Testing valve springs

Valve springs can lose a lot of their strength over the years, as seen with this R25/3 valve spring: a new spring measures 16.6 kg, the old spring 10.1 kg, almost 40% lower. Lower spring tension usually causes no or minor problems on low revving engines, but it can lead to loss of power / misfiring on higher revving engines as a result of valve float                 The test device:  

R50 – R69S Old and New style shifter mechanism

Comparison between the “old” and “new” version of the R50 – R69S shifter mechanism.

Fitting the correct distribution gear set

The number stamped in the crankcase (from -10 to +10) refers to the size of the crankshaft and camshaft gears installed by the BMW factory. After 60 – 70 years of service, the crankcase may have grown, which means that the original gear set may not be the optimal set anymore (0.02 mm play between the 2 gears). One way to determine the correct gear set number is to measure the c-t-c distance between the crankshaft and camshaft. This value must then be compared to the nominal c-t-c distance. This is impossible without very accurate measuring tools. The difference in tooth thickness
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List of fasteners R50 – R69S

A comprehensive list of bolts, nuts and washers for the R50 – R69S models Click image for list :                          

Side stands for EU and USA models

There is a clear length difference between the side stands for the R50 – R69S models and the R50US, R60US and R69US models (due to different configurations of the front fork) These are therefore not interchangeable.

Puller spindles and lubricants

All Matra tools with spindles such as M355, M499 / 1/2, M422a, M501 and M282 work much better (more smoothly) if a small amount of lubricant (eg Molykote G-n Metal Assembly Paste) is applied to the thread. This prevents galling of the thread under heavy load and reduces, to a certain extent, unwanted rotation of the other part of the tool.

Installation instructions 12V dynamo system VAPE

Click here for installation instructions 12V dynamo system VAPE: Dynamo System 70 80 499 0XX

Rim width

The width of rims can be measured in 2 different ways: the inside or the outside. This means that one and the same rim can be indicated both in (for example) 2.15 “and 3.00”    

Timing gear numbers

For the correct set, check the number marked in the crankcase. The number is found near the upper engine mount, see following examples: In some cases, when the engine has had a long service life, it may need a different gear set number to get the required 0.02 mm clearance. However, this can only be determined through an accurate measurement.   The 30° gear set can be used to replace the 20° gear set on all 1950 to 1963 models. This requires following additional parts: › part nr. 11410052156 – oilpump gear 30° Only for crankshaft with 17 mm taper: › part nr. 11310016400 – 1.5
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BMW posters

These posters are only shown for information. We do not sell these posters. We welcome BMW posters from the pre-69 era.  Mail us at  info@salisparts.com    

Mono and Twin throttle assemblies

The R50 – R69S dual cable throttle assembly cannot be simply converted to a R26, R27 single cable throttle assembly by replacing the cam & chain and the cover. The depth of the recess in single cable cam and dual cable cams differs. The mono cam will not sit deep enough to engage with the throttle twist grip.

Leaking carburetor screw caps

When the screw caps on the underside of the carburetor keep leaking (after having installed new gasket rings), then the probable cause is the condition of the seat of the carburetor gasket. If you look closely, you will probably notice that the surface is rough, damaged or scratched. The solution is NOT to further tighten the screw cap: the gasket ring is not flexible enough to fill these small damages. The seats of the gasket rings can be machined, but if the damages are not too deep they can be removed by sanding the seat with a very fine grit
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Crankcase surface repair

By Michel Loos, The Netherlands The photos are self-explanatory. Steps:  filing  – sanding – pneumatic hammer – aluminum oxide blasting (Edelkorund) – glass bead blasting  

Instructions for Cylinder black (Einbrennlack)

Cylinder black with part nr. 09122 For temperatures up to 500 °C continuous use and up to 700 °C with impact load 200 ml is sufficient for 2 to 3 large cylinders. Ideal for spraying and painting engine cylinders, exhaust systems and other metal objects subject to high heat. Classic cylinder lacquer is initially thermoplastic; in other words although it is air-drying, it becomes sticky even with moderate heat, expands and hardens again when it cools down. This process is repeated as long as the polymerization temperature is not reached. The lacquer must be heated at least once to 150-180 °C to finally cure. After
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Solving hard-start problems by Craig Vechorik

  Click this link: http://www.benchmarkworks.com/articles/tech/hardstart.html   In addition: The resistance across the two spark plug leads on the ignition coil is usually 11 – 12 K Ohm (original coils and new “made in Germany” coils). Some after-market coils have a resistance up to 20 K Ohm. When the magnetic field of the rotor is still OK, this higher resistance will not necessarily cause a problem. A weak spark at the spark plug can have different causes: a broken or poor quality ignition coil is one of them. When the insulation (schellac) within the coil is damaged (crazing), the internal windings will short circuit,
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Replacement for Matra 513 tool – rear swing arm pivot pins

The rear suspension pivot pins of the R26, R27 and R50 – R69S models can be adjusted with the use of the Matra 513 tool. However, no replicas are made of the Matra 513 tool. The alternative is a pin wrench such as PN 31421234399.W (Pin wrench for front fork cap screw R69US, R50/5 – R100) Although the diameter of the pins is just under 4 mm and the holes in the pivot pins are 5 mm, this tool functions well. The alternative is pin wrench 31422000243.W (Pin wrench for front fork cap screw R25/3): the pins have a diameter of just
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BING jets

BING jets are stamped with numbers, such as 35, 40 (idle jets) and 110, 115, 120 etc (main jets). One would expect that these numbers refer to the diameter of the jet bore, however this is not the case. This is confimed by the company BING in Germany. A few examples of main jets measured with a wire / jet gauge: BING 44-051 main jet 130 = gauge 120 (= 1.2 mm) main jet 125 = gauge 110 (= 1.1 mm) main jet 120 = gauge 105 (= 1.05 mm) main jet 110 = gauge 95 (=0.95 mm)            
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Carburetor flanges

The Bing carburetors used on the R51/3 to R69S models came with 3 different flanges. We sometimes get the question: can I put carburetor X on BMW model Y? In theory you can put an R51/3 carburetor on a R69 engine and even get the engine running, but you will quickly discover that the air pipes won’t fit. These images are self explanatory

Matra 282 tool

We mill 2 planes on the threaded bushing so that it is possible to use a 22 mm wrench on the threaded bushing. This is necessary in cases where (for instance) the crankshaft bearing is glued to the bearing journal, to prevent the threaded bushing from rotating while tightening the central bolt

Motorcycle Service and Restorations Manuals

We offer the restorations manuals from Barrington Motor Works for following models (click the link): R26 – R27 R51/3 – R68  R50 – R69S   A copy of the original BMW Repair Manual R50, R60 and R69S can be downloaded or purchased here: Download Purchase            

Cylinder heads R50 – R69S: butterheads and LK heads

Very informatieve article by Duane Ausherman on “butterheads” and LK heads: http://www.w6rec.com/duane/bmw/head/

Breather plates on the R51/3 – R69S engines

3 different breather plates have been used on the boxer engines:

Exhaust pipes

Different exhaust pipes are available in the market, unfortunately not always an exact replica of the original pipes: the shape of the bends does not correspond with the original BMW exhaust pipes as can be seen on this picture. The 2 lower exhaust pipes are identical to the original pipes    some of these pipes follow a slightly different path than the original exhaust pipes. This causes a problem for the R67 – R67/3 models: in the horizontal section, they’re not running close enough to the frame, causing too little clearance between the brake pedal and the right-hand exhaust pipe, as
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Exhaust systems R50 – R69S

Table with part numbers Click here to view enlarged table  

Transmission upgrade/rebuild to “S” gearbox ratios

This modification and upgrade, using BMW components, results in a lower-ratio gearing for R26, R27, R50 and R60 gearboxes producing smoother, robust and responsive performance especially in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear changes while 4th gear is unchanged. The “S” gear ratios allow the rider to accelerate smoothly through gear changes by letting the motor rev freely through an optimum power-torque range.

R50S & R69S emblems

Different qualities emblems are found in the market. See this example of the R50S emblem. In our opinion, the upper one is the better quality, both in shape and in finishing.   The differences are easily recognized: for example the shape of the “5” and “S”   The upper emblem follows the contour of the rear fender, the lower one is too flat. The back side of the lower emblem doesn’t have the smooth finish of the upper one. Please note that these emblems are very fragile! During installation, make sure that the holes in the rear fender are exactly
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Crankshaft shims

Overview of the different crankshaft shims used in the boxer engines

Carburetor reconditioning

With hardly any new carburetors being produced by BING for the < 1969 BMW mono and twin motorcycles, it’s getting increasingly important to be able to repair and recondition the used original carburetors. Luckily, special parts and tools are available nowadays to restore the carburetors to a good working condition. A. Idle mix screw: very often, the M7 x 0.75 mm screw thread in the carburetor housing is worn out. There are 2 good solutions to this problem. 1. drill the threaded hole to 7.2 mm – cut M8 x 0.75 mm screw thread – install the idle mix screw with
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Repair manual R50, R60, R69S (DE, EN, FR, ES)

A printed copy can be ordered here: https://bmwclassicmotorcycles.com/index.php/catalogsearch/result/?q=RMR50R69S Free download here: Page 1-43          Technical data Page 44-59        Removal of power train Page 60-89        Engine  Page 90-101      Transmission Page 102-109     Final drive Page 110-123     Wheels, brakes and forks Page 124-149     Electrical equipment Page 150-157     Sidecar mounting Page 158-160    Wiring diagram    

Pin striping on R50 – R69S

The official pinstripe layout by BMW is as follows: Wide line: 5mm Narrow line: 1,5mm Distance between the two lines: 4mm Since pin striping was done by hand, it’s normal that these values were not consistent. We have an original BMW new old stock fender and we have taken multiple measurements, just to see how much variation there is. This is just 1 fender: obviously there will also be a variation between fenders. Wide line: consistently 5 mm Narrow line: consistently 1.5 mm Distance between the 2 lines: varies from ~4 mm to ~5.5 mm Distance between fender edge and wide line: varies
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Installation of piston rings (KS)

By MS Motor Service (Kolbenschmidt) Click here to open as PDF: KS Installation of piston rings


Fair calender Oldtimer & Youngtimer: https://www.messen.de/de/1278/branche/oldtimer-und-youngtimer (mainly Germany) BMW forum: http://2-ventiler.de/  (Deutsch) http://www.flat-twin-bmw.com/  (French)   BMW clubs Germany: http://bmw-einzylinder.de/   BMW clubs United States: http://vintagebmw.org/v7/ http://www.bmwmoa.org/ http://5united.org/   BMW clubs United Kingdom: http://www.thebmwclubs.org.uk/ http://www.theairhead.co.uk/   BMW clubs The Netherlands: http://www.bmwclubnederland.nl/ http://www.bmwcluboirschot.nl/ https://bmwmcnnl.nl/ https://www.bmwboxerclub.nl/v2/   BMW clubs Denmark: http://www.bmw-veteran.dk/   BMW clubs Indonesia: http://bmwclubjakarta.blogspot.nl/   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bmwclassicmotorcycles/ (that’s us) https://www.facebook.com/groups/bmwold/   (Vintage & Classic BMW Motorcycles USA) https://www.facebook.com/groups/AirheadsAustralia/ https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001965546450  (Richard Sheckler) https://www.facebook.com/scottiesworkshop/ (Scottie Sharpe)   Information sites: http://w6rec.com/general-bmw-motorcycle-information/ http://bmwdean.com/ http://vintagebmw.org/v7/ http://www.beemergarage.com/ http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/information.htm https://bmwr12.net/ http://www.wildstar-fan.de/BMW/home.html (R25/2 restoration- Deutsch) http://labeheme.jimdo.com/ (/5 info – French) http://www.ibmwr.org/otech/chassis.html  (Survey of Chassis Numbers) http://weissundblau.blogspot.nl/2011_05_01_archive.html (after-market hubs) http://www.earlesfork.com/ http://www.trixondrums.de/glaeser/glaeser.htm (Gläser fairing – Deutsch) https://www.shannons.com.au/club/bike-news/old-bike-australasia-1937-bmw-r5-ss/ 
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Piston & cylinder tolerances

Piston and cylinder clearances for BMW R50, R60 and R69S (also valid for R50S and R69)


Source: Wikipedia https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/ The Lead Acid battery is made up of plates, lead, and lead oxide (various other elements are used to change density, hardness, porosity, etc.) with a 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water solution. This solution is called electrolyte, which causes a chemical reaction that produce electrons. When you test a battery with a hydrometer, you are measuring the amount of sulfuric acid in the electrolyte. If your reading is low, that means the chemistry that makes electrons is lacking. So where did the sulfur go? It is resting on the battery plates and when you recharge the
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Bearing prefix & suffix codes

Some of the prefixes and suffixes found on bearings in the webshop: Prefixes: NJ = these bearings have two integral flanges on the outer ring and one on the inner ring. These bearings are used to locate the shaft axially in one direction. They can accommodate axial displacement of the shaft relative to the housing in one direction only. Example: NJ204 bearing on the rear side of the gearbox input shaft (R51/2 – R68) Suffixes: ECP = bearing with polyamide plastic cage M = brass cage MA = brass cage, outer ring centred C2 = bearing with internal clearance smaller than normal
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Fuel tank repair

By Richard Sheckler, Wayne, Ohio. Spot welding of panels inside the tank for strength and to plug the rust holes. The tunnel is removed to get inside. The last step before reinstalling the tunnel is to weld the knee pad brackets in place. When the tunnel is TIG welded in place, the inside is sealed with fuel resistant epoxy.  

R69S crankcase repair

By Richard Sheckler –  Wayne, Ohio. An example of how a broken crankcase is repaired. It’s specialist’s work, nevertheless it shows that parts that are seemingly beyond repair can have a 2nd live. Broken connecting rod shoved through the crankcase between the two cam followers on the left side. Welding by  Mark Laree, Toledo The final touches with a needle scaler, steel shot and glass beads

Wiring diagram R50 – R69S 6V

Wiring diagram BMW R50 – R69S – 6V  (1955 – 1959) BL = Blau = Blue BR = Braun = Brown GE = Gelb = Yellow GN = Grün = Green GR =Grau = Grey RT = Rot = Red SW = Schwarz = Black VI = Violet WS = Weiss = White        

Wheel offset

Wheel offset for R51/2 – R68, R50 – R69S models (from “1000 Tricks für Schnelle BMW’s”)                

Motorcycle models

Overview of  BMW motorcycle models produced from 1948 to 1969 (specials not included) Click for larger image: Models & Production Numbers  

Valves types and related components

Overview of the different valve types and related components, used in the BMW 2-cylinder motorcycles 1948 – 1969

Fuel cocks

Overview of fuel cock types for 1 and 2-cylinders

ISO Metric screw thread

Overview of ISO metric screw threads M3 – M30. Commonly used screw threads on 1948 – 1969 BMW models are M6x1 coarse, M8x1.25 coarse and M8x1.0 fine.   The length of bolts and screws is measured like this:                


Overview of carburetor nr’s and settings  

Reading spark plug faces (Bosch)

A visual inspection of the spark plugs can serve as a good indicator of the condition and tuning of the engine. This Bosch sheet may help to identify the possible cause in case of trouble. (click to enlarge)

Spark plug tech tips (Bosch)

Guidelines for correct installation of (Bosch) spark plugs  

Overhaul of a 2-cylinder crankshaft

The photos are a compilation of the work done on different crankshafts: R67/2, R60/2 and R69S.                                                                  

R50S, R69S – hydraulic steering damper

No. 1/61 (179) July 27th, 1961