R60/2

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It was getting dark in Athens, Greece when John happened upon this old BMW. He took a picture and sent it on, knowing I would like it. Not quite steampunk, but oozing character and timeless durability and utility.

Right away, I wondered “What is it?” I could see the BMW emblem on the tank. John had called it a BMW. It has the horizontally opposed twin engine that certainly looks BMW. Beyond that, however, I was clueless. I knew from the front drum brake that it had to be old, but how old? Straight to Wikipedia via Google and, sure enough, this grand old relic appears to be a genuine BMW production bike from the 1960’s.

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Above is a Wikipedia photo of a 1967 BMW R60/2. Notice the distinctive circular passenger hand hold like the one on the Athens bike. The front fender on the Athens bike appears to be from a different motorcycle. It’s bulkier, wrapping around the tire more than the original design. According to the article BMW was transitioning from the Earles fork to a more standard telescoping fork in the late 1960’s and some R60s had the Earles and some had the telescoping fork like the Athens bike.

Below is a 1967 R60/2 with the Earles fork:

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The Earles fork was especially appropriate for sidecars, but sidecars were in decline at the time and customers wanted the more modern, telescoping fork.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the R60/2 in the parts catalog at maxbmw.com and you can still get parts for it from BMW, although a cylinder will cost you $916. A complete gasket and seal set for the engine is $142. The availability of old parts is a huge recommendation for BMW, in my opinion. A recent project built an entire, brand new, 1970’s era BMW R90/6 9 about 99.8% from parts available from BMW.

I noticed a fully restored R60/2 for sale on cycletrader.com for $32K. That Athens bike has to be worth a lot more than my initial impression!

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