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Thread: Name that bike?

  1. #1
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Name that bike?

    Hi, I'm just visiting from the K side of the street. I have this nice picture in my archives and I'd like to identify the model and possibly the year. Can you help?

    Gail Hatch
    SheRidesABeemer's Blog
    05 R12GS
    87 K75CT

  2. #2
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Gail -

    It's written on the other side of the sign on the handlebars!!

    In looking at some pictures, I'd call it a R67/3 from the mid '50s. My book says they were manufactured in 1955 and 1956. Not many were made. The R68 had a front end like that, but the valve covers were different and so was the final drive.

    Another book shows an R51/3 what that kind of front end...now I'm confused!! I believe the bike shown on this page is an R51/3.

    http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/slash2/

    Here's a Wikipedia page by Jeff Dean...he'll probably chime in soon...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_R51/3

    My 0.02...
    Last edited by 20774; 02-17-2008 at 05:26 PM.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Or maybe the owner will recognize the plate and tell us! The picture is from the 2000 rally in Midland, MI.
    Gail Hatch
    SheRidesABeemer's Blog
    05 R12GS
    87 K75CT

  4. #4
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Gail -

    Well why didn't you say so!! I looked at the October 2000 MOA News, Rally Recap. The winner in the Vintage Twins (1950-1954) category was Ulrich Huemmerich with a 1953 R51/3. He's from Farmington Hills, Michigan. There was a nice write up on him. He received the Vern Mitchell Memorial Award that year.

    My 0.03...
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  5. #5
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Gail, except for the fenders and the odd swinging pillion seat, the R68, R67 and R51 models from a given year had the same running gear. The main distinction is in internal construction and performance.

    This bike looks to me like it's either an R51/3 or an R67/3. There's only one external feature that differentiates the two, and I can't really say from the photo. That difference is the black finning on the cylinders. If the outside profile of the finning follows the round crosssection of the cylinder all the way around, then it's the R51/3; but if the finning comes to a rounded point at the front and back of the cylinder, then it's the R67/3.

    This bike is definitely a 1954 or later, from the following points: it has "full width" hubs (as on the later Earles fork bikes, and as compared to the earlier "half width" hubs, which have spokes of unequal length, shorter on the right and longer on the left); it has the "/2 style" headlight bucket with the triangular neutral and generator lights behind the speedo and the longer "nail" ignition key that has a retractable cover; it has the cigar style mufflers and S-bend headers (vs. the earlier swallow tail mufflers and straight headers); the chrome steel wheels; and it has the later forks with the rubber gaiters.

    There is some "extra" chrome on the bike, which was not uncommon for an owner in the period to do: the air cleaner and the hub caps, both of which would have come from the factory painted. I have to admit that I've never seen the footpegs chromed before, however.

    There are a couple oddities as well. The taillight is an earlier item, because '54 was the first year that BMW fitted bikes with a brake light, which would have been a triangular amber lens above the taillight's round red lens. Confusing! The rear fender stay only came on the R68 from the factory, but there were period aftermarket items for the dowdier R51/3 and R67/3.

    The throttle has been replaced by the cam gear style that came on the Earles fork bikes, and the black rubber plug for the timing hole on the flywheel housing is from an Airhead (the plunger and Earles bikes came with white rubber plugs).

    BTW, I have it on good authority that 42 is the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin.
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    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  6. #6
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    It's a 1954 R51/3 or R67/3. But the hub caps would not have been chromed, nor would the air-cleaner housing.

    Here is a 1952 R51/3. It has half-width brakes. The '54 has full-width brakes.

    Jeff Dean − Tucson, Arizona − BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    http://bmwdean.com/2014-r1200rt.htm − MSF Chief Instructor (1994)
    Friend of the Marque (1999) − Prof. Gerhard Knochlein BMW Classic Award (2013)
    2014 & 2007 R1200RTs, R60/2s, R67/3, R51/3 ↔ 1949 R24

  7. #7
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Thank's Jeff, I put that as the label.
    Gail Hatch
    SheRidesABeemer's Blog
    05 R12GS
    87 K75CT

  8. #8
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    Gail,

    The bike may still have its tag on the front of the steering head. If so, it will tell you what you have. If it is not there, here is how to tell:

    If the front of the cylinder fins are round, it is an R51/3 (500cc).



    If the front of the cylinder fins are pointed, it is an R67/3 (600cc).

    Last edited by bmwdean; 02-26-2008 at 02:00 AM.
    Jeff Dean − Tucson, Arizona − BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    http://bmwdean.com/2014-r1200rt.htm − MSF Chief Instructor (1994)
    Friend of the Marque (1999) − Prof. Gerhard Knochlein BMW Classic Award (2013)
    2014 & 2007 R1200RTs, R60/2s, R67/3, R51/3 ↔ 1949 R24

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