1961 BMW R50S
While we have featured a couple Classic Sporty BMW of the 600cc variety, we should tell you that BMW made a sports version of their 500cc R50. Yes it was called the R50S, and only 1634 were produced from 1960 until 1962, making it one of the rarer models offered from Munich. For comparison 32,947 standard R50 and 12,320 R69S were made. This R50S is offered on eBay Germany.
Like any rare sports model, the devil is in the details and the seller hits all the rare stuff
All special R50S parts there:
- Hydraulic steering dampfer.
- Speedo 0-180 with Wd. 0.86.
- Carburators 1/26/71 and 1/26/72.
- Sport air filter.
- R50S cylinder heads.
- R50S valve covers.
- R50S pistons
- Final drive 25/7.
- R50S logo
The classic way to make any engine more powerful is to increase the compression, add a hotter cam, and enlarge the carburetors. The R50S used all these tricksCompression was raised from 7.5:1 to 9.5:1 with a high domed piston. The cam used for the R50S the same cam as the R69S. To complete the package 26mm Bings replace the 24mm ones on the standard R50. These three combine to increase horse power from 26hp at 5800rpm to 35hp at 7650rpm.
Most of the uniqueness of the R50S are inside, only a couple cosmetic differences came be seen. The valve covers are unique to the R50S but are similar to the R69S. The other is the rear fender R50S badges. There has been a debate in the vintage BMW community as to the originality of the rear badge with some productions photos showing the badge and others not.
A little more on the cosmetics
Lacquering done for 25 years with brush, sticked stripes.
Chrome with little rost spots.
Small dent in tank (left).
Chrom exhaust system good.
Key steering head and toolbox identical.
When you find a limited production motorcycle you have to ask yourself; Why? You would think that a sporty 500cc bike would help boost market share. But what if the bike did not live up to the tradition of reliability that made a Brand? This could be the case for the R50S. This has not stopped owners of the standard R50 adding the three C’s to replicate the R50S (my hand is raised), nor will it keep prices down on these limited edition bikes. BB
Edit 7/14/11 I noticed that the cylinder heads are marked “LK” in one of the pictures. These are later manufacture with a longer reach spark plug to correct a problem that developed in the mid to late 1960’s. So they are where not available in 1961.