This PROJECT BIKE is special in our opinion. It came to Bob’s via a local auction and we acquired quite a bit of its history thanks to connections between the auctioneer, who is a long-time client of Bob’s, and the direct connection and conversation Bob had with the individual (Clarence) who knew the original owners Don and Natalie from whose family he acquired it.
The last owner never got around to trying to start this PROJECT BIKE and decided after about 2 years of keeping it in his house simply admiring it (he’s a local history buff) to offer it up at this recent auction. It has been stored dry and covered for easily the last 20 years of its life. In the transfer, Natalie was unable to find the original tool kit, owner’s manual, shop rag or tire kit, but it did come with an ignition key, a tool compartment key, and an original key to the fork lock which still works fine.
We feel confident in confirming after our evaluation that the mileage on this PROJECT BIKE is original and exceptionally low by any standards for a 56-year-old motorcycle. It essentially only had one owner despite the more recent ownership transfer and possession it went through in the last two years. Our understanding is that second purchaser, as mentioned above, never rode the bike but merely displayed it in his home. It would be impossible to know this for sure, but everything you can see during an inspection would point to this fact.
This PROJECT BIKE was originally a gift from the husband Don who rode extensively in this region, both on the road, on the areas many unpaved roads (it was the 1960’s) and was a frequent participant and competitor on the dirt tracks in the area. She wanted to ride her own motorcycle, liked her husband’s BMW’s and a R50/2 felt like a great compliment to his R69S so he bought it and gifted it to her; she just hardly ever rode the bike and that’s a huge bonus for the next owner because, to the best of our knowledge, no one has ever been inside this machine to do any work, repairs, or modifications.
As with all PROJECT BIKES we want the buyer to know as much as possible, so we urge every potential buyer to ask questions if anything is not clear. We’ve nothing to hide and our only goal is that the new owner for each PROJECT BIKE offered feels like they paid fairly and got good, if not great value in the transaction.
We have a complete disclaimer about our PROJECT BIKES that’s easily found on the Bob’s BMW website. We encourage people to call, schedule a time to visit, meet with one of our sales advisors, and inspect each machine and piece in person so they know all the positives and any negatives that could be involved in the refurbishing and restoration process with full clarity. We also want you to know everything that is included and anything that is not.
Moving on, this PROJECT BIKE does not currently run though the engine turns over easily. All the electrics under the front cover and inside the headlight look like they are new. While we believe the carbs need a full rebuild, they are reasonably clean. Everything that should be there is and we believe this is exactly how Motorsports Center in the Baltimore area delivered it back in 1965.
We did make a quick attempt to hook it up to a remote fuel source, clean the spark plugs, trim the plug wire ends and screw back on the original plug caps, blow out the dust in the carbs and kick it over several times to see if it would easily start; it did not, so we left it at that. Thus it is being offered as a PROJECT BIKE.
This bike boasts super low original miles, a large Schorsch Maier sport tank (BMW’s optional large tank) which holds 24 liters or 6.34 gallons of fuel. It is pretty clean inside the tank of this PROJECT BIKE but there is a very slight residue of age that should be cleaned out. It also has the standard Schorsch Maier BMW bench seat which we feel is the best visual compliment to this tank of the available seat options from BMW of the period, and it’s quite comfortable. There is some slight damage on the seat trim where the aftermarket grab rail comes in contact with it.
This PROJECT BIKE has original BMW USA style handlebars with the sharp or pointed control levers, Hella bar-end turn signals and the corresponding switch (the relay is inside the headlight). It also has the stronger chromed steel wheels and a few chromed options that were offered by US Importer Butler & Smith in that era. These include the breather cover, airbox, valve covers, and front engine cover; it should be noted that the chrome itself is not perfect on any of those parts, and there is also some light surface rust on the handlebar risers. There is also an original and long since NLA Flanders side stand bolted on that is in good working order.
The tires are ancient, and we were told they were changed out around the time the bike was first purchased so the owner could ride some of the dirt roads her husband frequented; the tread design was better suited for this than the stock Metzeler or Continental tires of the time. There is plenty of tread on the rear tire for a short neighborhood ride, but the front shows excessive wear (cupping) from being under-inflated – we’d highly suggest they both be replaced before this PROJECT BIKE goes back on the road.
The bodywork and general state of original cosmetics is better than most original bikes from this era, let alone a PROJECT BIKE, and we are confident that with some proper cleaners and polishes and some elbow grease, this one should shine up very nicely; we would certainly not suggest a repaint of anything as extreme. The only real blemish is an old, and small scrape on the edge of the font fender which was touched up long ago. It does show evidence of sitting outside in the elements or even in an unheated shed or garage.
Fuel lines, some rubber parts, and undoubtedly some gaskets and seals will all need to be refreshed, but most of these items are in impressively good shape on this PROJECT BIKE. Once running again, and after fresh tires and tubes have been installed, this bike’s other needs can be determined by the next owner. Our suggestions, simply based on the bike’s age, would include servicing the wheel bearings, as well as the steering head and swingarm bearings — grease only lasts but so long. The engine oil was at the correct level and looked pretty clean, indicating it had been changed at least once before.
The entire exhaust system appears to be original BMW and is in serviceable condition but there is a small hole on the underside of the right muffler. You can see a very small scrape on the top of the throttle cable housing and the right control lever, little flaws that seem to be connected to that long ago incident that resulted in the touched up minor scrape on the front fender edge.
We’re confident that one would be hard pressed to find a lower mileage, less molested and more original R50/2 anywhere that has such decent original cosmetics. We feel this offering should be an easy PROJECT BIKE to return to regular use in the right hands. To support that effort, a discount on all parts purchases (original, reproduction, tires, battery, assorted upgrades and any desired accessories) made at Bob’s BMW related to completing this PROJECT BIKE is good for 180 days from the date of purchase.