity to re-form. I mashed and sanded it enough to mount the other side’s control on the very end and used its pinch clamp to re-form the end. I dropped the bike on its left side when I first learned to ride so this one wasn’t me! I sure hope the powdercoaters keep out of the control interiors because there is no room to spare. Each of the control perches had the original “wedges” in place under the pinch clamp. That seems to be unusual. Over time most folks lose those wedges and wonder why the controls tend to slip around.

I believe I only have the headlight bucket left to prepare. I am debating wet paint versus powder for this part. Powder coat should be more durable but the color and sheen will be ‘off.’ Any thoughts from the peanut gallery? The bucket will not be easy to strip down regardless of technique. Here’s what is left in the interior.


Here’s what the exterior pieces look like.


The two ‘ears’ and several electrical-mechanical clips are riveted in place. I’m not happy about drilling those out but the rivets are tarnished (rust?) too. I recall I have some instructions on speedometer and ignition removals somewhere. I’ll likely bust the speedometer trim ring and the ignition is held in with some bent tabs (not designed for maintenance), if I recall correctly. Break those tabs and I’ll have to find a welder to fix it. The speedometer needs to go somewhere like Palo Alto Speedometer for a check out and repair of the tach needle. They seem to have the top reputation in that business and a price to match.

I intended on working more today but I got a wicked forearm cramp. How do pro mechanics do this stuff all day? I couldn’t push on a ratchet without spasming. So today I just worked ’till I dropped. Very exciting to have a pile of parts just about ready for action. Joe told me he was trying to make contact with his painter for the fenders and tank so I’m excited about that too! Hmm, I’d better get cracking on that POR-15 lining, eh?



  1. Howdie, I stumbled across your blog while trying to figure out how to remove my heaqdlight bucket for both powder coating and needle repair. Any ideas on how to get instructions on how to do it? And since I live in a high corosion zone (Pacifica) am leaning toward powder. Any compeling reasons not to? Thank you.

    Comment by syd paris — February 27, 2007 @ 10:29 am

  2. Hello Syd, maybe some of my other readers will chime in. I’ve got some related instructions printed out (I think) so when I get to doing it I’ll post in the blog. But at this moment, nope, I have only a hazy concept of how to clean out the bucket. If I do not remove the guts I don’t figure I can powdercoat because of the high baking temperature. So I’m leaning towrd gut-removal because, like you, I have some more faith in powder coated finishes.

    Comment by penforhire — February 27, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

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