2021 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction
1959 BMW R50 Motorcycle & Sidecar
|Engine||Horizontally-opposed twin cylinder, 494cc|
This lot is no longer available
Introduced in 1955, the tubular steel framed 500cc BMW R50 motorcycle continued a long tradition of quality touring bikes from the German manufacturer. Powered by an opposed-twin engine with shaft drive, the R50 was the smaller-engined brother of the high-compression R60 series in BMW’s model line-up and featured an entirely new frame design patterned off the RS54 race bike, replacing the tele-fork and plunger rear layout of the earlier 500cc model with an Earles-type swing arm up front and a semi-enclosed rear end. The air-cooled boxer motor was a development of the earlier unit, with the emphasis on reliability and was ideally suited for sidecar use. Rated at 26 horsepower at 5800rpm, the engine drove through a four-speed gearbox and contemporary road tests praised the comfortable riding position, lack of vibration and general smoothness, plus the ability to cruise comfortably at freeway speeds. As with any high-quality product, the R50 was expensive when new - particularly outside the home market - and very few BMWs of any kind found their way to Australia in the 1950s, making the example offered here a real rarity.