Son and stepfather duo build a pair of silver specials…
The BMW R75/7, available from 1976-79, was the 750 variant of the classic airhead design, offering a great compromise of power and economy. In 1977, Britain’s Bike magazine was mightily impressed, saying it was even faster than BMW claimed, and the touring chops were second-to-none:
“A stainless disc that stops you in the wet, superbly comfortable riding position and well-damped long travel suspension, over 250 miles on one tank of fuel, the brightest headlamp in the business…”
Enter Steve Blacker and Malcolm, a son and stepfather duo who work out of a small single car garage in Essex, UK. This is their second take on an R75/7 cafe racer, and she’s a stunner.
“Built to complement our first build with the help of my stepdad Malcolm — after many hours and plenty of hurdles to jump, we wound up with what you see here.”
Every last part of the bike has been rebuilt, restored, or customized. The bike is now sitting on lowered suspension and a mono-shock setup. Fuel comes from a modified Yamaha tank with a St. Christopher engraved on the cap, and the custom seat hump has frenched rear lights and indicators. Coils and ignition are now hidden inside the unused airbox, and there’s a battery box underneath the gearbox. Steve kids that it’s a “cafe poser”:
“It rides well but wasn’t built to race. It’s a bar hopper and show machine that gets lots of attention wherever it goes.”
Below, we get more details and photos of the build.
BMW R75 Cafe Racer: In the Builder’s Words
We are a stepdad and son who work from a small single car garage at my mother’s place. The other bike we did was our first build. This one is our second, no plans to do another one at this time. I currently have 11 bikes including two Lamberetta scooters.
The bike was built to compliment our first build — with the help of my stepdad, Malcolm, after many hours and plenty of hurdles to jump, we came up with what you see here.
Fully rebuilt, repainted, rewired. Front forks lowered 75mm (3 inches), and standard front wheel was rebuilt with stainless spokes and wrapped in Firestone Champion Deluxe tyres/tires (the ones the internet hate — never had a problem on either of my builds).
Cut down front mudguards. Rear subframe removed and a custom single shock set up, using uprated Hagon gas shock.
Heavily modified Yamaha FS1E fuel tank with twin fuel taps and mudguard detail running through. Fuel cap is custom made and engraved with a St Christopher.
Custom made seat hump with rear lights and indicators “frenched in” — angina mudguard detail running through.
The coils are hidden in the now unused air box and the ignition is fitted in the side of the air box . Controls are genuine BMW from an earlier model. New cables. Dropped handlebars that were modified slightly (too wide).
Headlamp is a Lucas item (MCH65) with genuine restored BMW speedo installed.
Engine stripped and new parts where needed. Unleaded heads and some custom machined aluminium parts. New clutch, starter. Rebuilt carburetors.
Battery box is a custom made item and fits under the gearbox and is fitted with a lithium battery. New stainless headers and Norton style mufflers. Custom made gear linkage and rear brake controls.
Rear wheel stripped Polished and rebuilt with stainless steel apples and the Firestone Champion Deluxe tyres/tires . The paintwork is a BMW silver with pinstripes — numbers and tank badge hand-painted over the clear coat, old school style.
Hope you like my bike! We are very happy how I turned out. It rides well but wasn’t built to race. It’s a bar hopper and show machine that gets lots of attention wherever it goes.