Just want to encourage everyone out there that barn finds are still a reality (or in this case "container" find). Keep on searching.
We welcome BMW R68, VIN 650225.
Thank you to Kurt with whom I shared this story while everything was happening very fast and had enough trust to reply to my mails and queries.
Will post the finer details one day....
Looks like a 1952 model year bike, right? I'm seeing half hub brakes and metal fork gaiters. The extra wheel is a nice bonus! Congrats!
I'm studing the R68 VIN and I've see your post..
...I've find one old BMW in Cape Town too!
(sorry for my english)
Congratulations for finding a nice R6 project!
Hi Luigi! What a great project find! But (and I'm sure you know this already!), that's only the front part of an R68, because it's really an R6!
The front fender is from an R51/2, or is possibly the optional pre-war wide valance version. That's very seldom seen if so; more research needed? I'm told that Kecheisen can supply a proper low valance rear fender. I hope this R6 dosen't reincarnate as a fake R5 in about a year from now, at Veterama or on e bay. I'd swap an R68 for an R6 any day.
Yes friends, the bike is like R6 model...and I've write because I had find it in South Africa too.. but, the story is:
I put one message on a Russian site, that I was looking for a R5 frame.. Sir. Guy Gordon Jenkin wrote me from KNYSNA (near George), and send me pictures..WOW! This man transport the bmw to Knysna to Cape Town for the shipment to Italy. Unfortunately I was not able to say much about the origin of the bike ... I think it's a war surplus, It have the frame, fork, cluck and the transmission of an R6 (or R5) but the engine is a R61 (n°603244 which was manufactured on March 18th, 1938 and delivered on March 23rd, 1938 to a BMW dealer in Graz, Austria... but it is a piece of history!
The front end rear fender would seem post war... but yes, in some war pictures there are similar front fender. If you want I can send you some pictures...
Now in Italy are 23:48...I'll go to sleep, because is more difficult write in englisch for me!
Ciao a tutti, buona notte
(PS I had pay 3,577 euro, five year ago , including shipping cost and 928 euro of tax in Italy.
..for similar price I've buy only R68 motor, on ebay, in Phoenix!)
Is there a reason that the front brake is mounted on the wrong side of the bike?
...Fascinating!...Fork lowers mounted reversed, post war R51/2 front fender, original R5-R6 front stand, original tank, unique homemade steering column plate in German...that bike looks like a requisition vehicle with missmatch motor from the motorpool, but still in original paint. I wonder if that lived on in Germany after requisition, maybe for the town policeman or so?...lots of R51/2 parts that suggest actual use up until early-mid 1950's, in Germany...all of which is to say: good news/it never went to the ostfront!...maybe that is a good donor for a replica R5?...
No Darry, there isn't a reason.. it's mistacke , the BMW arrived in Italy in crate in this condition.
I've see the email from the seller and him tell me about the story of the bike:
Was just thinking last night that it's taking a bit long for the bike to arrive.
I went to go have a look at a house in Johannesburg that was for sale after the owner died.
I found it in the cellar and made an offer to the wife.
I don't know much more about it, infortunately.
This was about eight years ago.
I'm glas you like it !
There is one R68 to sale on ebay now!
.. I've already bought one in the U.S., now it's up to you!
See link above
Darryl said.... Is there a reason that the front brake is mounted on the wrong side of the bike?"
Darryl an old mate of mine 83 years young tells me it was a way to make the brakes work better , he explained it like this..... in the 1920's
a early 30' s car and bike brakes had fixed cam on the brake plate ( there was no hydraulic bakes till mid to late 1930s) this "fixed cam had the effect of engaging the trailing shoe first because the toe of the cam (most outside point) had great leverage than the heel of the cam because it is futher out board ie larger DIAameter and it was the toe which engages the trailing shoe first.... on cars I believe this was changed by using a floating cam so they could centralize in the drum.....
Most motorbike mfg .. didnt worry aoubt it..... except who.... BMW of course.. thats why your R12 and R17 (that I know of , poss earlier) have that floating cam and an adjuster for the the trailing shoe...clever huh
But like the disposable oil filter they did away with it on the R5 onwards... sooo if you put the brake plate on the other side the trailing shoe becomes the leading shoe and presto better brakes ... I belive HD and bsa also did this , put the brake on the other side. cheers Peter