When you're a true fan of motorcycles, there aren't really that many brands that have a tendency to get your attention on a regular basis. One of the more unique brands of motorcycles is the BMW. While you don't see them on the road very often, they do exist. Furthermore, some of these BMW motorcycles are among the best examples of true craftsmanship and engineering. As a matter of fact, many of the finest examples were made during the 1970s and they're still highly sought-after today. If you want to know more about individual models, you can read about five of the best examples from the 70s below.
1970 BMW R75/5
There are plenty of things about this model that are unique. First and foremost, its appearance is far different from anything that you might be used to seeing if you mainly focus on Harley-Davidsons or similar types of motorcycles. This one has a less aerodynamic appearance. As a matter of fact, it's made in such a way that it's practically straight up and down from front to back. That really didn't hurt its performance much, though. The special thing about the 1970 model is that this was the year that BMW made the decision to revamp virtually everything about its motorcycle program. As a result, these bikes have a longer wheelbase, a bigger engine, and an electric starter. In reality, the bikes for easier to handle than their predecessors, even though they have more horsepower. They're also one of the few examples that incorporate both an electric starter and a kickstarter.
1973 BMW R90S
This was considered something of a super sport model. It was largely based on the frame of the R75/5, yet there were a number of improvements as far as the powerplant was concerned. As a matter of fact, this was the year that BMW stopped incorporating the 500cc engine and went to one that was capable of producing 900 cc's, dramatically enhancing horsepower. There were also some changes made to the electrical system in order to make the bike easier to start.
1975 BMW R90S
Two years earlier, BMW had made the decision to improve the electrical system on their top echelon of bikes. The idea was to eventually remove the kickstarter in its entirety. In 1973, BMW didn't feel like they were quite there yet, even though they had indeed made vast improvements to the electrical system. By 1975, the kickstarter was gone and the electrical system took over. This was one of the more luxurious features of any motorcycle, whether it was made by BMW or someone else, especially as far back as the mid-1970s.
1977 BMW R80/7
This is one of the best performers of the entire decade. BMW decided to eliminate the boxy design that came along at the start of the decade and changed it into something more aerodynamic. As a result, the bike was put through extensive testing in a wind tunnel. The end result was a much sleeker design that looks far more like modern-day motorcycles. BMW also focused more on performance, as the bike was capable of producing more than 50 horsepower and could travel at roughly 125 miles per hour.
1979 BMW R65/5
Smaller than all of the bikes listed above and thanks to its size, this example was also light enough to outperform the larger bikes that had more horsepower. It was also one of the sleekest designs ever created by BMW, creating a category that was unheard of in the motorcycle industry at the time. The bike was intended to be an entry-level motorcycle, yet it rapidly gained a reputation for being a sportbike as well.
Overall, these are the five BMW bikes that truly made history during the 1970s. Many people consider them to be luxurious examples for their time. Even by today's standards, their performance and handling characteristics still hold up. They're difficult to find, as most people consider them collectors items and they're not willing to let them go if they get their hands on one. However, it is still possible to find one of these examples in rare instances. If you do, you could ride that same motorcycle today and keep up with many of the bikes that are rolling off assembly lines in modern times.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker