7 replies [Last post]
clay's picture
VBMWMO #9596
San Jose, CA
Joined: 11/17/2019
Posts: 4

I have a 1961 R50/S with Sidecar.
Realizing that this question is a lot like asking, "What's the best motor oil", I've split my question into two parts. I take my bikes to shows and I ride them. There are undoubtedly one or two tire choices to make it historically correct for a model with a sidecar to show well. But I'm also interested in knowing what experienced riders are using on the highway.

What's the right tire, or best replacement for showing this bike?
What's the best tire for riding (specifically, lower speed day trips)?

schrader7032's picture
VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6902
Welcome, Clay! What are the

Welcome, Clay! What are the tire sizes needed? Tire brands that come to my mind are Continental (might have been the type of tire used in the 1960s), Heidenau, and Metzeler Block C. I think Metzeler makes some kind of squarer tread block for the sidecar.


Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

clay's picture
VBMWMO #9596
San Jose, CA
Joined: 11/17/2019
Posts: 4

Metzeler 3.50 x 18
I actually have the original set that the bike had when first sold.

  • img_9616.jpg
bpw's picture
San Francisco bay
Joined: 09/21/2008
Posts: 21
I ran a Metzler K-block on a

I ran a Metzler K-block on a non-bmw sidecar rig. Worked well and lasted for ages, may even be period correct.

I run trials pattern knobbies on my r60/2 sidecar rig but judging by the picture your rig doesn't get the kind of use that makes knobbies a good idea.


1963 r50/2 with 600cc conversion, 1971 Honda CL350, 1935 BSA 250cc, 2004 Ducati Multistrada, 2000 Aprilia RSV mille R, Kawasaki w650

Beemer100's picture
Joined: 05/15/2018
Posts: 87
Hi Clay, I wouldn't bother

Hi Clay,

I wouldn't bother too much to find historically correct tires. The pic shows a 1961 /2 Beemer with a LS200 Steib sidecar I guess. Steib closed its factory I think in 1957, so even assuming that there were some sidecars in stock which had to be sold after, I would be surprised if in 1961 they still offered a Beemer with an original Steib sidecar. Probably an interesting topic to find out.
I ride my R69S with Hollandia using Heidenau tires, they make them even reinforced ... never had problems with it.


topel523's picture
Chicago 'burbs
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 11
Sidecar Tires

The rear tire would be a Metzeler Block K, 4.00 x 18 which I use on the rear of my own sidecar rig. A BMW sidecar would use a BMW 18 inch wheel and would use the aforementioned tire. However, from your picture, your sidecar is using something different, maybe the same size, maybe not. The front tire remains a 3.50 x 18 with sidecar use. Also check Heidenau for front tire sizes.

The Plunger
The Plunger's picture
VBMWMO #8356
Joined: 09/03/2012
Posts: 248

Boy, I gotta ask. How in the world did a 50S get mated to a sidecar? Is the FD gearing correct?


'52 R67/2

In what space, sir. In what space!?

dosgatos's picture
VBMWMO #8838
Joined: 12/20/2014
Posts: 18
Sidecar tires

I have two sidecar rigs: 1953 R25/3 with Steib LS200, and 1967 R60/2 with a sixties-vintage Bender LVA (copy of a Steib S350).

The R25/3 uses Metzeler C Block for all three wheels simply because I used the C Block when it was solo. I bought a new wheel when restoring the LS200 and it came with a new C Block. Works very nicely without noticeable wear this past year.

The R60/2 has an Avon Sidecar tire, because it was the only 19-inch sidecar tire I could find at the time. I think Metzeler now makes a 19-inch K block sidecar. The bike has an 18-inch Metzeler K block on the rear. I wanted to use the same tire on the front, but was warned that there can be a clearance problem with the front fender, so I used a C block on the front.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.