1967 BMW R100/2 Conversion with Ural Sidecar
It's impossible to share all the special features and effort that goes into building what has been called a /2 conversion since Bob first stated riding BMW's in the 1970's. What will be shared here is a brief history of the general class and some overall details on this specific example because it's the one we have available to sell. If you've ever thought of owning one of these very special outfits, lusted after Bob's rig (no it' still not for sale) because you've seen him riding it or just because they are so unique and so very cool (each one is different) and this may be one of the nicest ever constructed. Plus it was all done by the experienced and talented team at Bob's for the prior owner so we know pretty much everything about it.
If we could be describing you, we strongly suggest that you stop reading now and call us before too many others learn that we have it available and get interested themselves.
First a little history, back in 1970 when the /5 series and engines in 500, 600 and 750 cc displacements became available with 12 volt electrics, more horse power than the prior 500 and 600 cc kick started engine and the joys of pushing a starter button to start the beast people starting yanking their anemic 6 volt, 26 to 28 horsepower engines out and installing larger motors. They also gained the improvement in gear box technology as well as now having 12 volts to operate better lighting, audible horns and yes even some accessories that drew current. This was mostly done for all those people who attached a sidecar to their machine so they could take the family along, haul groceries, hardware, incredible finds from a flea market, camping gear to extend travels or even to give their best buddy who just happened to be furry and have 4 legs a nice ride in the countryside on a beautiful afternoon.
Some others just enjoyed the modification process (so many of us a true gear heads) or had the need for more power and speed. Regardless of the reasons, anemic 1955-69 engines and gear boxes came out of bikes and a variety of larger ones went in. It started out with some 600's thanks to crashed bikes but the 750 cc was the engine to have since it had, at the time, the most power. Then came the /6 series in 1974 and the R90/6 and even the R90S. In 1977 the R100 motors were cranking out some 60 plus horse power, more than double what was available in 1969 so when a bike really got wadded up there were never, more creative uses for some of those wrecks. Not many people needed to replace their existing R100 engine with another thanks to BMW's solid design and reliability. This was a BIG improvement and at first all it involved was a change in driveline and some basic modifications to the frame and driveshaft to make it all come together.
As time went on and more people spent still more time and energy thinking about what could be done to make them look better, handle better, carry more fuel, have more lights, be more unique or varied from all the others they'd seen the true customization of what has been called a /2 conversion really began to flourish. But even in the heyday we are talking about larger handfuls of these very special rigs being built. One company even designed an adaptor plate that allowed for a VW engine to be installed into the same /2 chassis with the stock gearbox. It worked but it sure was ugly but for those seeking power and cheap over beauty and power it was yet another option.
Then things sort of settled down because people just started building special sub-frames to strengthen the flexible frames on the 1970 and later machines which were not designed to accept a sidecar as had the machines built between 1955 and 1969. One company started producing a modern version of the Earles Forks that could be installed on any BMW built after 1970 and that leading link design is what helps a sidecar go down the road so very well. And sidecars simply got attached to more modern machines including later K models with even more horsepower to allow for greater speeds and loads. And sidecars and the machines that pulled them evolved again and today the styles, chassis and exotic possibilities are almost endless. Bob owns a few of these high performance rigs as well, he's been a sidecar enthusiast for well over 25 years now. It's one of those more modern rigs that caught the heart (and wallet) of the prior owner for whom this conversion was originally built.
And that brings us to today, this machine and how it came to be. The prior owner, for whom this /2 conversion was custom built had simply seen Bob's personal /2 conversion at the dealership one Saturday. Bob frequently rode it in as it had a Steib LT200 Delivery Box from the 1950's attached and he could both ride to work and have room to pick up the six to eight dozen donuts he provides every Saturday at the dealership. They got to talking and very soon the conversation turned serious; the Bob's Service Team was hired to build him one and Bob became his personal consultant just as he has done for several other clients desiring one of these over the years.
They spent several weeks and numerous hours discussing all the details of Bob's rig including why a 1000 cc engine was better than the 900cc in Bob's machine and why Bob preferred a 4 speed over a 5 speed transmission. Of course it really boiled down to what he wanted on his and what it would look like and that's what Bob has helped people determine. Some items would be the same but many others were vastly different as Bob's rig was now a dozen years old. More cool stuff was available now from which to select than was when Bob began his design process almost 20 years earlier. While the hope was to find a very nice Steib TR500 or S501 sidecar what became available first was a very nice R69S with a URAL sidecar disguised to look like a Steib. Purchased. Then the plan was to remove that sidecar and attach it to the /2 conversion when completed and thus allow him a very nice R69S as a solo machine to compliment the sidecar rig.
To bring all this around, some 7-8 months later all was delivered to the delight of this special customer and he has enjoyed it for the past four years logging over 5,500 miles. During that time the proper shake down process was embraced along the way and any assorted needs, tweaks, adjustments, further improvements, repairs, etc. were all taken on. The list of what was done from beginning to end and the very close to $40,000 (forty thousand) dollars spent are substantial and too lengthy to all share or even list all here. But these further details are available to the right person, a person who will both appreciate this special rig but also care for it, exercise it and see that it is brought back to Bob's for regular service and maybe even the addition of a few more extras that will truly make it the next owners personal /2 conversion.
Here's some of what has been done, added, etc:
1967 R60/2 chassis with heavy duty shocks and sidecar springs and wide European style sidecar handlebars
Late URAL sidecar, repainted to look more like a Steib TR500 with tonneau cover and screen
1977 R100/7 motor, fully resealed with new clutch pack with /5 style valve covers.
Rebuilt 32mm Bing vacuum style carburetors
/5 series (1970-73) four-speed gearbox with kick starter lever
Custom stainless steel exhaust system (headers, cross and mufflers) to mimic the R69S style
Combination /2 and early /6 style control assemblies and levers
Custom drive shaft coupling to mate 1955-69 drive shaft with 1970-84 gearbox output flange coupling
Modified Earles Forks to allow larger engine it sit in frame without contacting stock, lower brace
/6-/7 (1976-1980 era) style two-piece cylinder guards with modified mounting to fit 1955-69 frame
Custom mounted special PIAA driving and fog light set and extra loud Hella original style horn with custom brackets and switch
BMW rear fender mounted luggage rack with Corbin leather solo seat.
Period correct reproduction leather Police style saddlebags with automotive battery and custom tray in right side with custom cables, etc.