1976 R60/6 Impulse Buy!

Hey fellas,

I came across a 1976 R60/6 and without too much thought, I slapped the cash down on the barrel head and now I am an airhead owner. The bike runs well and the engine sounds much cooler than my 2011 R1200GS - somehow the R60 just sounds grittier...

I am hoping you guys can:

A) help me figure out the nuances of what I have bought: is it a good year? Does anyone else like/hate these bikes and why? Any general commentary would be appreciated.

B) suggest some modifications to make the bike as safe and mechanically sound as possible for long rides. I called the guys at Max BMW and they suggested buying a more modern drum brake, changing the ignition to eliminate the points, replacing the alternator with a more powerful one - anything else...?

I have a budget of between $5K to $7.5K to make this bike a life-long keeper.

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This is it. This is THE bike that my childhood day dreams were built around. This THE biike that got me into dirt bikes when I was a kid - and it is THE reason I now own a Dakar.

It is a one owner 1976 R60/6. That one owner is my Dad. This is the first thing him and my Mom bought new as newly weds. This is the bike that I used to run down the driveway to meet, when I heard him coming up the block returning from work, and hope that I got a ride back up. It is the bike I used to sit on in the garage and make the BRRRoooooommmmmmm noise as I twisted the fun grip - and I imagined all the places I'd go on it.

Well now is the time to pass the torch. My Dad has "decided to let you have the Beemer son" and I just can't wait to finally ride it.

Now I say finally ride it because, despite the fact that I have been riding motorcycles for over 10 years, the planets have yet to align in such a way that I can take the bike for more than just a spin around the block. As it currently sits it has not been ridden in more then 10/15 years. It has been started, it has been taken for a quick spin - but it has not been RIDDEN. It has been garage kept [unheated] w/ a cover all that time. No fluid changes, no regularly scheduled maintenance - nothing. But before the great slumber it was my Dad's almost daily commuter and was very well taken care of.

It has the Windjammer fairing and the carbs have made the trip to Capitol Cycles back in the day, but other then that my dad can't find his folder of reciepts and records. So for arguments sake, and the fact that it needs a little spring cleaning anyways, let's just assume that nothing maintenance wise has been done.

So I guess my question is this........ where do I start? How can I bring my childhood idol back to life?

First things first - tires. What do most of you guys run? It has a conti on the front and a dunlop on the rear and both need to be replaced.

Next is fluids - anything special? I know this is even worse then the "which tire" question - but what oil are most of you guys running? Do I need to drop the pan and give it a good flush? How about lead additive - anyone better then the rest?

I guess my main issues are the unknown unknowns - what don't I know to look for, check and replace. What needs attention, lube and love?

Should I go whole hog and start replacing all the cables and bearings and points, and other things that "work" but are about as old as I am?

Where are the sources on typical airhead revitalization procedures? [I know "search" and google" are my friends - and I will be doing plenty of both - it is just this is the fist place I turned and I figured asking the locals for directions will beat wandering around with a map any day]

Also I live in southeastern CT and he and the bike live in eastern Long Island NY. Any good shop recommendations. We are both mechanically inclined [replaced head gaskets on cars, stripped down the Dakar to engine and frame this past winter, rebuilt my 2 strokes every winter when I was a kid, ect........] but sometimes it is just nice to bounce an idea or problem off of a knowledgeable wrench, also having a trained set of eyes to look things over at the end would be worth a couple of bucks.

So...... before anyone gives me any grief - I will post pictures on Monday. I will be visiting them this weekend and will pull the bike out and snap a few shots to give this thread a proper start.

I will either document my work here or start a new thread, but for now I would just appreciate some input and advice.

Need some help advice....I just bought my "new" bike - 1976 R60/6 and after a first ride I was terrified with the braking of the front drum brakes so I immediately decided that I must do some front end conversion. Considering 2 options:

-I have good price for R65 single disc forks and R75/6 front wheel with disc. Will they "fit together"?

- i would like to swap it with front end with some jap-bike (with spoke wheels). This is my preferred option. Can you suggest me a bike which front end will fit with BMW r60/6 chassis?

I dont know...maybe Im askin some stupid questions but my mechanical knowledge is minus zillion. I would like to apologize for that and also for my bad English.

Thanks a lot

Help! Help! ....I came across a 1976 r60/6 with 46000miles and an unknow sidecar brand for sale locally...spoke to the seller yday...today me and the kiddos happen to run into it when the seller was cruising it in town so i stopped him and looked her over...anyways the kids of course loved it...

looks good from 10ft...runs a little rich and the sidecar setup needs some aligning to track a little better according to seller...the seller wants $3500 ...he a beemer guy and picked up the r60 in ohio when he was buying another bike....he had the sidecar sitting in his shop for sometime and for fun slapped it on over the winter with kinda a home built mount.

My planned use would be backroads, dirtroads, city cruising, exploring etc....no highway....I am totally new to the hack world so will take it VERY slow and cautious esp with the kids

Is this an OK setup and deal? I want to offer him 3k....i would think the r60 is worth that much? Not sure bout the whole hack side of things?

Any help appreciated!


Hi Airheaders,

I recently got myself a 1976 R60/6 (even though it says R80/7 on the engine casings) for toddling up and down the Turkish coast

I have ordered a workshop manual but wondered if I could post a question or two whilst waiting for it to arrive.

When I start the bike up I am getting a lot of smoke out of the left hand exhaust pipe, the sidestand is also on the left so the bike leans to the left when parked. Could this smoke be as the result of oil seeping into the left hand cylinder head and if so where would it be coming from? The smoke disappears after a couple of minutes.

Secondly, there is a circular hole in the left hand engine case to the right of the dipstick through which I can see what I assume to be the flywheel. Is there meant to be a cover over this hole?

Loving the bike so far but it is taking a bit of getting used to.

Thank you,


I managed to obtain a 1973 (8/73 on the data plate) R60/6, no title, just bill of sale from a storage auction. I am thinking of restoring it, however it is only about 80% complete. I plan to use ITS for a title and then title it in Alaska.

The front wheel is aluminum and the rear is steel with flaking chrome, so, my first of many questions is is it possible that the bike came with aluminum front and steel rear wheels from the factory? What is correct?

Is it possible to rechrome a wheel? What are the challenges? Perhaps just send it someplace to have it done? Better to buy a wheel?

Thanks, Dennis

I'm going to check out a 1976 BMW R60/6 with a Thompson CycleCar hack. 46k miles on the odo. Owner says it's mechanically sound with no major issues. Asking $3k. I don't know anything about these old airheads and plan on taking it to my motorcycle mechanic to check out. After researching this bike, it seems like a fair price w/ the hack. Any thoughts on that? I'm looking for a sidecar rig so I can haul my 170lb Mastiff around with me. He's got some pretty serious separation anxiety issues, and I haven't been able to ride my bikes nearly as much as I would like. So I figure a sidecar rig will help me ride more while being able to bring my buddy along for the ride.
Anything in particular I need to look for on this bike? Is it a fair deal? Any thoughts and/or opinions would be much appreciated.

I have a 1975 R60/6, and it is a) under powered, and b) it sat for about 10 years before I finally got around to buying it from my brother-in-law, and in those ten years the cylinder walls rusted and got somewhat pitted. I have a friend with R75 cylinders and pistons, and I'm contemplating putting the R75 cylinders and pistons on the R60. I have a couple of questions, though:

a) Can I use the R60 heads?
b) Assuming that I put a pair of Mikunis on the bike, what else will I have to do?

Any thoughts anybody has would be appreciated.

I hi-jacked another thread about a R90/6 and decided to rather not continue cluttering the OP's story.


I went to have a look at a R60/6 advertised locally.
The odometer shows 57,000 + km and it's registered as a 1975 model.

As you can see it's fitted with what appears to be an "S"(?) mini fairing.

All the guages and indicator lights work. (Except the Oil pressure and Charging guages that came with the sfairing)

She starts with a single push of the button and settles into a nice rumbling idle.

I took her for a spin and the gear change is precise and neutral easily found.

The drum brakes worked better than I expected, but are they supposed to dive like that under braking. I'm used to my 1200GS.

The clutch is terrible, only engaging right at the end of the lever travel with a jerk. I suspect it might just be adjustment. If you look closely at the cockpit picture you'll notice that the adustment screw is seized and I didn't have any spray-on releasing agent. ( Good idea to take it along on such visits)

Allthough the bike is registered as a '75 the matching engine/frame numbers indcate manufacture in May 1976.


I enjoyed riding this bike.
I don't need it.
It's not collectable.
I can afford it.

I was thinking of making a sweet little cafe racer like BP's but after seeing it I think it would be cool to spray it black with pin stripes and just put on a single seat and lose some of the heavy fenders.

Oh yes the price is equivalent to about $ 1300 US.


I've got a '75 R60/6 in the garage and my wife thinks that she would like a sidecar much better than riding pillion. So, I'm thinking about buying a chair that is for sale locally (Velorex 565), and mounting it to the /6, with plans for an upgrade to the tug if it all pans out, .

We would not travel very far nor fast. I like to cruise backroads at no more than 55-60 mph and we might travel four hours a day. Most likely trips would be into town for church or dinner, four to six hour "day trips," or a weekend destination just a few hours away.

Anyone see any problems with this?

I ask becuase I've seen posts that concern/confuse me. There has been mention that the 650 Urals are seriously underpowered, and then posts that the original CJs had 22 hp as if that was plenty.


I have a 1976 R90/6 that has only 10,000 miles on it. It sat in a garage for 20
years before I bought it. did some carb work, lubed the splines, replaced
everything that needed replaced. Now it runs great but... When you let the
clutch out it makes a short squeeling noise towards the end of the clutch
release. Sounds a bit like a loose lawn mower belt. Can anyone give me an idea
of what might be happening?

Also. Where can I look to get the new replacement gas cap re-keyed to match the
ignition key?

Thank you for any advice guys! This is my first Beemer and I am hooked! :)

I have a 74 R60/6 with round slide (Not CV) carbs that are pretty beat up. I have heard of people using Japanese CV carbs and also later Bings on these bikes, but no one has had any specifics. My understanding is that, if propperly jetted and sized, a good CV carb will give me almost the same power and a bit better economy/less elevation sensetivity. Plus they would probably run better than these bing 53s, which have been left in the rain for several years(previous owner). Any suggestions?? Ideas etc appreciated.

I have an R60/6 that I picked up from a storage auction that I intend to title and "refresh" a bit . I am planning to use International Title Service, but I am not sure what year the bike should be titled as.

The production date is 8/73. It has a drum front brake. Max BMW's parts fiche shows production dates beginning 1/74. The parts fiche also shows all the R60/6's as having front drum brakes through 5/76.

Is it a 1973 or a 1974?

Thanks, Dennis

Found this ad in the local craigs list NOT MY AD, I live far away and don't have ANY THING to do with this.

1975 BMW R60/6 - $375 (Billings)



So I picked up this '75 R60/6 about a year ago and have finally decided what I'm going to do with it. I had never planned a restoration, but had considered turning it into an adventure bike, cafe racer and sidecar tug. Now, rather than purchase a Goldwing, I have decided to get this bike ready for touring.

As it sits now, it's pretty much just as I brought it home. I have replaced the 2-into-1 Supertrapp with a stock set-up 2-into-2, switched from points to electronic ignition, and changed out the tank (more on that later).

Here is what it looked like a week ago.

Hi all,

I'm looking into some advice on a top end rebuild for my 1974 R60/6 with about 80k miles.

Currently the bike is running, and by my estimation, pretty well BUT I do have a lot of oil consumption issues. I am aware of several leaks but they are very slow and I do believe that it burns more than it drips. If I leave it sitting for several weeks (as i just have over the winter) I see less than a teaspoon of oil underneath it. However when I ride it, or get to ride behind it while a friend drives I observe smoke out of both pipes most of the time- it seems to fluctuate- burning more at shifts (both up and down) as far as I can tell.

This summer I took a 1500 mile trip on it and I found that it used about a quart of oil every 700 miles which seemed like a hell of a lot to me. I am running Rotella T by the way though I have tried other oils with the same result. I chose Rotella T because of its low cost and universal availability at auto parts stores and truck stops while traveling. I'm hoping not to open a new oil discussion thread but that information may still be pertinent.

The plugs don't look fouled to me (or my mechanic who I used for a tranny rebuild) They tend to be a tannish color- MAYBE erring to the slightly carbonized side- but not wet and definitely not black. I will pull them and post a photo when I'm in front of the bike.

I have also just noticed an oil leak at the front of the engine behind the alternator which I guess I will address in conjunction with a timing chain job in the very near future- as well as leaking pushrod seals. I replaced the clutch 300 miles ago and didn't notice a leaking rear main seal but I'm afraid to be honest that I was so focused on the clutch that between my tunnel vision on that job (and not pulling the flywheel) I may have overlooked the obvious.

So, my questions are several fold- What do you think is the major oil burning culprit? Rings or valves? Other? Compression is about 170 in each head (even a little on the high side?) Have not done a leak down test as I don't have the tester.

Here's the big question- I'm into doing the work myself but without a sophisticated shop, how much of a head/valve/ring job can I expect to do myself? Obviously any machining would be done by an outside shop (recommendations near NYC are helpful) but what can I do? Can I just send the heads away complete with pistons and expect to have them ready to assemble and bolt right back on?

I'm not a complete novice- I've replaced the clutch, throwout bearing, a timing chain and complete electrical system on another airhead, and do all my own routine maintenance but I've never taken apart the top end and I'm unsure of what's really a DIY job. I would appreciate any thoughts on how much of this work to do myself and how much to outsource and then bolt back on.

Thanks as always, guys.

Hi Folks, I'm in need of help again which isn't readily available here in Turkey

I have decided to fit a centre stand to my R60/6. The stand looks like this

The problem I'm having is trying to locate where the springs for the centre stand attach to the bike frame. I can't see any hooks on the frame. Or is there a separate part which attaches to the frame from which the springs hang?

Thank you in anticipation


I am busy building a R60/6 cafe racer. The sorry excuse for a thread on the exercise is getting so little traffic I need to post this question seperately in the hope that an inmate will take pity on me and respond.

I am replacing the original silencers with old "shorty" ones. The innards were toast and I had new ones fabricated by a local exhaust shop who did not have the original diameter perforated tubing.

The result is that I will be running virtually unrestricted straight pipes which in addition to the potential noise issue may need re-jetting. The bike will be ridden at more than 3000 ft above sea level.

I need comments, pointers and suggestions on jetting and even maybe restricting the flow in the slip-ons. My current plan is to, once it's up and running, take it to a shop with an exhaust gas analyser and take it from there.

Hello everyone.

I am in a bit of a fix. I was hoping a fellow airhead lover could help me. I ordered a Corbin Seat about 2 Months ago. They made it and sent it within two weeks. I was unaware that I had a /7 tank on my 1976 R90/6. I paid shipping and did as they requested. I marked the seat where it needed trimmed and sent it back to the factory. I also took very good pix for them showing the spots that were incorrect. They said they could modify it and send it back. It has been another 6 weeks and I could not get anyone to call me back! Yes their customer service is lacking in some areas. The salesman even admitted that they are understaffed. He finally got back to me saying that they are waiting to get a /6 in to dry fit the seat for accuracy. This could take up to a year if not more. They offerred to refund my money at this point. Here is where this list comes in. Is anyone in the area of the Corbin Factory with a 90/6 that has a /7 tank? If so can you let them dry fit the seat for me? Im in Raleigh, NC. The wrong coast. HELP ME!

1976 R90/6...

When I hit the turn signals the instrument indicator blinks yellow once, or twice, or three times and then doesn't blink any more even though the turn signals themselves are blinking and operate normally.

Any one have any ideas?

About a month ago I thought I'd mothball my R60/6 - it wasn't ready for its yearly MoT roadworthiness test, and wouldn't idle properly anyway. Cold idle was a real problem: it would always stall at junctions and even when hot it wasn't exactly smooth.

It also seemed impossible to balance the carbs properly. Valve clearances etc were all checked and good but twiddling mixture and idle screws just didn't seem to have the effect it should have!

So, actually rather inspired by the "R60/5 across Canada" thread on here, I decided to have a go at the carbs. Previously, when I laid the bike up, I'd intended just to find a pair of new Mikunis for it next spring, but that's not really in the spirit of running an old R60, is it?

I've got the Haynes manual and the following just documents the steps it suggests:

The patient:

Float bowl removed:

Here are the main jet holder and mixing tube, as well as the needle jet. That little piece of black debris below the float bowl clip is rubbery in feel, and fell out from somewhere as I shook the needle jet out:

I unscrewed the pilot jet too. The O ring is a bit hardened. I don't know how much is too much:

Here's the throttle slide. It looks pretty worn to me, and in this first pic you can see quite a big notch where it's sat on the idle speed adjustment screw. Should that be there at all? I can't see it on the Motobin picture. You can also see the scoring and wear up the sides. I'm guessing I need to replace the slide? The needle, on the other hand, is smooth and doesn't seem worn:

Here's the choke assembly and drilling. I tried to get a good shot down it, but this isn't great. It looks grubby down there, which could be one of my problems. I've read about a rubber seal which disintegrates and causes rough, rich running - where should that be?

My other worry is that the carb body is too worn to be successfully rebuilt. What do you guys think?

So that's as far as I'm up to.

What replacement bits should I order? Motorworks do a full overhaul kit for £25, some of which I guess I don't need:

A new slide is £8 from Motobins. Are these worth rebuilding, or am I just throwing good money after bad? Would I be best just going for the Mikunis as planned?

Tell me your thoughts...

Hi guys. My friend wants to slightly g/s an 1976 r75/6 with a large capacity opaque off road plastic tank.

Do any of you know of any options?

I understand that this particular model has a different tank thank the others, and to use the more common large capacity tanks, you have to change the seat.

any help will be greatly appreciated


that's right R60/6, 1975 model with 52,000 miles on the odometer, black, good shape, newish tires, vetter fairing that looks really really ; removed within 20 minutes of hitting the garage, side cases, same as fairing.....................


pics to follow

My latest victim is a 1976 R90/6, I was able to actually ride home. The first one, wife was very excited about that. Has/had some electrical issues, here is some history.

1. Headlight didnt work, except for high beam. Fixed that with a new bulb and new wires. DONE

2. Horn didnt work. After an hour figured that the switches must be later model and I plugged the green/black into a brown connection on the board. Beep. DONE.

3. And this is where I am getting hung up. Electrical is like high school chemistry to my brain. It just shuts down. I had to take the tank off to do some repairs to the tank. I noticed the starter relay look new. Both of the red wires had issues. One had a splice in it and the other looked like it was barley holding on. I fixed them both, the right way. When I picked up the bike I could not get the bike to shut off, either using the key of the kill switch. The light all go off but I have to pop-kill it. There is also an extra (fused) wire running form the hot side of my battery to the board and plug into a red post. Unplug that and I dont get any juice.

I suspect the starter relay may have a couple of wires swapped? Below is a drawing I did to show how its wired right now. The battery stays nice and charged, so when the engine is off all of the electrical is too. Its kind of weird. Any suggestions.

Hi Guys...

Long time listener, first time caller.

The slightly ding'd and dented tank & fenders on my 1976 r75/6 are getting a makeover at a local body shop. No more dents & dings, and getting the whole set repainted in avus black per the original. It's a nice rust free tank, so this should get me back to 100%.

So next up is the hand pinstriping. Easy enough at a local sign shop who specializes in pinstriping...

But my question is: Does anyone have a clear set of pictures showing the tank and fenders w/ original pinstripes for the '76 r75/6? I want to make sure this guy gets it right. Should have snapped the pix before I brought them into the body shop... But didn't. And for some reason I can't get google images to give me exactly what I need.

My old bike will be forever grateful.


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