Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Good for Retro and Classic Motorcycles


Text by Chris Hunter
During the austere and oppressive reign of General Franco—a remarkable 36 years from 1939 to 1975—foreign motorcycles were a rarity in Spain. So this BMW R75/5 must be a novelty on Iberian roads. It’s owned by Juan Ramón Ortega, a Madrileño with a longstanding passion for BMWs. He bought this 1972 model six years ago: “It’s one of three R75/5s that I found in Belgium and brought back in a small truck with some friends. Then we left the bikes gathering dust … the crisis came.” Two years ago, Ortega wheeled out his bike and started work. He cut down the rear subframe, fitted a Harley-Davidson rear fender and a Ford stoplight, and got out the paint gun. He also fitted a new hand made seat, Renthal bars and Firestone vintage-style tires. Racing-style number plates from England provided the finishing touch. But this custom is no bar-hopper: Ortega has just finished a huge motorcycle tour of Spain and Portugal, and it’s his daily driver too. For such a practical bike, it’s remarkably beautiful.

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