1958 R-50. what do I need to know?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Blue Mule, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Blue Mule

    Blue Mule Persistent Slacker

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    I have a line on this bike at my local dealer.

    I dont have any details really about the bike, YET.

    He wants 5500$ Think thats to much? parts uber scarce for this vintage yet? problem points on this model?

    This would be my first venture into the world of Old machines.... what should I look for on this beast?

    thoughts of turning it into a cafe bike...or keep it totally stock?

    Help a N00B out here!!!:deal

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    DSCN0401 by GB-Dan, on Flickr
    #1
  2. Old fart

    Old fart Keen AG100 rider

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    If you do anything other than keep it stock you need your dangly bits cutting off!!!!!! :evil
    #2
  3. Cogswell

    Cogswell Spudly Adventurer

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    A cafe bike out of this, are you serious ? :huh


    :norton


    Mike
    #3
  4. jellycow

    jellycow Back on track!

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    Taking the risk of me sounding as an old piss: if you don't know much about old bikes and are considering to cafe this fine specimen you'd better step away and look for something different. Some old UJM to convert, at least as much fun and a lot less motorcycle being ruined.
    That being said, it's just my personal opinion and I do think you always should do as you please, but keep in mind the airhead commitee might frown upon it :D Just do me/us one favour; first ride it as it is for a while. Hopefully you'll find out they're great machines as they are that don't need to be modified in order to enjoy them.
    #4
  5. scottyb

    scottyb Been here awhile

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    before you chop it up i'll trade you even a small tank for the large one on that bike. all cafe racers have small tanks :clap
    #5
  6. Blue Mule

    Blue Mule Persistent Slacker

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    LOL...ok,ok... Sorry to go getting all you guys riled up.:D

    I'll skip the cafe racer then...bike looks sharp as hell as it is...I really was just thinking handlebars anyway.

    So this thing's that rare? I get the "purest" look...and honestley keeping it stock, would be my first choice.:freaky

    so what weak points....whats parts/systems are most likely to have been replaced or messed with?

    As i said, I know little to nothing about these old machines so some heads up about any likely issues with this model or this class boxer in general would be great.

    No i havent started digging for info yet... hoped |You folks could help narrow down that legwork a bit so i can focus my efforts a bit more. any real good online resource to help me evaluate this bike?:ear
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  7. Detroit Steve

    Detroit Steve Homely Adventurer

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    As nice as that bike is, it not really all that rare. The conventional wisdom on buying one of these bikes is to tear the motor down and clean the crankshaft slingers. Sludge gets trapped in the slingers due to there is not an oil filter on these motors.

    These are best resources for information and parts in no particular order.

    Benchmark Works-has everything and restores them
    http://www.benchmarkworks.com/

    Brooks Motor Works-races them and restores them
    http://brooksmotorworks.com/

    Barrington Motor works-restores them, builds racers and has a restoration bible.
    http://www.barringtonmotorworks.com/

    Cycle works-sells special motor tools and parts
    http://www.cycleworks.net/

    BMW-VMCA
    Great vintage BMW club that has a FREE tool loan program.
    http://bmwvmca.org/

    Yahoo slash2 group-daily discussion on all levels
    http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/slash2/

    Duane Ausherman-Sold them and fixed back in the day, an excellent resource.
    http://w6rec.com/duane/bmw/


    John's Beemer garage. cool pics.
    http://www.beemergarage.com/

    Read Duanes site first and go from there. Buy the barrington book, the smartest $100 you will spend on that bike.


    The most important thing is to have fun with it!
    #7
  8. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    :eek1

    Hope you're kidding about the cafe bit! If you want lower handlebars, just get the Euro bars. Those are fabulous bikes, they have their idiosyncracies for sure (slingers, for one, as mentioned above) and they are kick-start-only with a magneto ignition... but once you get the know what the old girl likes when she's cold, and when she's hot, they start easily and reliably...

    Someone best RUN to buy it at that price.... :evil

    And yes, they are a sweet, sweet ride... smooth, elegant, classy... NOT a hot-rod nor should it every be made into such!

    :D
    #8
  9. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    You'll give even more people hart attacks if you post this in the airheads section, and really emphasize wanting to cafe it. :lol3
    #9
  10. lrutt

    lrutt SILENCE.....i kill you

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    You do realize these things are piss slow. what do you want to do with it? Might be marginally faster than an Enfield, but not by much from what I've heard.

    Definately not a bike for the interstates, just 2 lane back roads for sure.

    From the sounds of it this really is not the bike for you.
    #10
  11. rodney yj

    rodney yj Adventurer

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    Here is my opinion.

    They are slow and just about as slow if not slower braking. Even though there is not alot of power it is the smoothest more comfortable bike when cruising at 55-60. I push my R50 to about 70 on the interstate and have for hours with no problems give it any more throttle than that and it just makes more noise and doesn't really go much faster. On the interstate in a full tuck I have hit 90 just to see what it would do.

    You can not ride this bike without a smile on your face. Just a great feeling bike. Very low center of gravity makes riding it at slow speeds easy and fun.
    #11
  12. BigDoc

    BigDoc Been here awhile

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    I put over 300,000 trouble free miles on a R69S. If you buy the bike, let me know and I will pass along Clantonb Austell's phone number. He kept mine in great shape and has spares.
    #12
  13. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    It's your call...

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    but I would keep it stock and cool....:clap
    #13
  14. Blue Mule

    Blue Mule Persistent Slacker

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    THANKS a bunch Gents! thats the feedback I was hoping for. :wink:

    SlackerSteve, spot on info...I found tons of hits with a cursory search...but sorting the wheat from the chaff is a pain...I knew someone could point me in the right direction.

    I'll do some research online and take that knowledge to the dealers and check out the bike with a Friend thats a much better wrench than I am.

    I don't care for the dealership much and have a bad taste in my mouth from previous experience with them... so I'd prefer to have all the info i can walking in looking at this beauty.
    #14
  15. ooweel

    ooweel Jobless, Its OK!

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    Buy the bike and do what ever you want to it!:deal

    If the bike is so rare? It would have already been sold more than likely by the time you started this thread.

    You should buy it just for the gas tank.

    Buy it! Ride it! Have fun with it!

    Then when you "REALLY" want to piss off the purists & wannabee's make a conversion out of it with an R90's motor.:eek1
    #15
  16. ooweel

    ooweel Jobless, Its OK!

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    I see it sold. Hope you bought!


    Maybe it was uber rare:lol3:rofl
    #16
  17. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    That's a pretty clean example.
    Even if these objections weren't fully justified, it would be a waste of time to "cafe" it. Those only put out about 25 hp at the crankshaft.
    They're nice little bikes if you just want a sedate, pleasant ride.
    #17
  18. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    I usually hang out over in Airheads. Thought I'd look around at what the rest of the World was up to and took a look in here, Old's Cool, for the first time in a long time.

    Dr's say I should be getting back some of my speech and facial muscle movement in a few weeks. They think it was a mild one.
    #18
  19. Blue Mule

    Blue Mule Persistent Slacker

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    Nope...not Me. Thats OK...I was waffling on the idea anyway.:shog

    After some pricing online and knowing the dealership, added to my lack of knowledge on these old machines...i think I'll study up a bit before i go jumping into another big gulp of blue Koolaid!:lol3

    I'll search for the year and snag a machine next fall as the prices drop and My knowledge of these machines has grown.:deal

    the F-650gs with the yellow cases WAS mine.... nice bike... traded UP for a Super Tenere after testing both the S10 and the GS1200.

    .
    #19
  20. Jimbo4001

    Jimbo4001 n00b

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    #20