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jambo's picture
VBMWMO #9208
Long Island
Joined: 11/23/2016
Posts: 164

Hello historians, I have just purchased a 1952 R51/3 that is fairly interesting. The motorcycle in general appears to be quite original but I do have questions on a few items and thought I would pass it by this group.

Even though this is a 1952, my chassis number is lower than 529379 which is where it appears that many things got changed as per the Barrington manual and Salis website, etc.

Things that I noticed follow and I would really appreciate any comments/ideas you may have on these:

1. The motorcycle currently has rubber gaiters and the Barrington manual (page 71) says below 529279/529379 that they should be metal shrouds (even though its a 1952). It makes sense that they were upgraded through the years and the previous owner told me the front fender was not original. That also makes sense because the fender for the rubber gaiters has larger cutouts. I am seriously considering going back to the metal shrouds if that’s what was original. Thoughts?

2. The gearbox has no provision for the shroud around the hardy joint. I initially thought that was wrong but since it seems like 529379 was a major change point, and mine is earlier than that, it might make sense that this is correct. Anyone have any info on this?

3. The brake pedal is rectangular and chromed. I initially thought it was aftermarket but the Barrington book (page 69) says under 529379 it should have a rectangular pedal. They do not specify anything else other than that about the arm itself and the axle length is correct at 86.5mm. I am wondering if the arm is indeed correct? See picture.

4. The foot rest irons are all chrome but they are of the correct length as per page 68. I am fairly sure they should not be chromed but I don’t see why anyone would chrome the irons themselves? Strange. Could these be correct? See picture.

5. The Veigel speedometer is ratio 1.0, not 0.95 even though it looks of the proper vintage and does not look like it was ever removed. Thoughts?

6. I have the correct Eber air filter for a 1952.

7. I have the correct “version three” (page 542) five segment hinge rear fender with bolted-in cove.

8. Twin leading shoes with half-hubs.

9. Straight tailpipes with swallow tail pipes.

10. Old-style headlight with fuse.

Any ideas are appreciated as I learn more about my new purchase and do my research.

Thank you!!


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James W.
1967 R69S, 1966 R50/2, 1965 R27, 1963 R27, 1952 R51/3 and 2018 R1200GS

The Plunger
The Plunger's picture
VBMWMO #8356
Joined: 09/03/2012
Posts: 252
You don't mention what your

You don't mention what your number is but I'm guessing mid 1952. BTW, my info states the first R51/3 of 1952 production is 526211.
Several changes took place in 1952:

526211- duplex front brakes, 4:1 transmission version A, 3rd version output flange, 2nd version 190mm center stand.
526710- Change to Eberspacher filter with black plastic knob
526760- change to 3 stud rear carrier bearing
527210- change to 5 stud rear carrier bearing
527280- change to rubber fork shrouds, indented front fender
528760- change from 1/22/41-42 carbs to 1/22/61-62 carbs. Footpegs lengthened to 140mm LHS/ 100mm RHS
529655- change to 4:1 transmission version B, 4th version output flange, Eberspacher taillight w/tube bulb, no brake light

The square section foot brake is correct in style but not finish, it should be satin black, as should be the foot pegs.
The rear shock tower upper covers should be painted black.
I don't believe you should have a hardy disc cover at this period. My 4/1952 built R67/2 does not have provision for mounting one.
If yours should have metal fork shrouds I would certainly retro fit them, it looks so much better but if yours falls into the period after 527280, stick with the rubber to be correct. (Your reference to 529279 as the change VIN must be a typo.)
Everything else you mention is correct.
For a birthdate, email the BMW Archives (info.grouparchiv@bmwgroup.com) and they will quickly respond with a build date and when and where it was shipped.
Have fun


'52 R67/2

In what space, sir. In what space!?

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