Bob’s BMW is pleased to offer this rare and desirable 1966 BMW R69S and Steib TR500 sidecar. Included are many desirable, rare, period correct accessories and enhancements that are as functional as they are stylish. The previous owner kept and rode this handsome combination for over 50 years, and the miles — exceptionally low at under 11,500 — are the original miles logged since the bike was new, a fact that certainly adds to the bike’s value. We have verified this mileage as best as we’re able thanks to the diligent record keeping of its owner for those 50+ years. He has owned many BMWs both vintage and modern; and only the newer ones ever accumulated a lot of miles.
The R69S itself is perhaps the most sought-after model in the 1955-69 period for BMW enthusiasts and collectors with only 11,317 built between 1960 and 1969 making them pretty scarce, especially in this level of mechanical fitness and cosmetic condition. Far, far fewer Steib TR500 sidecars were produced by this famous German company, once the major sidecar producer in Europe, during the time frame of roughly 1928 to 1957 before the factory ceased production. (The serial number of this sidecar is 47255) For a brief period BMW contracted with Steib to allow them to offer a “Spezial” sidecar model based on the TR500 with some additional trim and function options and different badges. It was most often sold with the standard R60 and R60/2 machines.
Only in the past few decades have good quality reproductions become available in Europe from a few different suppliers; these can easily cost one in the $10,000 range by the time it has been painted and outfitted to the standards presented here with a windscreen tonneau cover, full interior, fender trim, spare tire, and all mounting components to connect to a vintage BMW motorcycle. This example does show a few very old repairs to the metal body when closely inspecting it in the trunk or under the floor mats, but in general the metal is exceptionally original and solid and there is zero rust to be found. The same applies to the sidecar fender and for that matter the entire motorcycle.
Upon close inspection, one will find this R69S to be in very good condition. It still has many original parts but as one would expect, some parts and many maintenance items have been added, replaced or refreshed over the years as the bike was never intended to be a static museum display. Most but not all chrome is in very good condition and one fresh, used, original handlebar riser is included to be swapped out at a future date with one that has some deteriorating chrome and a unknown small hole for mounting something that no longer exists. The wheels, exhaust system, handlebars, controls, lighting, switches, stands, frame and essentially everything else one could list and rate are in very good or better condition.
No one will be disappointed following a thorough in-person inspection which we always suggest. And for those with prior sidecar experience, we encouraged a test ride too, of course. (A signed demo release form and security deposit required.) We can also take you for that first sidecar ride as an excited passenger, as we’ve done with numerous customers over the past 30 years. Many on the team here have sidecar training and some extensive experience. Bob, who has the most miles, years and experience with three-wheel fun raises money for several worthy causes in this manner many times annually; occasionally providing a half day of intense sidecar training for novices – again all for charity.
Having been regularly serviced over the 50 years of prior ownership despite only being ridden on occasion, this machine received an extensive engine refreshing (roughly $8,000) by a well-known, highly respected ex-BMW dealer and top level technician about a decade earlier to ensure it would head into the next 50 years of its life. The bike has all 3 matching numbers (# 662210) but the motor case (see images) was swapped out during the engine work (we did not agree with this earlier decision) but the original and engine matching case is included in the sale. Shocks were all replaced roughly eight years earlier and certainly have less than 2,000 miles of use. Fluids are about one year old and have far less than 1,000 miles on them and all look good.
While there is a very small oil weep at the head and valve cover gaskets presently the machine is solid in all respects and the minimal loss of oil is easily addressed with a rag now and then. It starts well and runs strong, shifts easily and pulls the sidecar easily on both flat grades and up hills with or without a passenger. Stopping is straight, smooth and strong for a vintage machine without a brake on the sidecar. After arrival at Bob’s we selected to perform some but not all of the maintenance, service and some roadworthy upgrades we felt were in order now or in the future to pass it along to the next good home is even better condition than when it first arrived.
We have completed the following work: adjusted all clearances and fittings between the bike and sidecar, installed correct wheels spacers on the sidecar wheel, replaced one of the Hella bar-end turn signals, removed later BMW mirrors from the fairing, installed a new and louder 6 volt horn, performed a light re-fresh on the carburetors including new floats, installed new spark plugs, installed a fresh battery with a battery tender lead, adjusted the front & rear brakes, tightened up some of the fairing mounting hardware, spaced out the spare wheel and tire so it does not make any noise and installed a new headlight bulb and a few fuses for good measure.
The tires on the bike and sidecar are all block sidecar style and while not brand new, all are in excellent shape and have more than sufficient tread to be ridden for some time before replacing them. At that time we might suggest taking the best one from the bike and installing it as the spare on the extra wheel so the spare is also a flat tread, sidecar tire. Performing a wheel bearing service would simply be a smart investment while the wheels are off at that time. Most all rubber parts are in good and very serviceable condition but a few of these are on our list for future improvements or general long term maintenance items to address and we are always happy to review our notes and the bike with the next owner prior to a transaction so everything possible has been disclosed and is clear going forward on this fine vintage BMW and Steib rig.
Both Bob who has extensive sidecar experience and miles over the past 35 years our lead Master BMW technician who has 20 plus years of sidecar experience have both taken it out for long demo/test rides before acquisition and during and following our service. Since it has been in our ownership we have logged over 100 trouble free miles on this fine offering; the tripmeter shows 104 but it was reset to ensure that function also worked. It arrived at Bob’s with about 11,324 miles showing on the smoothly functioning speedometer unit.
Yes, there are a few items we did not take on due to the time of year, the current heavy load in our service department for existing clients and numerous Police Departments who are purchasing new R1250RT-P’s from Bob’s. These are all items we feel confident about pushing down the road (time, miles and pun intended) based on the new owners desires, expected use, etc. and we’ve taken it all into account when pricing this exceptionally fine Vintage BMW/Steib sidecar outfit. We are happy to share that list of items with the next serious owner, but rest assured, this it is a solid, safe and roadworthy outfit at this time and a true head turner sure to make many people smile when they see it, ride it or get the bonus of being a passenger in it.
The sidecar is an original Steib model, the most desired one this German company produced from just after WWII (as a civilian model) until the company shut down production in 1957. Reproductions, without trim, options or even final paint sell for over $7,500 today making original examples in very good condition such as this one is, worth two, and sometimes three times that much to discerning collectors.
The highly desirable extras that come with this offering include: a long ago installed 26/6 final drive gear set with the speedo re-geared to match (it certainly pulls as if it has the 4:34 ratio but we have not opened up the final drive to count teeth) an original, full coverage Avon fairing, an original 8-gallon Hoske gas tank, the original Wixom Brothers 3-piece luggage set (trunk & 2 saddlebags), the spare wheel/tire on the sidecar, a Denfeld tail lamp guard, very rare Wixom luggage protection set, a cast aluminum period correct original deep oil pan, a set of modern small gauges mounted to the fairing frame, a standard BMW dual bench seat, chrome wheel hubcaps, a BMW matching tail lamp on the Steib fender, Hoske sport mufflers, Hella bar-end turn signals, locking BMW gas cap (plus a standard one), and a Denfeld folding luggage rack which all add additional value and function along with some pretty fine classic motorcycle style from all viewing angles.
This sale includes an original owner’s manual plus a photocopy for good measure, an original BMW factory service manual, keys to fit most everything on the bike and sidecar plus an original BMW black knob ignition key, a European front fender plate which can be mounted for shows in the existing holes, a tire pump, a reasonable stack of older service records including the engine work, a box of assorted spares, plus that VIN matching empty engine case.