Vintage beauties like this excellent original machine do not come around very often, in fact, they are rarely available anywhere in this level of mostly original condition. Bob’s has been exceptionally fortunate recently to have 3 similar 1955-69 classic Avus Black airhead twins arrive, allowing us to be responsible for finding their next homes. While they occasionally are on display in the showroom for extended periods of time until the perfect match to the next owner, caretaker and enthusiast comes to pass we can report that two of the three have already been sold without any fanfare or time in the showroom.
This beauty is now on display at Bob’s BMW in Jessup, Maryland – the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region, and central to Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia, and even a good portion of the Carolina’s. It was specifically held back so we could showcase one beautiful and very original pre-1970 BMW and offer it up to many more individuals in our customer base, plus new visitors than the shorter call list which allowed us to find the homes for the other two. It is no less special than the other two in our opinion, but is realistically simply not as flawless, and thus is more affordable.
One of these special bikes was a flawlessly restored example of the late 1960’s R60/2 with Earles Forks from Bob’s personal collection; he had owned that machine for close to 20 years and only parted with it to make room for two machines he did not already have in his near 100 BMW motorcycle collection; it was a difficult decision to make but it was done for all the right reasons. The other was a superb, 98% original example of the late R50/2 model which was in the last owners care for almost 30 years. And stay tuned come spring as the R60/2 will be available again as part of a special fundraising effort we’re sure you will want to be involved with as that machine will end up in a new home as the final result.
Bob personally delivered and installed the R50/2 (out-of-state) on October 26 in the new owner’s business office where he just “stared at it for an hour” before heading home at the end of the day. This special installation was only possible via a 2nd floor landing access point requiring a bike pallet, a forklift and Bob suspended about 14 feet in the air on the pallet to release the bike so it could be rolled across an exterior landing, up 2 steps, through one exterior doorway and then down 5 narrow hallways before going through one more door into the office.
So why is this example so special? For starters, it has had just 3 documented owners since built in Berlin in 1966. It has been in the last owners loving care and perfect storage conditions for a little more than 25 years. It was not however a static example but was instead regularly ridden for short stints to keep everything as fresh as possible, lubricated and operating as close to new while at the same time keeping the mileage accumulated as low as possible. We have zero doubts, based on a very thorough evaluation and the prior ownership documents that the 7,500 miles on the odometer are correct, accurate and original to this machine.
But everything ages, even under ideal storage and riding conditions. This last owner always replaced small rubber bits with NOS originals when required, upgraded the battery to a state of the art solid state version with a very accurate exterior appearance and greater stability and no potential for acid splash and damage. It saw new Metzeler tires which date to 2002 and 2005 as the original rubber was no longer safe for even short rides. Fluids were refreshed many times over the years and even the horn which had ceased working just recently was disassembled, thoroughly cleaned, and the contact points reset so that it now operates louder than most 6 volt horns did when sold new.
It does have a few small items of note on the cosmetic and originality side that if we did not point them out here, an individual considering adding this otherwise excellent example to their stable of enjoyable motorcycles might not see, and we believe in full disclosure. Starting at the front, the fender was repainted at some point in it’s history, but most would never know even with a very close inspection. There are two very small dings in the gas tank forward of the gas cap and behind the steering head. An expert in dent removal w/o refinishing might be able to address these or, like the last owner, they could remain as part of this bikes individual patina. The “T” bar or main support under the otherwise factory correct Pagusa solo seat (Denfeld was also a supplier to BMW in this time frame) is a reproduction item, and lastly, the rear fender rack is also a reproduction of the originals. While visually identically even up close. Bob and the sales team could show a prospective buyer how to tell the difference.
Beyond those items it does have a small assortment of tiny blemishes that would be expected on a 52 year old machine that add to the allure, patina and story of this particular example. The most noticeable of all might be the small scratches near the rear fork towers on the sides of the fender. While mostly hidden by the shock towers and the side arms of the fender rack it is clear to us that the original seat on this bike when it was built by BMW was a bench seat. Those seats had a flat bracket which mounted directly between the frame and the fender and every single bike has these same marks if it ever had a bench seat installed. In hindsight, I’m sure someone at BMWAG who might be alive and was involved in that era of model design and production would like to have turned back the clock and taken another shot at finding an alternative way to support the rear of those bench seats.
Our staff or even Bob, should this be requested, can walk the bike with any potential next owner and show each and every one to them (after they get their breath back from taking it in for the first time) and looking at it very closely; we expect that most of what we’d be able to point out they would not have noticed during their inspection.
And while cosmetics are important, and originality should count more than restored in our opinion, it is also the solidness, road-worthiness and overall mechanical care and condition which is perhaps the most important factor if one desires to not only own and share a machine like this with others but to ride it and gain the ear to ear grin that comes from this era of BMW’s two-cylinder, opposed twin, carbureted, magneto ignition and Earles fork equipped motorcycles. One is unlikely to find many other examples, especially for sale, that are as solid and original as this one is.
This one also includes some very special options that get harder to find in such excellent original condition everyday, and when one does find a piece to buy, the individual price tags are simply climbing up steadily. This one has both the Denfeld tail lamp protector ring as well as the matching headlight protector. It has the Denfeld rear fender rack as mentioned earlier and it is equipped with an original set of Albert headlight mounted mirrors that go perfectly with the BMW Euro or low handlebars. It is also equipped with the optional factory sidestand, and has the slightly later era (1970-76) adjustable rear passenger foot pegs that fold out of the way when not in use unlike the original solid style usually on this year that every owner has banged his or her shin on countless times – we think these are a smart OEM BMW/Denfeld upgrade.
To protect those perfect original six-rib valve train or cylinder head covers this bike also has the factory original one-piece loop crash guards that mount to the front engine bolt and the frame offering both style and function in the interest of safety for rider and machine. This bike also boasts the optional factory chrome steel rims vs. the lower strength allow versions with a shoulder that constantly held road dirt, water and other environmental debris; these were a must if one ever selected to attach a sidecar and like other pre-1969 Earles Fork machines this one has the built in sidecar ball mount at the rear of the frame and the receiver for a sidecar eye bolt on the front right of the main frame.
And most certainly a stunning optional accessory is this example of a rare Hella Spotlamp-Mirror unit attached with the correct bracket to the top of the fork yoke or top triple tree. Back in the days when this bike was a new offering at the local BMW representative or dealer these drop dead stylish and functional accessories were offered in the $16.50 to $24.50 price range but these days, depending on the exact condition as well as the size of the mirror which is also the switch to turn it on and off, you can add a few zeros and you’d still have to find one. Overall one will find all the small details like hardware, rubber, clamps, fittings, metal cable ties, no measurable deterioration of plated surfaces or aluminum castings, superb paint quality, near spotless correct exhaust system, and even the correct silver colored cloth covered fuel line.
We recently sold one to a long time customer not nearly in the superb condition this one is in for $1,399 and while not all 1955-69 machines 6 volt electrical systems will handle such and option unless one is operating the bike at steady speeds this machine has a solid state conversion hidden in an original appearance battery housing and lights this up, along with the headlight and horn while the bike is just on display – in fact it has been at least a full month since it was charged. The offered price includes a set of new tires and tubes installed with a Nitrogen fill which will be done when the bike is sold to keep these as fresh as possible, a small number of rubber parts (we have the list) which you could take home for future spares if preferred, cleaning of the brake linings while the wheels are off and of course a final extended road test which is in addition to the miles Bob has already ridden this beautiful R50/2 to confirm its health, safety and road-worthiness as well as the fun and grin factor.
And last, this all matching numbers (frame, engine, ID plate, title) includes the original, factory issued, year-correct, owner’s manual, an original BMW tool kit rag in fair to good condition – nearly impossible to find in any serviceable shape plus a complete, good condition 21-piece original BMW tool kit (tire irons are included but not shown) with the vinyl tool pouch correct for this period and a factory tire pump which mounts to the main frame under the seat. It has the stylish black knob ignition key, the correct flat, key chain or wallet style ignition key plus two keys (copies) that fit the tool compartment in the side of the gas tank where the tool kit and rag typically reside. We did not get a key that fits the rarely used fork lock but replacement locks are available or perhaps a locksmith could make a key to fit this lock for you, as the next very proud owner, caretaker, sharer of fun motorcycles and vintage BMW enthusiast we know you will be.
Call, make an appointment and check this one out in person. You will not be disappointed.