Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) is a German automotive company with the reputation for being a manufacturer of premium luxury automobiles as well as motorcycles. They own the MINI brand as well as the Rolls-Royce Motor Car company. BMW was founded in 1916 and has been successful in keeping pace with their delivery of state of the art vehicles, but serious collectors know the value of vintage BMW motorcycles of the ’60s. They featured a highly recognizable style that set the brand apart. Popular in Europe, BMW sought to penetrate the U.S. market and during the 1960s, they made a few smart modifications and offered tourers, sportiness and speed that Americans were craving at the time. Here is a list of the top 5 from this era and why each of them is so very special.
5. 1960 BMW R69
The BMW R69 was produced between the years of 1955 through 1960. It earned the distinction in the motorcycle world as being the first with rear suspensions that were adjustable. This particular model has a firm place of importance in the history of BMW because it is a racer that was instrumental in selling the BMW brand to other countries in the world, most notably in the United States, which helped keep the business afloat after the perilous years that followed the World War. An R69 that is in mint or near mint condition has a value of approximately $16,000 or more, depending on the collector.
4. 1969 BMW R75/5
The R75/5 was manufactured from 1969 through 1973. Many of these classic bikes hold historical significance. This model was built with modern styling, the likes that had not yet been seen since the ending of the Second World War. It was designed with an electric starter and excellent acceleration at the midrange. The bike handled wonderfully, it was attractive, and for its time, it was fast. Although the value of this vintage bike is not as high as the R69 models, it bears significance because of its unique place in history as one of the first modernly styled bikes from the company.
3. 1966 BMW R27
The R27 was made about the time that sidecars were going to way of the Dodo bird. There were still some in use, and this model was designed to accommodate a sidecar. It was the last of its kind as they were being phased out. At the time of its manufacture, the public was taking a more active interest in motorcycles that had a sportier eye appeal and the power to go along with it. A sidecar was no longer in vogue. It’s rare to find one of these bikes in excellent restored condition, but if you do, you have a treasure.
2. 1960s BMW R60
These bikes were made between 1956 and 1969. It featured a 600 cc boxer twin. They were made to pull a sidecar with built-in mounting points and duplex tubular steel frames. They were rugged and built for a companion rider, with the exception of the models that were made specifically for the United States market. The R60/2 and R60US variants were built from 1960 through 1969 and featured an engine with 30 hp as opposed to the R60 with its offering of 28 hp. The top speed of the variant models was clocked at 90 mph. The total weight was 430 pounds with a fule capacity of 17 liters they averaged 47 miles per gallon for fuel economy. This is one of the most valuable vintage bikes from the 60s with a value of $25,000 placed on bikes in excellent condition.
1. 1960 BMW R50
The number one rated BMW motorcycle from the 1960s era is the 1060 R50. This model was an all-around 2 cylinder boxer four stroke 494 cc bike that cranked 26 horsepower. The top speed was 140 miles per hour and it got the attention of audiences from all around the globe. It worked off a magneto ignition system with wet sump lubrication and an air cooling system. The transmission was a cardan shaft drive with a dry single plate cable operated clutch. The fuel economy was just over 57 miles per gallon. This highly collectible bike is rare if you can find one, but the collectible value is modest.