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The 1960 BMW R69 paired with a Jawa Velorex sidecar in matching black is a sight to behold. This vintage motorcycle is a prime example of the highly sought-after post-WWII models produced by the esteemed Munich-based company. Notably, the bike has undergone a complete engine and carburetor rebuild, ensuring its optimal performance.
The BMW R69 belongs to the renowned R69 family, which German motorcycle manufacturer produced in three generations from 1955 to 1969. All R69 motorcycles shared similar features such as a 594cc horizontally opposed boxer twin engine, a 4-speed gearbox, a tubular steel duplex cradle frame, and drum brakes on both the front and rear wheels. With 35 bhp at 7,000 rpm, the R69 boasted a claimed top speed of over 100 mph (160 km/h), making it an impressive sports-oriented motorcycle of its time.
During its release in 1955, the 600cc capacity of the BMW R69 was considered substantial, especially compared to the high-performance OHV British twins, which typically ranged between 500cc and 650cc. The bike featured drum brakes on both wheels, an Earles fork front suspension, a swing arm with two hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear, and a fuel capacity of 17 liters, with a total weight of 202 kilograms.
Before World War II, BMW was revered as one of the leading motorcycle manufacturers globally. Their motorcycles were renowned for their reliability, performance, and exceptional craftsmanship. However, in the post-war era, BMW lagged behind as British manufacturers took the spotlight with their dominant singles, parallel twins, and powerful Vincent V-twins. BMW found itself selling motorcycles based largely on pre-war designs.
Everything changed in 1951 at the IFMA Motorcycle Show in Frankfurt when BMW introduced the M268 engine. This air-cooled, horizontally-opposed twin-cylinder engine became the powerhouse that propelled BMW motorcycles through the 1950s and well into the 1960s. The first production motorcycle to utilize this engine was the BMW R68, marketed as "The first 100 mph motorcycle," even though it was not the first of its kind.
The M268 engine featured a higher compression ratio than its predecessors, along with racing-type magneto, large-bore 26 mm Bing carburetors, and improved twin leading-shoe front brakes. While most R68 motorcycles were road-oriented, BMW also developed an off-road variant specifically for scrambles and enduro events like the International Six Days Trial (ISDT). This off-road model, known as the BMW R68 ISDT Special, laid the foundation for the iconic BMW R80G/S and the subsequent adventure motorcycle category.
In 1955, the BMW R69 was unveiled as an upgraded version of the earlier R68, becoming the brand's flagship model. It featured an improved version of the M268 engine and enjoyed an impressively long production life, spanning from 1955 to 1969. Power was transmitted to the rear wheel through a 4-speed transmission and a maintenance-free shaft drive.
The initial model in the R69 series was the BMW R69, produced from 1955 to 1960. It was succeeded by the slightly more powerful BMW R69S, which was later replaced by the BMW R69US, a version tailored to appeal to American buyers. The early models, including the R69, boasted an Earles fork front suspension, making them ideal for sidecar use. They also featured plunger-type rear suspension with dual shock absorbers and drum brakes on both wheels, including the same large twin leading-shoe front brake as the earlier R68.
The combination of the 1960 BMW R69 and the Jawa Velorex sidecar is a true gem. Finished in matching black paint with elegant chrome details, windscreens, and a large wind fairing, this ensemble exudes timeless style. The motorcycle comes with comprehensive service records since 2017, totaling over $12,600 USD in investments. The rebuild included the engine and carburetors, transmission resealing, sidecar refurbishment, and more.
With 53,600 miles displayed on the odometer, this remarkable 1960 BMW R69 with the Jawa Velorex sidecar is currently available for sale in Eldersburg, Maryland. To learn more about this extraordinary piece of motorcycling history or to place a bid, you can visit the listing on Marqued.
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