This is a RUNNING PROJECT BIKE!
We LOVE PROJECT BIKES here at Bob’s because we get to play a contributing role in bringing an older machine back to life. Perhaps the bike was off the road a long time, maybe neglected or forgotten in the corner of a garage, workshop, or basement as years slipped away and the owner never found the time to get back in the saddle and enjoy the pleasures of their once favorite machine. We are, for lack of a better word, matchmakers. In recent years, we’ve connected over 100 bikes that were in need of attention on some level with new owners. That next owner is, typically, an individual who LOVES to tinker, repair, service, and resurrect mechanical things – motorcycles in this case – and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Perhaps the best way to describe the full process is that they enjoy the work and look forward to reaping (riding!) the results of their investment, be it their own time (sweat equity), the cost of parts, or perhaps some sublet labor provided by others (including Bob’s) on the tasks they are not fully capable of doing themselves.
PROJECT BIKES are special and as such we want the buyer to know as much as possible. We encourage every potential buyer to ask questions. We’ve nothing to hide and our only goal is that the new owner for each and every PROJECT BIKE we offer feels they paid fairly and received good, if not great value in the transaction. We have a disclaimer about our PROJECT BIKES that’s easily found on the Bob’s website. We encourage people to call, schedule a time to visit, meet with one of our sales advisors and inspect each machine in person so they can see, hear and know the positives and negatives involved in the refurbishing process with full clarity.
You can read more about Bob’s PROJECT BIKES on our website at: http://www.bobsbmw.com/new-motorcycles/project-bikes/. Over the years, we’ve sold well in excess of a hundred PROJECT BIKES, a number that has risen sharply this year and every single client except one was exceptionally pleased with their acquisition from the very start. That each customer is exceptionally pleased is our goal, just as it is with our exclusive ADVANTAGE CERTIFIED pre-owned used BMW motorcycle program and, for that matter, the results of someone being assisted in selecting and buying a new BMW here at Bob’s. And for the record we did make that lone individual happy in the end despite some unrealistic expectations after an onsite, in person extensive inspection, review and conversation before buying it.
So, why the asterisk (*) after the year 1969? It’s because this particular R50/2, based on its original and matching VIN stamped into the frame, engine and ID plate, is most likely a 1966 to 1967 machine and not a 1969. It was very common back in the 1950’s, 1960’s and even into the 1970’s in some states to register and title a car or motorcycle based on the year it was first sold new by a dealer and not by the year of manufacture. This process stopped long ago but we’ve had a few dozen examples go through our hands over the past four decades.
If you care enough about having the exact year on the title it can be corrected in all 50 states with a little administrative time, a small fee, a dealer letter and a little documentation attesting to the error. Some states will require a VIN rubbing, photos or even an onsite inspection. This is NOT included with this offering but the title is clear and assignable and will be transferred by Bob’s BMW to the new owner as we do with all PROJECT BIKE sales.
This PROJECT BIKE was sitting in the back of an artist’s studio when we found it, That studio was, more specifically, a converted, over-sized garage that was being used for sculpting all kinds of materials from wood to metal to found objects. Lots of light dirt, dust, airborne debris had settled on this once regularly ridden machine, but before parking it, the owner pickled it properly with extra fresh oil in the engine, a fully drained gas tank and carbs that were run dry, floats removed and light machine oil sprayed into them. Thus, the engine turned over easily! The tires were down to about 6 pounds of air, however, and it was clear that it had seen a few modifications along with a few drops and light damage.
Bob put air in the tires, completed the friendly transaction, loaded it up and headed back to the dealership – a 7 hour round trip including breakfast on the road and a stop at another BMW shop. It was all there and Bob, who hunted it down, gathered it up and brought it back to Bob’s believed we’d have it running* in short order once back in the hands of our expert, certified BMW techs. The very first thing Bob did to this PROJECT BIKE after rolling it out of the trailer was to take all the images you see in this offering except the lead image which was taken after it was running and after it received a very light washing.
So please keep in mind – in the front of your mind that all but two of these clear, informative images of this PROJECT BIKE were taken before we got it started or even gave it a fast washing. We know that with a lot more materials and elbow grease it will get a lot cleaner and may very well make a nice, original finish daily rider, though it will not be a beauty queen.
The BMW techs took in this PROJECT BIKE with directions to spend as little money and time as possible to get it running; Bob wanted to hear it so we knew if we’d be offering a bike that was in desperate need of a rebuild or one that might be able to see light service to be once again consider a safe, roadworthy and reliable vintage BMW rider. It has not been ridden since the late 1980’s and was last registered in 1985-86 so we simply had no idea what we and the next owner might be in store for and here at Bob’s we always want to be able to share just as much important information as we can.
After a few hours of effort on this PROJECT BIKE that included cleaning the carbs, installing some decent used floats and fresh slide needles and a few gaskets, trimming the plug wires and adding some fresh plug caps, replacing the fuel lines and feeding it some fuel from a remote gas tank (the fuel valve on the gas tank is stuck so we simply bypassed it for testing purposes) it fired up on almost the first kick.
The tech checked the air in the tires again on this PROJECT BIKE making sure they were safe enough (yes they are but they are really old and hard) for a few loops around the building and a short run down the road as Bob simply pushed enough into them to make it easy to roll when he acquired it. It passed the test ride test exceptionally well. It idles, takes throttle, rides and shifts well, stops OK and handles as it should but we know that with new tires, steering head, wheel and swingarm bearing services, a valve adjustment, a new petcock or fuel valve (the tank looks super clean inside), fresh cables, a through cleaning of the brake linings – if not just replacing them with newer and grabbier materials which we offer and a host of rubber parts this bike should be very rideable.
This PROJECT BIKE will also require a little electrical work as the lights did not function, it has no battery, there were some lose wires hanging from the headlight that probably belong to the horn/dimmer switch and the small plastic slide over the ignition switch in the headlight was cracked and fell off during transport. But that’s all stuff one might except on a bike of this age, with this level of miles and attached to the fact that it’s been sitting idle for about 30 years. There’s some more stuff we’d like to share about this PROJECT BIKE so keep reading and look over all the attached images and please take a moment to watch the 10-second video Bob took when our tech rode back into the parking lot following his one mile ride.
It is missing the stock handlebar risers which have been replaced with some home-built ones for a little ergonomic adjustment. You should easily be able to see the damage and subsequent repair on the front fender and fender brace of this PROJECT BIKE. There is also a small scrape/ding on the edge of the headlight but when Bob took the trim ring with lens and reflector off it all came of cleanly and re-installed without difficulty- that means the bucket is still pretty round. The spokes are rusty as are the rims. The BMW roundels on the gas tank are chipped. The worst damage on this bike is the chipped fins on the right cylinder head but this does not prevent the machine from operating as it was when first built in Berlin and this is a repairable issue – it gets done all the time by competent welders.
As we mentioned earlier most all rubber is in need of being replaced on this PROJECT BIKE which is very normal for its age. The tail light assembly is correct but not perfect, the lens appears to have melted a little, the trim ring is dented and the can itself has some surface rust. The exhaust system is half BMW and half MCM or MAC replacement but is solid, there’s more light surface rust on these otherwise very solid mufflers than is on the headers or crossover pipe. The seat has one very small tear in the covering but is also in good shape in general and the foam still has some life left in it.
The only accessories attached and included with this PROJECT BIKE are the Denfeld universal folding luggage rack and the BMW one-piece crash guards or cylinder protectors as they were correctly identified as by BMW. It also has a fully functioning Flanders side stand that works just fine and is an attractive and desirable extra correct for this period of BMW machines. It came to us without any keys, books, tool kit, tire repair kit or rag. While it’s well known that a sturdy nail with depress the ignition switch to get the bike started, we’d be viewed as crazy to not send the next owner home with at least one key, the buyer will have a choice of receiving either a new black knob key or a flat pocket/wallet spare key which is also a beautifully functional design from the 1950 to 1973 era of BMW motorcycles. As for the rest of the missing bits that were originally standard issue, we can sell the next owner all of those items from our vast inventory of original BMW parts and a great depth of replacement and reproduction parts. But then …
Finally, the next owner of this PROJECT BIKE will receive a generous DISCOUNT on all items he or she purchases at Bob’s to bring this one back to whatever the next level of mechanical and cosmetic dependability, road-worthiness and beauty they desire it to be in when completed. There’s typically a time frame attached and with a PROJECT BIKE like this, and the time of year it’s being offered we say that 180 days should be ample and generous on our end from the day it goes home to the next garage. We’ll be expecting your call and visit!