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akbeemer
09-11-2009, 09:03 PM
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e109/AKBeemer/George/20090909_37.jpg

http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e109/AKBeemer/George/20090909_30.jpg

108625
09-11-2009, 09:29 PM
Looks like a VW powered BMW: Twice as many cylinders, valves & pushrods, and even less power.

YELLOW_S
09-12-2009, 01:01 PM
A peice of junk, that is what it is.

VW engine? 1980 wheels, only thing BMW about that is the frame and tank.

bubbagazoo
09-12-2009, 06:17 PM
Who cares? If it runs and the owner enjoys riding it, it doesn't matter how it is powered.

ALIENHITCHHIKER
09-13-2009, 01:13 AM
A peice of junk, that is what it is.

That's harsh :brow

Looks like a trick side car rig to me.

The engine looks more like a Porsche unit than a VW. (Any Porsche afficiandos out there?)

JAMESDUNN
09-13-2009, 01:26 AM
Who cares? If it runs and the owner enjoys riding it, it doesn't matter how it is powered.
Plus, it is still boxer powered! And, unique.

JAMESDUNN
09-13-2009, 01:30 AM
That's harsh :brow

Looks like a trick side car rig to me.

The engine looks more like a Porsche unit than a VW. (Any Porsche affcicandos out there?)
I have owned Porsche and VW, but I am unsure. I am only sure it is a boxer engine. Must say though, I like it a lot.

ALIENHITCHHIKER
09-13-2009, 01:32 AM
I was so intriqued by this rig that I snooped around a bit on the net.

It does indeed appear to be a VW power plant with EMPI valve covers.

35634
09-13-2009, 01:37 AM
Remember the Amazonas?

sugarhillctd
09-13-2009, 10:03 AM
Those are Honda Comstar wheels, circa 1980 or so IIRC. And those look to be calipers and rotors that would have come on the same bike.

Bet that rig stops better than the one behind it in the first picture.

As my daughter always reminds me "at least they are out there riding".

GSFORNOW
09-13-2009, 01:19 PM
A peice of junk, that is what it is.

VW engine? 1980 wheels, only thing BMW about that is the frame and tank.


You don't have to like it - you don't have to ride it but you have to give the guy that put it together a lot of credit for their skills. I appears to be a bike that is ridden and well used. In a world where for most "working" on their machinery consists of putting on a cool sticker this creation is a breath of fresh air.

cookie
09-23-2009, 07:35 PM
This is an interesting shade tree conversion. Can you imagine going to the parts store and asking for engine parts$%^&^***&. Someone mentioned it looks more like a Porsche vs VW, what's the difference? I was a parts manager for a Porsche/Audi dealer in the early 80's and believe me the 914 and the bug shared many components. Agreed, if the fellow that owns it enjoys it good for him/her.

BUBBAZANETTI
09-23-2009, 08:34 PM
A peice of junk, that is what it is.

VW engine? 1980 wheels, only thing BMW about that is the frame and tank.

you competing with drummerdude for the "young and grumpy 2009" award?

Na Cl K9
09-26-2009, 02:50 PM
There was a company or individual who offered a kit to convert a 50's BMW airhead to VW power. I want to say that it was called “Suburban Machine” and they did have an advertisement in the mid 70’s in our BMW Owner’s News. However, there still is a company by that name and I don’t know if they are one and the same. I like the VMW by the way. I would...I love to butcher BMW's :-)

The kit consisted of a cast, machined aluminum ring to adapt the BMW transmission to the VW engine and other sundry parts. The frame had to be modified as one might expect (and heavily as I recall), but for some reason, I seem to remember the OEM BMW transmission input shaft was a direct fit for the VW clutch hub which is probably how the whole project got started. I have seen several used as sidecar pullers. Even one set up as a solo machine.

My R50/2 produced around 24 hp. I believe that the R60/2 made about 30 hp. and the R69S was 42 and I may be generous in my estimates. Whatever the MAX power from the OEM engines, the VW conversion fell somewhere in the lower end of that range ( maybe 26 hp), so it was not a particularly good trade overall particularly because of the increase in complexity and service requirements.

Yes...the disc brakes are a HUGE improvement over the BMW drum in this application and especially in this case since the VW engine makes the rig heavier. If there is any judgment one can make about this machine it is that the rig's maker succeeded! It is still running. It is an interesting exercise in ingenuity which makes it fun to look at and it exists in such small numbers as to be considered rare. The small numbers indicate it was not particularly successful and that is one test of a design. It was developed at a time of the introduction of the /5 series BMW's and people were moving on to new bikes by then.

Thanks for posting the photo's...

john1691
09-26-2009, 05:38 PM
Showing my ignorance here, but if the horsepower was no better, why add the extra weight and complexity? Torque improvement? Just because he could? Just curious, I like to see customization, especially on the mechanical side, not just cosmetics.

akbeemer
09-26-2009, 06:50 PM
The fellow that built the bike (he with the black beard in the 1st picture) made the conversion just for the sake of doing it. It is a VW engine that has some internal modifications. Many of the parts were purchased on eBay; the most recent being the Honda final drive. He bought the FD for $1 and paid around $70 in shipping. The other fellow in the picture is the rider of the rig behind the VW conversion. He's Kurt Schreiber from Wasilla and was up for the day visiting George Rahn in Fairbanks. Kurt and George have over 100 years of working on BMWs between them. Both still ride regularly even though they are well into their 70ÔÇÖs. It is fun to sit and listen over a cup of coffee while they debate things such as the merits of the kick starter of one Beemer compared to one on another vintage of Beemer. Wish we could capture all the knowledge they have amassed.

108625
09-26-2009, 07:34 PM
Showing my ignorance here, but if the horsepower was no better, why add the extra weight and complexity? Torque improvement? Just because he could? Just curious, I like to see customization, especially on the mechanical side, not just cosmetics.

I can think of one thing right away; VW engines are everywhere.
My wife used to be really into the VW thing, and the best thing about it was that parts were easy to find and cheap (new or used). She could even get a remanufactured engine delivered to her door for less than $700.

I understand the only thing the bike gains by swapping in one of these engines is weight.
However, the owner can ride anywhere in the western hemisphere without worrying about finding parts, or people familiar with the engine, if he needs them.

Thanks Kevin, for "the rest of the story".

JAMESDUNN
09-26-2009, 08:43 PM
I can think of one thing right away; VW engines are everywhere.
My wife used to be really into the VW thing, and the best thing about it was that parts were easy to find and cheap (new or used). She could even get a remanufactured engine delivered to her door for less than $700.

I understand the only thing the bike gains by swapping in one of these engines is weight.
However, the owner can ride anywhere in the western hemisphere without worrying about finding parts, or people familiar with the engine, if he needs them.

Thanks Kevin, for "the rest of the story".
True. But the ol' boxer motorcycle engines are not that much different. So, the engine would be familiar to a VW mechanic, which is how Matt Parkhouse got involved in BMW bikes; via VW's. Of course the parts availability is a separate issue.

A thanks from me too Kevin. Great background!

Guenther
09-27-2009, 01:52 AM
Fantastic what these guys did! I wish BMW Motorrad engineers/marketing had this kind of "ingenuity" and flexibility. Look how far Honda got with this idea...4-6-cyl boxer.

/Guenther

crazydrummerdude
09-27-2009, 07:11 PM
you competing with drummerdude for the "young and grumpy 2009" award?

Hey, man! I think it's cool.

I guess he wins.. this round!

mfifer
10-01-2009, 05:08 AM
Yup VW.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e338/mfifer/ST1300/1972-Mindbender-BMW-0.jpg

I first thought maybe a Subaru.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e338/mfifer/ST1300/subaru1.jpg

Looks like fun!

Mike

amiles
10-01-2009, 01:42 PM
Say what you will, but that looks like one heavy duty motorcycle. Definitely an industrial strength sidecar tug.

I believe that the VW engine had much more hot rod potential than the airhead due to many aftermarket "hop up" parts being available and reasonably priced. The VW was something like 1200 to 1300 cc's vs 600 for the boxer indicating to me at least greater power could be found.

JoeDabbs
10-01-2009, 01:49 PM
Most of the later VW engines were 40 hp (from about '65 or so). I saw a few of these conversions in the late 60's.

DPRYAN
10-01-2009, 05:18 PM
I like it! :thumb ...and as someone already said, hey, he's out there riding it. A lot!

Then again, to some "purists", I'm not riding a REAL BMW either :lol

108625
10-01-2009, 07:15 PM
Heck, for that matter my wife's BMW came from the factory with an engine built by another maker in it.

secondroy
10-14-2009, 03:26 PM
If that is a VW engine wouldn't he have to have a cooling fan. Showing my ignorance here.

Rpbump
10-14-2009, 09:54 PM
I had a 69 Karman Ghia with a modified VW motor. It diplaced 1776cc and had twin Delorto Carbs. That combination had more power than my 62 Porsche Super 90 and averaged about 28mpg. Putting that combo in an airhead frame with a side car should satisfy just about anyones need for power and torque. Ride Safe :usa :usa

108625
10-14-2009, 10:12 PM
If that is a VW engine wouldn't he have to have a cooling fan. Showing my ignorance here.

The only ignorant question is the one that's never asked.
VW engines use the fan and shrouding to circulate cooling air around an engine that's stuck beneath and behind all that automotive body work. The shroud also works as a plenum to gather that warm air and used it for the so called "heater" and "defroster" (both of these functions work best in summer, and are useless in winter).
In a bike, the engine would get plenty of airflow around it without that help, just like an airhead, or any other air-cooled bike engine (except Buells).

Na Cl K9
10-24-2009, 01:21 PM
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/mcy/1435165969.html

dwestly
10-25-2009, 10:43 AM
My uncle built one of those back in the early 70s. It was a pretty popular conversion at the time. The engine was almost a drop-in for the frame. Very little mod work had to be done to get it to fit...Only problem is that they had a tendency to backfire thru the carbs...made for a lot of fun at stoplights...

dadodirt
10-29-2009, 09:16 PM
Looks better than Hondas new NT.

Just sayin.

r60us
10-30-2009, 11:54 PM
Roger Willis of California manufactured the "Willis conversion" kit for /2's. The kit included among other things an engine adapter, exhaust manifolds, and most important, a modified /2 gearbox. A stock /2 gearbox has an overall ratio of 1.54:1 in top gear - the modified /2 gearbox had a ratio of 1:1 (IIRC). The stock gearbox limited the top speed since a stock VW engine operates at a lower rpm than the BMW boxer.

The gearbox modification was quite involved. The countershaft (between input and output shafts) was relocated slightly to the right to permit use of a larger gear on the input shaft. The process involved welding up and reboring the countershaft bearing holes.

There were a couple other conversion versions, one I believe was a Webler. Former BMW dealer Duane Ausherman built a Needler conversion 1 of 3. Pics and comments on his website here:

http://w6rec.com/duane/bmw/BMW-VW/index.htm

A pic of Duane's bike:
http://w6rec.com/duane/bmw/BMW-VW/right.jpg

Duane comments:

It has so much torque that one can feather the clutch in fourth gear, at an idle, and walk away. The top speed is limited by the rpm, as it still has BMW gearing and the low rpm of the Volkswagen motor. I doubt that my bike ever went over 95-100 mph

With the modified gearbox the bikes would easily exceed 100 mph. Scary!

There is a Yahoo group dedicated to VW conversion bikes called vwmotorcycles

FYI

gimmeshelter
11-06-2009, 04:31 AM
Old VW hand here.

A quick ID for Porsche engines is that they used a three piece case, two halves and a 'nose' cover (when installed in the automobile it was of course backwards and the nose piece became a tail cover). Another ID aid is that the exhaust header studs were located vertically over each other. On the Vdub the studs are staggered.

While VW parts availability is of course nice, I think a big advantage is the difference in prices, Vdub being cheaper. And then there are so many modern modified parts for Vdubs that you can really "build" one to do quite well, if that is a criteria for you.

gimmeshelter
11-06-2009, 04:34 AM
In my book the builders get an A+ for creativity. The true mark of someone who has taken technology to the level of pure Art.