Many so-called 'purists' refuse to bead-blast engine cases when they restore a BMW - but that's exactly how the factory did it way back when! This photo is from a 1954 dealer catalog, and shows several engine cases on a rotating table, ready for cleaning. The photo caption says "In the specially designed jet device castings obtain their refined surface." A stack of cylinder heads can be seen in the lower right hand corner, and what look like transmission cases back behind the second machine.
I get a lot of mail from people that enjoy the few photos I have of BMWs in colors other then black, so when I was sent this photo by one of my web page readers, I jumped at the chance to share it. This is an unrestored original green R60US, and it's stunning! The color is known as "Turf Green", and the second owner obtained a letter from Butler & Smith authenticating it.
Here is yet another shade of factory green - this time a little more of a drab shade. This R60/2 is also original and unrestored. The non-black bikes are really the favorites of collectors!
This original paint R26 was photographed at the BMW national at Rhinebeck NY in 1999. The European dealer emblem can be see on the rear fender, just above the tail light. Judging by the worn pin stripes on the tank, this machine has been well ridden.
At the beginning of this web photo section there was a shot of this bike under restoration. I thought you'd enjoy a shot of it fully restored. This bike always attracted a crowd whenever it showed up, and a few years later it sold for a record price for a post war BMW single. It truly was beautifully done.
I can't vouch for this color being original, but it's still interesting to look at. I wish I got to talk to the owner that day to find out a little more about it.
More early & late stuff! The headlight ear on top is the one that came out in 1955, and was used until about 1960. The headlight ear below is the newer version, and the one you see more often. The early ears were rigidly mounted to the fork, and they tended to crack over time. BMW solved this by designing the fully rubber mounted type, The rubber base on the left is common to both types, but the inner metal bracket and two spacers (seen below the black ear) sandwiched several more pieces of rubber, isolating the headlight and ears from vibration.
Every now and then you might run into one of these fenders, and wonder what it is. Some people call these "Sport" fenders for the /2 twins. I'm not sure about that name, but for many years in the early 1970's if you bought a replacement fender from BMW for your 1955-69 twin, this is what you got. Now and then you'll see one of these bolted to an R68 - because the shape is very close to the original R68 fender - but being made for an 18 inch wheel, the radius is wrong for the 19 inch plunger wheels.
Early verses late shocks. It's hard to see in this shot, but there is a visible difference between the early and late front fork shocks. The difference is in the two covers. The upper shock (with the arrows pointing to it) is the early version, and the edge of the two covers is rounded. The lower shock is the later (circa 1960 and on) shock, and the edge of these are a crisp 90 degree angle.
Here's a better close up shot of the early front shock - this on my 1955 R69. You can see the radiused edge on the upper cover. For some reason it's much more common to see all the paint gone from these early upper covers. I don't know if BMW changed their paint procedure along the way or what - but you never see this on the later covers, even though they're also made of aluminum.