The Germans have such a singular way of blending practical and sporting elements into their cars: the BMW’s 3-series sedan is historically so practical, but full of quality engineering and responsive rear-wheel-drive handling. The VW GTI is a box on wheels, but truly one of the most iconic real-world sporting cars of all time. Even Porsche’s 911 can be considered relatively practical, when compared to cars from Ferrari or Lamborghini. German motorcycles are built along the same, very conservative lines: I love how these are so upright and dorky, efficient, practical, aber sehr sportlich.
Although you can’t hide that monstrous engine behind a bulbous fairing: it seems to stick out everywhere, bulging like an overstuffed wurst.
The R100RS was BMW’s flagship sport-touring model at the time. Introduced in 1977, it made 70hp and had a top speed of 108mph, which could be achieved in relative comfort, thanks to the wind-tunnel-designed wrap-around fairing that made the machine an unruffled, all-weather device designed to cover big distances at high speed. Handling was extremely stable, rather than nimble, as befits its intended mission.
The original ad is straight and to-the-point, written so efficiently as to leave out things like lowercase letters. Luckily for you, I had a few moments to translate the original listing into something that is a bit easier to read. From the original eBay listing 1978 BMW R100RS for Sale
This is a beautifully restored R100RS with 67,000km/ approx 41,000 miles
- European bike headlight on/off switch
- Longer front fender
- Powdercoated wheels
- Upgraded forks with new seals
- Resr [reservoir?] shocks [they appear to be Ohlins]
- New brakes with stainless brake lines
- All fluids changed
- Carbs cleaned and balanced
- New Odessey battery and electronic ignition
- Cafe reverse cone mufflers sound great
- Runs great looks great, everything works as it should
- Rear bag mounts shown but not included
In spite of the relatively minimal information, the ad does include a video of the bike. I love videos! And those mufflers sound pretty great.
I have to admit: dorky as these are, there’s something so cool about them, that practical sportiness that infuses German cars and bikes. And some of these 70′s BMW’s are still really cheap. The earlier “toaster tank” models are getting pricey but, if you’re not scared off by the mileage these accumulate, they’re pretty darn affordable, and very practical as far as classics go. Find a set of those vintage, briefcase-y hard bags, pack up the missus, and head out on the highway, looking for adventure, or whatever comes your way.
Look, I’ve seen Easy Rider a few times, and hardtails look like a pretty terrible choice if you plan to ride across the country…
Whenever I look at a vintage racing bike, I am always interested in how it has reached its current state. Some have had a concourse restoration, brought back to an original date in time. Others, like this 1953’ish Horex Dual Overhead Cam road racer seem to have evolved to its current state. By nature factory bikes usually have a shelf life, and their evolution come in the form of a new bike with new design features. Privateers may start with a factory bike, but like this Horex, the major components have to grow, evolve, and survive.
From the seller.
I bought a collection of bikes from a retiring rider. Kurt was a pilot stationed in Germany and traveled there frequently as his wife is also German. I know some of his bikes in his collection were not available in the US. This is one of those bikes. I’m not a Horex expert but here goes!!
With an opening like this I always hope for the best, an ex-factory ride with exciting history of wins and famous riders. I will check back to see what people say.
What the seller knows.
So what I have in this auction now is:
an early 1950′s Horex road racer
this bike was campaigned on the West Coast of California in the 1980′s and 90′s and perhaps in the early 2000′s by Kurt Yeager AHRMA number 128. Kurt does not recall those times too clearly now but recalls he bought the bike from the factory or from someone who bought it from the factory.
I contacted the Horex factory in an effort to document the bike and their response was “Your motor cycle looks – at a first glance – as a Horex Regina 350, in the version modified by Mr. Apfelbeck – with its two overhead camshafts.” They are in the process of investigating the bikes history from other German road racers.
If it is truly an Apfelbeck modified bike it is a “one of one” or maybe a “one of two or three” bike and would be very, very rare. If not, then I’d love to know who created it!
There are a few times when a seller has something that is really special. Something that was lost to the world, and with the help of buyers find out what they really have. And then there are the other times when a seller has something unique, but not special. There are some great items on the bike. The front fairing has a nose like a dolphin, and was a design that could be seen on GP bikes of the time. When the FIM banned the Dustbin fairing in 1958 over safety concerns, these “Dolphin” fairings became a popular alternative.
A few things that the buyer will get
Since I cannot document the bike completely the pictures need to do the talking.
- Obviously a very original bike which was updated in the 1980′s as a vintage road racer with Works shocks and lots of safety wire.
- Lots of interesting period features:
- Leading link front forks
- Borrani rims
- Bosch distributor at the rear of the cylinders
- Domi Racer tachometer seems to be driven off the left side of the crank
- Double Double leading shoe front brakes
- Road Race gas tank
- Road Race exhaust system with megaphones
- I cannot find an engine number
- The frame number is 081681 (one knowledgeable ebay just told me it is a Horex Resident frame?)
- Amal carbs with velocity stacks – slides were stuck so I removed them and cleaned the carbs up a bit. That is all I have done besides washing it.
- I have not yet tried to start it but it does turn over with good compression
- Bike has been sitting in a California garage unridden since the early 2000′s as far as I can tell
The Domi Racer tachometer is very likely a replacement item added when the bike arrived in the U.S. The Amal Carbs might also be a later addition, used because they were available, and easier to get replacement part. The Leading Link front fork was popular during a time in international racing, its design kept the front end from diving under hard braking.
This 1950′s Horex Twin Cam road racer is a great example of a racing bike which evolved over time. The seller is asking for help to gain insight as to where it began. Any buyer will get a unique motorcycle. BB
My fantasy garage is filled up with the classics: a big Moto Guzzi V7 or LeMans, a bevel-drive Ducati, a Laverda Jota… Manly, brutal bikes all. But I always find myself prowling around, looking for MV Agustas. And while I do lust after the modern Brutales, F3′s and F’4′s, I always have an eye out for the little ones, the sporting 125′s and 175′s. They show up from time to time online and pricing varies wildly.
I do love the idea of a burly, powerful machine that is way more than I can handle, I’m a firm believer in the old adage, “It’s better to ride a slow bike fast than ride a fast bike slow…” Honestly, the guy I saw in a tank top and half helmet, stiff-arming his brand new Panigale up the Garden State Parkway probably thought he looked pretty cool, but it was pretty obvious he had no idea what he was doing… On the other hand, the guy I saw riding a GS500E at a recent track day made me smile as he passed liter bikes and serious sporting machines in the corners…
It also doesn’t hurt that, while these little MV’s may be pretty pricey, they’re still generally a whole lot less than the bigger four-cylinder bikes… These look like they’d be a hoot to ride on a winding, two-lane road. Or look great parked up in your living room.
This particular two-stroke machine looks familiar…
From the original eBay listing: 1953 MV Agusta 125cc Super Sport
Selling my ultra rare 1953 MV Agusta 125 Super Sport.This motorcycle was purchased from the renowned Guy Webster museum in California.It has the level of restoration to go in the Guggenhiem display.The bike traveled in Italy’s famous Moto Giro which is noted on front number plate prior to full professional restoration level.The gas tank was just sealed for future settlement or ride ability.The frame work and fenders on this particular year lends itself to such a cafe graceful look compared to it’s predecessors.The seat is a Radaelli which is a long comfortable seating position seat.The handle bars which I choose to call mustache bars are a piece of jewelry that have emmvee hand grips in like new condition.The motorcycle comes complete with original Automobile Club D’Italia paperwork framed from 1953.Where are you going to find a 1953 MV Agusta motorcycle going back that far with original doc’s.
This one looks an awful lot like the one that was for sale a while back and posted here on this site. It may not have found a buyer then, but maybe second time’s the charm? These are rare machines, but sometimes that rarity can work against you. Hopefully, it will find a home this time around.
With my last post on the Suzuki Factory Racer, I dropped a little bit about Ernst Degner and his move to Suzuki from East German. A couple people commented on the fact he “stole” technology from designer Walter Kaaden. This is true, but there is also so much more. Steeling Speed by Mat Oxley is a great book tells the story of Walter Kaaden, his work on the V1 and V2 rockets during the World War and how he used those lessons and went Grand Prix Racing. Ernst Degner was a rider for Walter, and and engineer in his own right. But he was also a family man, and some one who sought fame and fortune. Degner stole the speed developed by Kaaden and took it with him to Suzuki.
During WWII, the German Army was firing some of the first rockets at England, and some of the engineers working on those rockets had motorcycle back grounds. One of those was Walter Kaaden who had worked for DKW, the worlds larges motorcycle manufacture at the time. Kaaden’s work on rockets during the war transferred to 2-stroke engine development after the war.
DKW was taken over by the government of East Germany, re-names MZ, but still had a racing department headed by Walter Kaaden and employed engineer/rider Ernst Degner. Walter Kaaden returned to the new East Germany, and right back into the the new MZ race department. With lessons learned during the war, the first development was the expansion chamber, then the rotary valve, and finally the boost port. These three developments behind the Iron Curtin first started showing up at the race track in the late 1950’s, and by 1960 MZ was starting to show its stuff to the rest of the world on the Grand Prix results list.
Then in 1961 Earnst filled his suitcase with engine parts, and had a friend put his wife and child in the trunk of a car, and by different routes the family made it to Suzuki in Japan and the course of motorcycle history was changed. It didn’t end well for Ernst with a firery crash and its aftermath effecting him for his final years.
Mat Oxley rides a thrilling spy novel, one that is real. John le Carré meets Kevin Cameron. We highlight some great motorcycles here on CSBFS, ones that you can oogle at, but Steeling Speed is something that will help you understand how many of these motorcycles came to be. BB
Two stroke engines started to creep on to the GP circuit starting the in the early 1960’s. Lets not forget that Ernst Degner came from behind the Iron Curtain to join Suzuki in 1961 and a gained a 125cc World Championship in 1963. By the end of the 60’s 500cc twin cylinder 2-strokes were racing, and racing well. This 1971 Suzuki TR500 in Seeley frame could have been in the mix at a little race in Daytona.
From the seller
Suzuki TR 500 Seeley Framed Factory GP Racer.
This is a pristine, fully restored Suzuki TR 500 Factory GP Bike, one of only a handful or examples in the world. The bike has racing provenance and has been authenticated by Colin Seeley. The frame is stamped by Colin Seeley CS 262 S (August 1971)
The engine is a Factory Suzuki TR 500 Motor, direct from the Suzuki Factory to their team riders. The Engine has been completely rebuilt by a Suzuki specialist and features a number of details unique to an original TR 500 Motor. Factory stamped cases, etc etc. Front end is original Ceriani 35mm GP. Magnesium Triple Trees. Ceriani Wheels, front and rear. Borrani Alloy Rims. Complete hand sculpted bodywork in Aluminum by the master Mr Evan Wilcox. Twin Mikuni Flat sided race Carburetors. Every nut and bolt on this bike has been professionally restored or replaced with original Factory Suzuki Parts.
The bike is located in Seattle, USA.
The seller says the bike has a racing background, but does not list a race or rider that this bike may have been attached with. From what I gleaned from the world wide web, the TR500 first raced under the factor designated XR05, and instead of a Seeley frame like this bike, it was cradled in a “Norton Featherbed” inspired frame. They first raced in Daytona in 1968 and were able to reach 135mph on the high banks because of the 63hp generated at 8000rpm. A year later, with 1hp more and 12 more mph top speed, the factory TR500 was able to place two riders in the top 10.
I found that by 1971, the year of this TR500, the Suzuki was producing 71hp and was good for 154mph. But the big leap came with water cooling and in 1973 and 78hp at 8700rpm were reached for 160mph top speed. These kind of jumps really show what factory efforts can achieve, even with the relatively new 2-stroke technology. It wasn’t much later that 10, 12, 13,000 rpm screamers were effecting the GP circuit.
As I have stated before, I sure wish that the winning bid for ex factory bikes came with an ex factory mechanic. The name and phone number for the Suzuki specialist who rebuilt the engine should at least be included with this 1971 Suzuki TR500 in Seeley frame. I am in the Greater Seattle area, wonder if the seller will allow some window shopping? BB
From the seller
1965 Bultaco TSS 250 Watercool. Bike was in museume past 15years. Frame and engine no. does match. I do not have any doccument but I heard EX-owner was Jim Redman. Bike has compression and sift thru all gear. Will help worldwide shiping. Shipping will be $1500(crate, fright, doc fee, export custom) to CarsonCA.
The seller doesn’t really give an idea of how the bike has spend its last years. Just looking at the bike, it may have just been in the back of someones garage after coming off the track. Check out the the Gardner carb.
As noted with the previous 125cc TSS, these Spanish smokers could put out some horse power. Not to the level that came just a few years later from Japan, but still enough to put it too 4 stroke bike to get to the podium on a International level in both GP and Endurance events.
So if you really want a TSS, this 1965 Watercooled 250cc model if not the pinnacle of Bultaco’s road racing developement, this its sure close, but you need to be quick. BB
It’s easy to forget, but Ducati’s history began with a tiny little bicycle motor and their sporting roots are in single-cylinder machines. Unlike today’s “entry-level sportbikes,” they featured sophisticated technology and top-shelf components: the very first production Desmo Ducati was actually a 1968 250/350 Mk 3! It’s a little rough, but this 1959 Ducati 175 Sport would be a great candidate for restoration, or you can just enjoy the classic patina as-is and wait for the value to climb further… I’d be unable to resist putting some new tires on so I could blat around the neighborhood.
These are delicate little machines, so different from the hyperbikes that Ducati seems to focus on today: 190hp frameless road missiles, 1200cc naked roadsters, cruisers with impossibly fat, 200mm rear tires. Not that I don’t lust after those, it’s just that modern bikes have become so much more capable than all but the most skilled riders, a two-wheeled performance pissing match akin to the nearly pointless posturing of the 200+ mph car club.
This is clearly being offered up by an enthusiast. The original eBay listing contains some history of the owner’s relationship with this machine: 1959 Ducati 175 Sport for Sale
I took part in the Italian Motogiro several years ago on a Moto Morini 175 Tresette. It was truly an incredible experience! Once I got home, I began collecting a few Giro-eligible 175cc Italian bikes, which have never been easy to locate here in the US. One of the bikes I felt was a mandatory addition to my collection was a Ducati 175 Sport. The only problem was finding one. I searched and searched, and kept coming up empty. Finally, I was able to locate one but it was located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The logistics were tricky and expensive, but I managed to get the bike crated and shipped back to California.
This particular bike is unique as many electrical components were sourced from Argentinian manufacturers, and these should not be viewed as “incorrect” when the bike is eventually restored.
The “Jelly Mould” gas tank is in very nice solid condition. I have seen these genuine tanks alone trade for $2500-$3000.
Originally, this bike was going to be restored, but the bike had a unique time-worn patina that i really enjoyed. It became part of my collection and was displayed many times over the next several years at various events (last was my “Barn Find” display at the 2013 Quail Motorcycle Gathering alongside my Vincent, Harley & Indian).
I took a while for the “jelly mould” tanks to look right to me: they really do have a strange shape. The design is intended to allow the rider’s arms to tuck in close against the tank and the little loops on top allow packages and luggage to be strapped to the tank. According to the seller, it starts easily but has had no fuel in the tank, so it is currently more for display than riding, although that should be fairly simple to correct. When restored, these little bikes just radiate cool, and the vivid paint scheme is one of the most striking ever put on a factory bike.
Bidding is active, but still very low and the reserve has not yet been met.
To the unknowing this 1961 R50S might look like just another BMW from the late 1950’s through the 1960’s. To those who can interpret the R series, they see that this is a 500cc bike, and the S means Sport. But what does that really mean?
The seller doesn’t give any hints, and even lists the incorrect engine size
This is a rare 1961 R50S that has been professionally restored with no expense spared. The engine was rebuilt by a professional BMW mechanic and has a new crankshaft, pistons, rods, etc.. The transmission and final drive was disassembled, inspected and re-sealed as all of the original components were in excellent condition. The frame, forks and other items are powder coated and the sheet metal was painted and hand striped by Terry Faulkner in Albermarle, NC. Terry has painted numerous AMCA Senior First motorcycles, and his work is excellent. The bike has triple matching numbers, starts and runs like new, and it has only been ridden 50 miles since is was restored.
The S can be found on the R69S which was offered as BMW sporting 600cc bike from 1960 until 1969 with 11,317 being produced. So you might be surprise that the 500cc Sport bike was only produced in 1960, 1961 and 1962 with only 1,634 units shipped. One of the reasons floating around as to why so few of the R50S built is because of catastrophic engine failures. When an engine designed for solo touring gets a bump in compression, larger carbs, as the S did, the rider is expected to turn the throttle a little more vigorously. When this happens sometimes the bottom end could not handle the extra desire by the rider. So goes the myth.
Comparing the R50/2 and the Sporting R50S visually from 10 feet, there is one major item that separates the two. The valve cover for the S is unique, and as such only offered for 3 years and 1,634 pairs. If you step a little closer, and you know what to look for, you will see the markings on the carburetors have a /26 instead of /24. With the 26mm carbs instead of the 24mm carbs, the spigot bolts into the cylinder head will be different. If you where to take the head off, and the valves out, you would be able to measure a difference in the exhaust valve stem diameter. You would also see a dome on the piston with large valve cut outs where the pedestrian R50/2 would not have.
The regular R50 and updated R50/2 were first offered from 1955 and ended production in 1969. Its final incarnation was rated at 26hp at 5800rpm, with a top speed of 87mph with 32,546 produced. The R50S was rated at 35hp at 7650rpm and a top speed of 99mph. Just comparing these numbers, you have to ask yourself why BMW stopped making the R50S. But looking at these numbers you will not be surprised at the final bid for this 1961 R50S. BB
There are images that are iconic like our last posting on the BMW. There are also simpler things, like color, which are iconic. The seller of this 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 painted their bike a unique blue color, and every one of you thinks back to a particular time in motor racing. The seller reminds us of the racing team, and an actor who was paired up with the team in life and film.
From the seller
Bike was rode to my house by previous owner. Took it for a spin down the street to make sure it was running correctly, turned around, drove it into my sunroom and immediately proceeded to strip it down to frame and motor. A nine month intense customizing, brainstorming, and fitting ensued.
The bike is my vision of a 70′s circuit superbike with a European flair as evidenced by the yellow(french) headlight, and Idea I owe to a childhood friend who built his first cafe bike when we were in our teens. Choose the Gulf Racing colors as an homage to Steve McQueen’s Le Mans movie and the race cars of that era. As anyone knows those colors and winning were synonymous during that era.
This Kawasaki KZ650c was on the scene at the same time as the bigger Z1, but its 652cc engine with double over head cams generated only 64bhp. In 1977 the KZ added a C-1 to the designation, and the bike got a pair of disk up front, and a large disk in the rear. Spokes were replaced with cast wheels, which take the gold “magnesium” color very well.
The seller of this 1978 Kawasaki KZ650C says they spent time and effort in the design and assembly of this bike. They highlight the visual cues of the bike. This leads you to wonder if as much attention was taken inside the engine. I do like the orange stripe and the inclusion of the velocity stacks. But a nice high lift/duration cam, bump up in CR, and maybe opening up those carbs a few mm wouldn’t help. BB
With every motorcycle manufacture, there is a group of fan who gather together in an Owners Group. Be it Triumph, BSA, Ducati or BMW, these are people that give their allegiance to the Marque, and wear that with pride. If you were to poll these owners groups which bike best represents the Manufacture, you could get 90% or more to name the same bike. The BSA guys would say the Gold Star, Triumph riders would say the T100 Tiger. For BMW riders, 97.8% of them would say the R68 is the best BMW motorcycle. That is why if you were to go online to a BMW user group, this 1954 BMW R68 would be a topic of discussion.
From the seller if far off Poland.
All 3 numbers match ! engine, frame, type plate all the same number !
The bike is in excellent condition.
Sa sweet like a nut ! works perfect and sounds better !
Fully rebuild fiew years ago.
Since that time done only some miles.
Restoration done fully professionally !
Engine rebuild with use of only NOS parts !
Crankshaft, cylinders, heads, electric, transmission, final drive fully rebuild.
Front forks, and rear suspension works perfect, also brakes brake like in modern bike !
Paint job on the high level with hand painted straps !
Offered for only 3 years and only producing 1452 motorcycle, the R68 was the top of the line post war motorcycle offered by BMW. Its 594cc flat twin engine was the first evolution of the BMW engine since before the war. It gave the rider 35ph at 7000 rpm and was the first production BMW to offer 100mph to the public. In fact Marianne Webber, a Belgium Journalist was able to get the R68 to The Ton, and also create an iconic BMW image.
The R68 may have had a new engine, but the frame was a hold over from the pre-war days. Plunger rear springs, without the aid of any dampening, held the rear wheel locked in back. The front were little improved from suspension technology of 10 years previous. Because of the sports nature of the bike, a swinging rear pillion pad allowed the rider to get a little bit lower in the saddle. This bike on offer will attempt to launch any passenger up and over the driver with its pillion seat.
Part of the discussion on those BMW chat rooms about this 1954 BMW R68, is the fact that it is coming from Eastern Europe. With a long tradition of sellers using what ever is on hand, many buyers of these bikes from the far east of Europe will tell cautionary tails. Looking at the pictures, there are many chrome parts that should not be chrome, the pin striping that the seller points out with pride doesn’t look as good as it could be. The right side exhaust seem to point in the wrong direction. But with all these possible problems, don’t be surprised at the final bid which takes this R68 home. BB