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Old 01-19-2007, 08:00 AM   #1
elmoreman OP
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Question R50 pricing advice, please

Looking at getting this bike. Below is part of the ad. I'm gonna call the owner tonight. What do you think it is worth (just as a guideline). What questions would you ask? I had a /5, but this is much older. What would you look for if you went to check it out?

Is there a vintage buying guide somewhere?

  • 1959 R50 with a 1968 R60/2 engine
  • a complete restoration 750 miles ago
  • Frame, fork, and other "hard parts" have been powdercoated. Tin was properly painted and hand striped.
  • Wheels were rechromed and laced with stainless steel spokes, tires are brand new (less than 100 miles)
  • new battery, completely rebuilt top end, slingers replaced
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:28 AM   #2
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Elmoreman, Can't say I'm real familier with the /2's, I wish. Looks like a nice bike. I do know it's not worth what it would be if it had the original engine in it or at least the "correct" same year and size engine. So it can't really be called a restoration. I'm being nit picky I know but I think it's a fact and has to be considered. My guess is it's worth $4500 to $5500 dollars and if it had the correct engine maybe $7000 maybe approaching 9 grand if it's exceptional. Again just a guess and a opinion from drooling over /2's lately.

There are vintage price guides out there. I have price guide from Vintage Motorcycle magazine from this spring. They have a condition rating system from 1-6 1 being perfect or excellent and 6 being a parts bike possibly incomplete. The 59 r50 is listed as 6 being worth $1500 and 1 worth $7500. You may be able to find some guys on the Vintage BMW site willing to advise,

jtwind screwed with this post 01-19-2007 at 08:34 AM
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Old 01-19-2007, 10:31 AM   #3
Tim McKittrick
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One thing you should be aware of- there are a number of small detail differences between the pre-60 chassis and the later ones- for example, I have a '57 R50 conversion outfit and the shock eye rubbers are nla. There is very little functional difference between the R50 and R60 chassis wise, but I beileve the final drive ratio was a little lower on the 500. If you are loking for a rider, I think the 600cc motor is a better option for puttering on today's roads and the fact that the chassis and motor don't match could work in your favor by lowering the price and making it a more useable machine. I'd expect to pay in the 3.5- 5 K range depending on how well it runs and the dregree to which it has been restored- if every rubber part is new (you know- headlight washers, headlight ear mounts, drive boot, seals, and so on), the paint is great, it rides well and runs as it should, etc, it'll obviously be worth a bit in spite of the engine swaparoo.
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:21 PM   #4
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I did see a R50 like this one with a R60 engine sell on ebay a while back for almost 8k.
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:51 PM   #5
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The collectibility factor is seriously eroded by the unholy marriage of the 50/2 frame and the 60/2 engine. It isn't that unholy, but serious collectors breeze on by these types of bikes.
I seem to recall Duane Asherman (a fairly renowned /2 guru) stating that /2 engines of 67/68/69 model years had an overabundance of problems with the internals. Bad metal.
Follow up on this & see if, in fact, this may be an issue.

The slingers were done. Thats good!

Prices on a bike of this type are all over the map. I doubt you're going to get the bike for anything under $4500. Clean bikes like this will bring boocoo dollars on Flea Bay. For better or worse, most sellers are well aware of the quasi inflated prices on Flea Bay.
Someone else mentioned a similar bike being sold on Flea Bay for close to 8K. Real easy to believe.

/2's have been escalating in price dramatically. Here is my $.02 worth on why its occuring.
There is a pinache involved in riding around on an older classic bike. Older bikes like Harleys, Indians, Ariels, Triumphs, etc have lots of pinache......but keeping those older bikes maintained & running is often a huge chore.....unless your riding season consists of 3 Sunday afternoon trips to the beach.
Old Beemers have a reputation for reliability, and probably the lowest maintenance costs.
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:55 PM   #6
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Keep in mind that the later /2 engine (like this one) had a bulge in the front engine cover. I think this was too accommodate the rubber vibration damper for the R69S. With this new engine cover, the front cross bar on the Earls fork had a cutout (sorta speak) for clearing the bulge. So I'd check to see if it has the later style Earls fork. The early one is a round tube, the later is oval shaped if I remember correctly. You may also be able to find an early cover without the bulge. I had a 1966 R60/2 back in 1997, it was a fun bike and I added a side car to it.
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Old 01-21-2007, 06:29 AM   #7
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I seem to recall Duane Asherman (a fairly renowned /2 guru) stating that /2 engines of 67/68/69 model years had an overabundance of problems with the internals. Bad metal.

That is interesting I have a 67 R50/2 and this is the info I have

Dear Mr Hamilton,

Thank you for your email.

Engine and frame are from two different bikes:

The BMW R 50/2 VIN 644696 was manufactured on March 21st, 1967 and delivered on March 29th, 1967 to the BMW importer Butler & Smith in New York City. The bike was equipped with a bench seat.

The engine No. 1816826 is from a BMW R 60/2 (!), this one delivered on June 21st, 1968 to Butler & Smith too.

We hope, this is helpful for you.

Yours sincerely,
BMW Mobile Tradition
Group Archives

Andreas Harz

phone: +49 (0) 89/382-68 281
fax: +49 (0) 89/382-24 765

Is there a way to comfirm if the swap was done by BMW.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:07 AM   #8
Asphalt Outlaw Hero
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I doubt the swap was done by BMW.
Anyway,that's a tasty bike.Should give you a lot of service.From what I've seen at some auctions I'd say it was worth 4500-7,000.
If the numbers matched,I's add another $1000.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:08 PM   #9
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you'll want to see recipts and docs. lots of them.
if the slingers were done then the crank was out and it should have gotten lots of new stuff in the process.
never mind aushermans whining about that era bike. thats just silly.
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