As a birthday gift for my father, i've decided to purchase a 1965 r50. He rode bmw's growing up and i know this will be something he'll love. I myself never rode motorcycles and am having a difficult time finding the right kind of information. A friend of a friend has a bmw '65 r50 for sale and i don't believe it to be in the best condition ( I will attach the only photo i have). He lives a few hours away so i haven't been able to inspect the bike but even then i don't know what i'm looking for. I know the bike will need a lot of work but i'm wondering just how much. I know it is difficult to guesstimate without looking at the bike but i'm hoping to find out if anybody has past experiences with restorations. As far as i know there is no rust in the tank but am not sure of anything else. He says the bike is in good condition aside from the rust but who knows. Another thing i've considered is whether or not the purchase price for this exact bike is worth what it will cost to restore it (and by restore it i don't mean "show quality" although that would be nice).
Opinions, suggestions, and all around knowledge would be very helpful.
Based on the picture I would say it looks pretty good (good enough for a "mechanical restoration" meaning just wash and polish it cosmetically), when you get to see it up close:
Note the engine and frame numbers, see if the engine turns (hopefully it does), look for Welding-repairs (other things can be fixed easily but Welding is $$ to repair), does the bike have a good clean title? (not a huge deal but it would be nice).
The actual experts will be along shortly with better advice.
Where in the world are you and where is the bike?, knowing this we can direct you to help easier.
Most of the bike appears to be from around 1965, but the headlight bucket looks like it is a late one, 68 or 69, with the round generator light next to the speedometer. That, combined with the missing turn signal lens on the right handlebar and the bent passenger peg on that side makes me think that the bike was in an accident at some point. Although these bikes are robustly built, I would want to check that the wheels are in line and the fork is straight.
The bike looks generally complete, but you can easily (easily!) spend several thousand dollars just getting it mechanically restored. If you are not mechanically inclined, you will spend several and maybe many thousands getting it whipped into shape again.
As Vince mentioned, if the numbers stamped on the right side of the engine above the cylinder and push rod tubes is not the same as the numbers stamped on the right side of the steering head, that limits the ultimate value of the bike -- but not the value of its enjoyment. You have to figure out what that is worth to you and to your Dad.
You've got to pause and figure out what your goals are. If you want an interesting project you can undertake with your Dad, this bike might be a good candidate. If you want something decent you can immediately ride and enjoy, budget about 6-8K to get a nice runner. A lot of the folks that will weigh in on this forum are committed to these bikes and many have a lifetime of experience and knowledge, so don't be lulled into believing that your mechanical resto will be a cake walk. If you are not in the above average range re. your mechanical abilities, patience, and tool collection, you're talking at least 5K for someone else to thoroughly go through the mechanicals. Search the word "slinger" on this and other forums to get an idea of what I'm talking about. Pre 1969 BMW motorcycles are all in the realm of collectible, and they make great working classics, but they are not cheap to buy in nice shape and to restore. There is a good chance that you'll have to ship out certain components for rebuilding, as most BMW shops do not work on the old units. It can be a time consuming process. /2 bikes are not as capable on the road as the newer /5 series, so make sure that your Dad is able to live with modest R50/2 performance. Good luck with your project and take some time to familiarize yourself with these bikes and their peculiarities. Surf the forum, visit eBay, and check out the Bench Mark Works website to get started. Good luck!
You will be time & $$$ ahead if you sopend the money up front and buy a low mileage example or a restored bike. Look on ebay there are a lot of /2's on there right now. In fact there are 2 US model /2's,one with 11k miles,another with 7k miles,and a R60 with a R69s engine. All of these bikes will be less than a restoration and purchase of the bike you are showing photos of.
I bought a 10K original mile R60/2 for $6500,and it now has over 15K miles and it has not missed a beat.Good luck!
1962 and 40,000 is low-mileage, no question about that!
Has the bike been used regularly or has it been sitting?
Where in the world are you?
I would suggest a "full service" would probably be in order and this would probably be best done by someone familiar with these machines.
Man, this is gonna be the best b-day present EVER!
If that shop "goes sideways" on you you can go to Irv Seaver BMW in Orange (about a 30 mile drive), ask for Evan. A thorough going-through will make the bike start easier, run better and someone who knows can see that the maintenance is being done properly (there are a couple of things that need to be watched in the drivetrain, left unmaintained they can get expensive FAST) but properly cared for the bike should be pretty much worry-free.
It sounds like the bike gets reguar use and I think that is a good-thing!
When it comes to $ I am NOT a good reference-point. I will pass on what I can:
Those barend turn signals are desirable! and the Albert mirrors will take a while for him to get adjusted to where he can see, I carried a wrench around for a few weeks before I got it "right". The "rivet counters" will be along shortly to tell you all about the bike.
As far as shutting it down I close the petcocks on the /5 a few blocks from home and when the bike is idled-down in the driveway I just pull the "key", I am FAR too paranoid to leave the "key" halfway in like in the pictures though.
Check with the DMV office but I think CA has a "Year of Manufacture law" where you can find and run an "age correct" license plate (all my old bikes wear period-plates, I think it's the "ultimate accessory"). Ebay is a good source for plates.
Email Andreas Harz and he will tell you about getting a dating-certificate, BMW has manufacture and delivery records from the beginning so they can tell you the bikes "birthday" (for $90.00 you get a fancy Diploma-looking-thing).
I don't see anything obviously "wrong" with the bike (but I am a better "rivet counter" on British bikes).
Nice bike...looks like in good condition.
Things I spot that I would look into:
- I notice that the front engine cover doesn't have the bulge in it. I know the R50/2 didn't have the damper installed, but at some point, all bikes got the bulge in the engine cover since BMW didn't want to carry multiple parts in their inventory. It's not clear when BMW started doing that...I thought they had started by the mid '60s.
- the mirrors on the headlight...they appear to be angled up when I think they should be angled down. You'll have to sit on the bike and make adjustments as Vince said. You basically look under your arms to see behind you.
- the centerstand might be sacked or worn out somewhat. Typically, when on the centerstand, the rear tire should be at least an inch off the ground. Likely the stops for the centerstand have worn down and it rotates too far resulting in the bike squatting a bit.
- the throttle cables are routed differently than my R69S. They come through the tank tunnel before turning towards each carb. The important thing is that the cable makes a straight run into the carb where the adjustment screws are. In your pictures, the adjustment screws seem to be pointing more towards the front of the bike so the cables are routed accordingly. The carb top has an indexing mark which helps to properly locate the top and the internal carb slide. Be sure that the index mark is in the correct spot...it may be that those index marks have been removed. Not a big deal, but it might help clean up the lines of the bike a bit if the cables were kept closer to the center of the bike before being routed to each carb.
My mistake...you're first post was about a 1965 model...but now I see that you ended up with a 1962 model. Certainly, the bulge in the front cover wouldn't be there on a stock R50/2.
Congratulations! The bike looks very nice in the photographs. The aluminum rims look great. Did you get an owners manual with the bike? If so, be sure to go through it, as it's pretty comprehensive. Also, be sure to order yourself a copy of the Barrington manual. There is a big introductory section about how to check out your new purchase. You can't go wrong having your local expert check it out, but you'll also have a lot of fun learning about your new bike yourself one step at a time. You and your dad can learn how to do a lot of the maintenance and tuning on your own. Regarding your question re. value, don't worry about it, just focus on enjoying the bike! These bikes don't have a kill switch. There is a primitive key on top of the headlight bucket. You push it all the way in, look for the little red and green lights to light up, and then kick the bike over to start it. Of course, these bikes tend to have their own little starting rituals, so you might want to ask the seller specifically about the routine he uses for the one kick start. To stop the bike, you simply push the key down and the engine will stop. Many folks will turn off the gas petcock and let the bike run a bit before turning off the ignition. This helps prevent the carbs from dripping on some bikes.
Oops! To turn the bike off you pull up on the key one notch! (LOL)
Here's a ton of shippers that have been recommended in one way or the other...I saved the links:
http://www.CurvesAheadTransport.com – enclosed trailer
https://www.forwardair.com/prepaid/MCmainpage.jsp – pallets with tie downs
http://www.threejokersinc.com/ - enclosed, air ride vans/trailers
I've used Allied twice to ship an Indian Chief between Colorado and Florida. They did a nice job for a reasonable price, but I was also left hanging re. the time frame. What some of these truckers do is go from place-to-place picking up and transferring bikes to keep their trucks full, and the route seemed to change as my bike was in transit. On one trip, my bike was loaded on and off a few trucks before arriving. The other trip had it on the same truck the whole time. However, when all was said and done, the bike always arrived in good shape. You may be able to renegotiate your service, as your bike has not been picked up yet, but then you'll probably have to wait even longer once you get back in the queue. Good luck!