John’s Beemer Garage

20 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on John’s Beemer Garage

I’ve always been a BMW ‘twins’ person, but every few years I find myself with a single. This is an original paint 1955 R25/3, which someone traded to me in 1997 in exchange for a sidecar I had. Single cylinder bikes are still a great value price-wise (relative to twins), but being weaned on twins, the singles just never sound ‘right’ to me!

If you hang around long enough, you can get a second chance at a bike. The R16 that I lusted after 18 years ago changed hands again about 10 years later. Seen here after arriving at the new owners home, it’s a little less together but otherwise little changed.

For as many as were made (over 12,000), not many of these R24s seemed to make it over to the USA. This one is very complete other then the missing pillion rack (which doubles as a top fender mount) and the correct tail light, seat, and knee pads.

My own very unrestored (!) 1949 R24. More than the R51/2, the R24 is almost a direct carryover of the prewar design. Interestingly enough, the R24 in the previous photo is only 10 digits away (the serial number) from one of mine.

Just as a comparison, here’s a photo of a pre war R23 that I found for sale in Czechoslovakia. You’ll have to excuse all the chrome! The nice thing about extra chrome is that you usually have to start with very nice metal parts to bother chroming them – so a chrome headlight only means that when you strip off the chrome, you’ve got a part that won’t need bodywork.

Another Czech BMW, this time a pre war R51. Stylish if incorrect fenders, headlight, and tool box. And the tank. what was I just saying about chrome sheetmetal.

I’d love the hear the sound those exhaust pipes must make.

Seen here is a nice looking 1938 R51SS from out in California. The front hub is interesting it that it’s a pair of 1/2 hub brake drums mated together and stopped by two brake plates. This setup was on the bike when this fellow got it.

This bike also features a close ratio transmission.

This isn’t the greatest picture, but it’ll give you a good idea of what a mid to late 1930’s Veigel speedo looks like. This one only goes up to 100 km, so it’s probably off a single. The military twins generally went up to 120 km, with other civilian twins going up to 160 km.

The beauty of getting to go to Germany every now and then is something like this. I was walking along the aisle at a German swap meet, and there was this headlight sitting on a table. It’s an NOS prewar headlight bucket, and I brought it back for a friend of mine that needed it.

BMW has a long history of supplying racing parts for its bikes, and here’s something that many racers would want. This is a close ratio racing gear cluster set for plunger twins. These gears are just about to go back into my own 1950 BMW racer. Here’s a comparison of the stock vs. racing gear ratios:

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