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Old 01-11-2013, 07:59 PM   #1
Twin headlight Ernie OP
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Looking at a 1959 R50 tomorrow morning

So I got a lead on a 1959 R50 and am looking at it tomorrow morning. Are there any quirks to this model I should be on the lookout for? I'll report back with some details.
Thanks.
2HE
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:59 PM   #2
airheadPete
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Geez, an OLD /2... Not much I can tell you. When I bought my '65 R60/2 it was pretty much done by feel, for the bike as well as the guy selling it. Expect that you WILL have to do a teardown to clean the oil slingers. (Otherwise the engine is a grenade, just waiting to seize, do you feel lucky?...) I'm assuming it's been off the road a while? No history? If it's not complete, it can get really expensive, and be an endurance test. Call Vech in Sturgis, MS if a specific question pops into your head. (Crap, I can't recall the name of his shop right now; (it's in vendor links on ibmwr.org)) My bike was right at the limit when I tore it apart for the slingers.
All that aside, she's a wonderful ride on back roads at a slower pace, (for today's world). Open face lid, wife along on her scooter, checking out the horse pastures... Takes you back to when you were a kid, just out to see what you could see. They're great bikes, good luck.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:11 AM   #4
Twin headlight Ernie OP
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1959 r50/2

Well, here's a picture. It has 94K and has not run in 10 years. It is currenlty stored in a nice garage. It has a dent in the tank and the tail light is missing. The current owner belives the previous owner tried to convert it to a 12 volt system and it has a huge ugly regulator bolted to the right side of the frame. I also noticed that is must have been setup with a sidecar at one time because the sidecar lugs are still on the frame. He wants $2400.00 for it.
So, how big of a money pit am I looking at? Opinions? What is it worth in running condition? Restored condition?

Thanks.
2HE

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Twin headlight Ernie screwed with this post 01-12-2013 at 08:19 AM
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:19 AM   #5
Cogswell
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If that bike has clean paperwork, numbers match, and has not been bodged beyond repair I would buy it at that price.

Mike
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The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:49 AM   #6
Detroit Steve
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Questions answered here:

slash2@yahoogroups. com this is the /2 yahoo group


http://bmwvmca.org/joomla/


http://w6rec.com/duane/bmw/

unfortunately only you can determine how much of a money pit it will be.

$2400 is a good price for a bike that clean.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
halflive
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Over here that price would be a bargain. It proves the seller is ignorant. Try to talk a few hundred off, but by it anyway.
Yes, a sidecar was fitted, the swing arm is still mounted in the holes for short trail.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
supershaft
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Didn't single cam /2's start with the '60 or '61 model year? I thought all the single cam fifties twins were /3's?

supershaft screwed with this post 01-12-2013 at 01:18 PM
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:54 PM   #9
isdt BMW
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/3 twins stopped in 1954, this bike is not a /2, it is a R-50. the /2 started when an extra gusset was added to the frame in front of the swingarm. there are a few subtle differences between the first series and the /2 series. the twin cam motor stopped with the 1950 R-51/2. The bike looks clean and is well worth 2500. set the front fork in the solo position before riding without a sidecar. GET THE SLINGERS DONE, they are your oil filter. Get the books and talk to vintage BMW guys. good luck, they are great bikes.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
supershaft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isdt BMW View Post
/3 twins stopped in 1954, this bike is not a /2, it is a R-50. the /2 started when an extra gusset was added to the frame in front of the swingarm. there are a few subtle differences between the first series and the /2 series. the twin cam motor stopped with the 1950 R-51/2. The bike looks clean and is well worth 2500. set the front fork in the solo position before riding without a sidecar. GET THE SLINGERS DONE, they are your oil filter. Get the books and talk to vintage BMW guys. good luck, they are great bikes.
I thought that the / number related to the engine? I believe the R51/3 engine was basically the same until some redesigns made it the /2? For instance, I have been told at service school and other places that the R69S engine really wasn't a /2 anymore after getting it's rear main bearing redesigned in '63 I believe? I know it's just semantics and engine design but . . . . Maybe they said it never was for the different heads?

supershaft screwed with this post 01-12-2013 at 02:18 PM
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:05 PM   #11
Twin headlight Ernie OP
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Slingers

Educate me on the slingers. How involved is that.

2HE
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:59 PM   #12
crazydrummerdude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twin headlight Ernie View Post
Educate me on the slingers. How involved is that.

2HE
Complete engine tear-down.

The bike looks clean. (is the front fender on backwards?) I wouldn't hesitate to buy that for $2400. Any less is just icing on the cake.

From what I understand, all bikes up through 1969 (up to, but not including, the /5) had sidecar lugs on the frame, whether or not one was actually mounted.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:51 AM   #13
weeman
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2HE,

As previously mentioned an engine tear down at this point would be in you're best interest because of the lack of mechanical history. I just started the same evaluation with one that I bought this past summer and the biggest thing is doing the slingers hence the tear down. Having said that you might as well go through the engine and trans to make sure you have they are mechanically healthy to insure you'll have years of mostly trouble free riding. Budget about 2500. more or less for the engine rebuild and since the trans is less complicated than the later airheads your budget should be 600-700 for a rebuild depending where you take it. My recommendation would be to talk "Vech" at Bench Mark Works for further advice 662-465-6444.

Steve
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:43 AM   #14
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YOU should OWN this bike, by NOW!
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:23 PM   #15
weeman
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YOU should OWN this bike, by NOW!
I would highly agree! PULL THE TRIGGER, NOW!
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