Motoworks Chicago has become a fixture in the local motorcycle and scooter community. As the local Ducati, Triumph and Vespa dealer, it makes sense that people would come to us for new bikes, accessories and service. Yet what you might not know is that Motoworks started as a motorcycle repair shop. That’s a whole other story, but suffice it to say, we’ve built our reputation fixing BMWs for Chicago.

BMW R75 Engine Swap - 2

Any BMW is a valuable machine, and keeping them in good nick takes diligence and a willingness to keep investing in the motorcycle. Yet that doesn’t mean that there aren’t work-arounds to keep a Beamer on the road on a budget. Take this R75/6, for example. When the engine failed, there were a couple of options. Obviously it could be rebuilt. Or, we could swap the engine with another airhead we were saving for just such an occasion. This bike’s owner chose the latter. The advantage was a smaller price tag, but also the added bonus of this being an R75/5 engine — a slightly less advanced unit, but a perfect bolt-up that will serve this bike very, very well.

BMW R75 Engine Swap - 1

Of course an engine swap isn’t exactly a small task. It’s major surgery. Yet it allowed us to get this bike back in working order quickly. The result is something only the most hawk-eyed of BMW purists would ever notice. We’re not too concerned about that. And when this bike is humming along down the country backroads this summer, we’re pretty sure its owner won’t be too concerned either. Now the question is, do we rebuild that /6 engine and shelve it for some other rainy day?

BMW R75 Engine Swap - 5

In the end, what we’ve got in this R75 is a runner, and that’s what matters. Sure, a flash, brand new Ducati Panigale is a sweet thing all its own, but there’s something to be said for a faithful old classic bike that just runs. You hop on and go, and in the end, isn’t that what a motorcycle is all about. Here’s to one more runner ready for Spring.