2021 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1966 BMW R69S 800cc 'Modified' Motorcycle
|Engine||Twin cylinder, 800cc (see text)|
This lot is no longer available
BMW's tradition of building high quality motorcycles dates back to the first R32 of 1923 and the company quickly developed a reputation for technical innovation and attractive, streamlined styling. In the early post-war years, with Germany struggling to get back on her feet, BMW’s motorcycle output was severely restricted and the first twin, based on the pre-war R50, didn’t appear until 1950. The classic boxer engine design appeared with the revised R51/3 of 1951, sold alongside the R67 (mainly intended for sidecar use) and high performance R68 until 1954. BMW released two all-new replacements in 1955, designated the R50 and R69 with a new frame design incorporating the swing arm front and rear set-up adopted from the racing RS54. The R69 utilised a shaft-driven 594cc boxer motor with 35 horsepower on tap, while a lower output version (dubbed the R60/2) was available for sidecar use. BMW upped the power to 42 horsepower for the more sporting R69S of 1960 by raising the compression ratio to 9.5:1 and adding larger inlet ports. A close-ratio gearbox, less restrictive muffler and rotary disc ventilation on the crankshaft were also features unique to the R69S. A high-quality touring bike, the added performance didn’t compromise BMW’s reputation for exceptional reliability and the R69S found plenty of fans in America. BMW raced the R69S in off road events and trials with some success, while MLG modified cars broke 12 and 24-Hour records at the French banked circuit Montlhéry. These beautifully made motorcycles are now eagerly sought after by collectors and can hold their own against the best British bikes of the era.