Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Why are they called Toasters?

  1. #1
    sportsguy
    Guest

    Why are they called Toasters?

    I keep seeing older (maybe it's only certain model years?) units referred to as "Toasters".

    Why that nickname?

    ...because the cylinder heads "toast" your feet/ankles?

    ...or is it the shape of the engine block?

  2. #2
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Marin By God County, California
    Posts
    11,664
    Quote Originally Posted by SportsGuy View Post
    I keep seeing older (maybe it's only certain model years?) units referred to as "Toasters".

    Why that nickname?

    ...because the cylinder heads "toast" your feet/ankles?

    ...or is it the shape of the engine block?
    The 1973 R75/5 was called a "toaster tank" because of the chrome panels BMW attached to the sides of the fuel tank. I'm pretty sure that was 1973, but I'm sure one of the true Airheads here can help me out.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  3. #3
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Marion,Ar.
    Posts
    11,457
    '72 was the first year for the toaster tank /5s. Only the small tank got the crome tank inserts. '72 and '73 also got the crome side covers. Back in the day a lot of the BMW enthusiasts thought they were garish and didn't fit the marque image. Now their considered cool and quaint.

  4. #4
    sportsguy
    Guest
    Makes perfect sense - thanks guys.

  5. #5
    dlearl476
    Guest
    I heard (read) a rumor somewhere that the high bars/chrome sides and perhaps a different gear ratio were the result of BMW (or Butler) consulting Harley Earl, king of chrome.

  6. #6
    Registered User 130253's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    "The Atomic City", Paducah Ky.
    Posts
    249
    I thought that I read/was told that they were called "toasters" because the chromed panel reminded one of a bread toaster, thus the name.
    Mark Evans
    1974 R 75/6
    "Life is a state of mind"

  7. #7
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    20,450
    Quote Originally Posted by 130253 View Post
    I thought that I read/was told that they were called "toasters" because the chromed panel reminded one of a bread toaster, thus the name.
    That's basically correct. Read this wikipedia page created by our own Jeff Dean:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_R75/5

    Read the second paragraph.

    Kurt in S.A.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Port Angeles WA
    Posts
    1,429
    Many BMW purchasers back in 1971- 1972 thought the chrome tank covers were so ugly they immediately removed them and either discarded or converted to something useful such as a barbeque pan. Sort of the 1972 version of the DDS ugly "Edsel" style headlights of today.

    The chrome panel was secured by clips at the rear and the ceramic-finished roundel at the front. Snugging down the screws usually fractured the ceramic at the edges. However, much classier than today's roundel sitckies.

    After 20 or 30 years, people started restoring old R75 airheads, and found the supply of "toaster" chrome tank and battery covers had dried up. So, when you see a toaster R75 today, it's either an original cover that came with the bike, or a replacement found after a tedious search mission. Same for engine model badges on the starter cover, but that's another story.

    pmdave

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Port Angeles WA
    Posts
    1,429
    1972 (but built in 1971) R75/5 "toaster"
    Attached Images Attached Images

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •