Classic BMW Motorcycles

Custom BMW Fire Road Flyer

Bike builder Josh Withers turns a parts bike into a sharp and stylish custom ready for a dirt road.

Matching the Future with the Past: 1928/1974 BMW R52 Similaria

Motorcycle builder and rider Bob Vail turns a 1974 BMW R75/6 into a 1928 R52 “Similaria.”

Easy Being Green: 1968 BMW R69US

For motorcyclists who really want to put some miles on a classic, 1960s and 1970s BMWs are hard to beat, including this 1968 BMW R69US.

Ready for Adventure: 1987 BMW R80G/S

After watching “Long Way Round” Jim Balestrieri bought himself a BMW R1200GS, which led to buying a 1987 BWM R80G/S Paris-Dakar.

Pressed Steel Boxer: 1929 BMW R11

Riding the BMW R11, Alan Cathcart hones in on BMW’s early foray into successful motorcycle manufacturing.

A Little Fun on the Side: 1941 BMW R75 Sidecar

Once a war machine, and now a piece of history, this BMW R75 sidecar is about as period correct as it can be.

A Bigger Berm Basher: 1980-1986 BMW R80 G/S

Comparing the BMW R80 G/S with newer alternatives, the BMW R100GS and BMW R1100GS.

Jeff Dean’s 1966 BMW R60/2

A reader shares his first motorcycle, a 1966 BMW R60/2, and his thoughts on motorcycle sizes.

More Green BMWs from the Past

A reader remembers the green BMW R75/5 his friend owned four decades ago.

Bob Andren’s Green BMW R75/5

A reader shares his green BMW R75/5, which might not be as rare as one might think.

Scott Mercer’s 1978 BMW R100RS

A reader shares his 1978 BMW R100RS, which he bought in time for the 2016 BMWMOA National Rally, and his 1976 BMW R90S.

Time Traveler: 1939 BMW R51

Originally delivered to the German SS, this R51 somehow found its way to California.

Mike Taint’s Green BMW R75/5

A reader shares his BMW R75/5, which happens to be the same uncommon color as the editor’s.

Jerry L. Hall’s 1971 BMW R75/5

A reader shares his 1971 BMW R75/5.

Luis Etchenique's BMW R75/6 Café Racer

A reader shares his nice BMW R75/6 café racer project bike.

BMW Group Classic

Recently established BMW Group Classic caters to needs of owners of vintage BMW bikes.

Peter Brunner’s 1953 BMW R25/3

Reader Peter Brunner finishes restoring his 1953 BMW R25/3, which had been sitting in a barn for 20 years.

Chasing Perfection: 1937 BMW R5

This BMW R5 is refined and ready to roll thanks to help from the vintage motorcycle community.

Bahn Burner: 1990 BMW K1

Based on the K100, the 1990 BMW K1 was a sporting machine without a hint of touring pretensions.

Kara Lackie's 1978 BMW R100/7

Reader Cory Blundon shares his girlfriend's 1978 BMW R100/7, which they traveled 620 miles in rain, hail and snow to bring home.

Elegance in Motion: The 1962 BMW R60/2

Lovingly restored and now ridden faithfully, this 1962 BMW R60/2 hits the sweet spot.

1943 BMW R75

This 1943 BMW R75 was one of hundreds of classic motorcycles at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama.

Bob Wakeman's BMW /2 Conversion

Reader Doug Wakeman shares with us his father's newest project, a BMW /2 conversion.

The Little Boxer: 1969-1973 BMW R50/5

The BMW R50/5 and others in the “Slash 5” series represented a revolution in BMW motorcycle design.

‘BMW R90S’ by Ian Falloon

Own a copy of Ian Falloon’s definitive account of the BMW R90S.

ContiRoadAttack 2 Gran Turismo Tires to be Used on the New BMW R1200RT

The new BMW R1200RT will be equipped with Continental’s ContiRoadAttack 2 Gran Tourismo tires.

Bonneville Salt Flats Record-Setting Motorcycle To Be Auctioned

A Bonneville Salt Flats record-setting motorcycle will be auctioned as part of the Mecum Auction at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa., July 27.

1974 BMW R60/6 With New EPCO Stainless Steel Pipes (Video)

A before-and-after video shows the difference a new exhaust system makes on a 1974 BMW R60/6.

Race to Rebuild: 1974 BMW R90/6 (Video)

In 2012, the staff at Motorcycle Classics aimed to turn a tired 1974 BMW R90/6 into something cooler than what left the factory. These videos walk you through some of the adventures in this restoration.

BMW /2 Hot Rod

Different people build different BMW conversions for different reasons. The BMW /2 was built to be a hot rod.

‘BMW: Motorcycles of the Century, Guide to Models 1923-2000’

“BMW: Motorcycles of the Century” looks at every production BMW motorcycle made from 1923 to 2000.

Special 40th Anniversary R90S Celebration

The 40th Anniversary R90S Celebration, June 19-22, 2014, is primarily for BMW R90S enthusiasts/owners/riders and will give them preference.

The Holy Grail of BMWs: Krauser MKM1000

Motorcycle luggage maker Michael Krauser decided to design an entire motorcycle, the Krauser MKM1000, using the BMW R100RS as his base.

Max BMW's New 1975 BMW R90S

Max BMW is planning to build a vintage BMW R90S from new parts ordered directly from BMW.

Rare BMW and Vincent Isle Of Man Winner added to Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction

Rare BMW Factory Racer and Vincent Isle Of Man winner added to Las Vegas motorcycle auction.

Boxer Racer: The Butler & Smith BMW R75/5 F750

Alan Cathcart rides the BMW R75/5 F750 racer, one of two factory-framed racers, at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala.

BMWs in the spotlight at 9th Annual Barber Vintage Festival

It’s been 90 years since the first BMW – the R32 494cc boxer twin – rolled out of the BMW factory in 1932, and to celebrate we’re encouraging all BMW owners to bring their Beemers to Barber and join us at the Motorcycle Classics tent.

Readers Share Motorcycle Collections

Readers and Riders: California BMW owners share their motorcycle collections that include BMW K100RS, BMW R75/6 and BMW R50/2.

BMW K100RS Worries

Motorcycle Classics’ tech expert Keith Fellenstein needs reader assistance in solving a BMW K100RS fuel pump issue.

Of BMWs and Velocettes

A Florida subscriber reminisces about his Velocettes and BMWs.

Race to Rebuild the BMW R90/6

The Motorcycle Classics/Dairyland Cycle Insurance 1974 BMW R90/6 Race to Rebuild project finally wraps up — and it’s lovely.

BMW Selected as Featured Marque at LeMay Vintage Motorcycle Festival

The Vintage Motorcycle Festival at LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM) has named BMW Motorrad as featured marque for the August 24-25, 2013 motorcycle event in Tacoma, Wash. The decision to feature the Munich-based motorcycle manufacturer coincides with the 90th anniversary of BMW Motorrad.

Race to Rebuild: The BMW R90/6 Part 4

The Motorcycle Classics/Dairyland Cycle Race to Rebuild 1974 BMW R90/6 is racing to a finish, and it’s looking like a winner. 

Another R: The BMW 1940 R12

The other flat twin engined, prewar BMW: the 1940 BMW R12 

One-Year Wonder: The 1937 BMW R6

BMW’s first 600cc motorcycle, this 1937 BMW R6 is one of just 1,850 built. 

1937 BMW R17

A 1937 BMW R17 on display with other classic motorcycles at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Alabama.

Replace BMW Airhead Twin Pushrod Tube Seals

Motorcycle Classics’ editors show you how to replace pushrod tube seals on BMW /5, /6 and /7 airhead twins.

Silver BMW R27

Have you seen this rare silver BMW R27? 

Race to Rebuild: The BMW R90/6 Part 3

Our project 1974 BMW R90/6 may be in pieces, but we’re quickly getting traction on our build. 

Singularly Perfect: 1953 BMW R25/2

Better known for twins, the BMW R25/2 with its 250cc single carried the company to prosperity. 

1934 BMW Motorcycle

A 1934 BMW motorcycle on display with other classic bikes at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa.

2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Dale Keesecker’s Clymer-Munch Mammoth at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Bonhams to Auction Off BMW Kompressor and More at Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction

A very unique and uncommon collection of four classic racing motorcycles, including a BMW Kompressor, will be offered at Bonhams’ anticipated Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction in January 2013.

Race to Rebuild: The BMW R90/6 Part 2

After deconstructive surgery, the transformation of our 1974 BMW R90/6 starts.

Built for Speed: BMW 255 Kompressor Engine

Pertinent details about the 1939 BMW 255 Kompressor engine.

The BMW RS 255 Kompressor: Making History Going Fast

German racer Georg Meier won the 1939 Isle of Man TT — a first for a non-Brit — on this 1939 BMW RS 255 Kompressor.

Race to Rebuild: The BMW R90/6

In the beginning, there was a 1974 BMW R90/6, and it was not pretty. We aim to fix that in the Race to Rebuild.

Another BMW Motorcycle Restoration: Jon Dieman's 1976 R90/6

Jon Dieman shared photos of his BMW R90/6, bought new in 1976 and rebuilt (with a few modifications) after an unfortunate encounter with a little old lady in a Plymouth.

BMW /5 Swingarm Bearing Service

How-To: Service the swingarm bearings on a BMW /5 to correct sloppy handling.

BMW /5 Steering Head Bearing Service

We show you how to service the steering head bearings on a BMW R75/5.

Never Slow Down: AHRMA Racer Norbert Nickel

AHRMA racer Norbert Nickel: 64 years in the saddle and still going strong

The 250cc BMW R27

Best bets on tomorrow’s classics: 250cc BMW R27

Clarence’s R90/6 BMW

A reader describes the time he bought his 1976 R90/6 BMW and why he names the bike after its original owner.

The Motorcycle Classics/Dairyland Cycle Custom BMW

Motorcycle Classics has teamed up with Dairyland Cycle to build a Custom BMW Cafe, and when we're done, you could win it.

Found on eBay: 1974 BMW R90S

As much as we admire people who spend the time and the money to fully restore an old motorcycle, bikes like this 1974 BMW R90S remind us that they're only original once.  

Touring on a 1983 BMW R100RS

Who tours on old – read Classic – bikes these days? I may be a salmon swimming against the motorcycling stream, as my wife and I ride a 28-year-old 1983 BMW R100RS. We bought the bike as newlyweds, kept it when the kids were growing up, and have just kept riding it as it is now a member of the family. Admittedly it is fairly well cared for, and has somewhat low miles at around 88,000. We still like it, so we’ve kept it, maintained it, and ride it! Fact of the matter is, it’s only been in the last four years that we have ventured over 300 miles from home. We are making up for lost time!  

Record-setting 1955 BMW R50 Sidecar Rig at Bonneville: The Great White Dyno

Vintage BMWs can be made much better than new in so many ways and still retain the exact same appearance externally. A vintage BMW that accelerates harder, stops better, has better road holding, 12-volt electronic digitally controlled ignition and 150-watt alternator to power real lights AND an electric vest to keep you warm on those brisk fall and spring rides! And the only external indicator that all these attributes are hidden inside waiting for you is the 12-volt battery. What's NOT to like?! So what has this got to do with racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats? A Lot!

Christian Fisher's 1973 BMW R75 /5

Christian Fisher discusses owning and riding his 1973 BMW R75 /5.

1939 BMW R12

1939 BMW R12 on display at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa.

George Paley's 1975 BMW R90/6

George Paley discusess the experience of owning and riding a 1975 BMW R90/6.

High-Mileage Classics: 230,000-mile 1981 BMW R80/7

Derek Pugh's 1981 BMW R80/7 has logged more than 230,000 miles over the course of a rough life.

The BMW /2 Series

Bavaria's Best? Many consider the BMW Slash 2 one of Germany's best motorcycles.

A Very Special 1958 BMW R50

A very special 1958 BMW R50 receives a very special restoration.

Book Review: BMW /2 Restoration Guide

BMW /2 Motorcycle Restoration and Service Manual covers BMW’s air-cooled twins from the 1955-1969 era.

Pat Burch's 1976 BMW R90S

Pat Burch loves her 1976 BMW R90S, which she has ridden almost 20,000 miles since purchasing it in 1996.

Found on eBay: 1970 BMW R75/5

Wandering through eBay this week has presented me with an unusual dilemma: To share, or not to share? The answer is obvious, but if this well-kept BMW R75/5 doesn't wind up in good hands, I just know I'll regret it. Despite the urge to feature another bike and do my best to pick up this bike for myself, we present the pick of the week, a lovely 1970 BMW R75/5 that appears to be in great original condition.  

A Year of Classic Motorcycle Restoration

James Alaimo recaps his classic motorcycle restoration projects from 2010. 

Found on eBay: Custom 1975 BMW R90S

One of the coolest bikes on eBay this week is this highly customized 1975 BMW R90S. Complete with a front fairing from a Ducati 900SS, Tarozzi clip-ons and rearsets, VDO gauges and more, this is one custom job we'd be proud to own.

Found on eBay: 1976 BMW R90S

Have you always wanted a R90S but couldn’t stomach dropping serious money on one? Or have you always wanted an R90S to really ride and tour on, not one to polish and only pull out when the weather is right? Then this may be the R90S for you.

The BMW R60 /5

The BMW R60 /5 represented a revolution in BMW motorcycle design.

Found on eBay: 1964 BMW R60/2

We'll admit it right up front: We're suckers for Airhead BMWs of all ages and sizes. And while the /5 models (i.e. the R50/5, R60/5 and  R75/5) are some of our favorites, a nice /2 can be even harder to pass up. This week this gorgeous Dover White R60/2, complete with period saddlebags, has grabbed our attention and just won't let go.

1976 BMW R75/6

A 1976 BMW R75/6 with an attitude.

1976 BMW R90S

Riding the first-ever Superbike winner, Steve McLaughlin’s 1976 BMW R90S.

New Beemer Bible from Ian Falloon: BMW Boxer Twins

If you’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to classic motorcycles for any length of time, particularly classic European motorcycles, you’ve probably come across some of the books written by Ian Falloon. An internationally recognized authority on motorcycles, Falloon writes for magazines around the world. Although he trained at one time to be a symphony oboist, that career was derailed following a motorcycle accident. Rough for him, but good for the rest of us, who have benefitted greatly over the years from his change in career. 

Ten Days With a 1973 BMW R75 /5

Thanks to their durability, dependability, and smooth handling, people are rediscovering the BMW R75 /5 series.

Boxer Twins: BMW /5 Air-Cooled Motorcycles

Here's a must-have reference guide for people who love the BMW /5-series of air-cooled motorcycles.

Found on eBay: 1973 BMW R75/5 Toaster

As summer begins to wind down a bit, our thoughts begin to change from week-long tours to perfect Sunday cruises. Several of us around here have had the chance to live with and enjoy BMW R75/5s over the years, and though they made and sold plenty of them in the U.S., prices seem to be rising steadily, making now the time to get your hands on one before they're all tucked away.


The high-speed BMW R90S set the motorcycle industry on its head.

Peter Nettesheim and His Classic BMW Motorcycles

Meet the American who is devoting himself to the restoration of classic BMW motorcycles. Originally published as "Peter Nettesheim and Classic BMW Motorcycles" in the January/February 2007 issue of Motorcycle Classics Magazine.

1973 BMW R60 /5 Special

Josh Withers always loved BMW’s Toaster-style tanks, and who doesn’t love the café look? To fulfill his love of both, he built an R60/5 special perfect for ripping around the streets of Los Angeles.

Found on eBay: 1977 BMW R100RS

We've always thought that the R100RS is one of BMW's most appealing designs, and it's definately one that always gets our attention.

Found on eBay: 1960 BMW R60/2

This week's eBay highlight is a neat one. We're big fans of old airhead BMW's around here, and though we see a lot of them online, it's pretty unusual to see one with this many cool period accessories on it. This 1960 BMW R60/2 looks to be in great running shape and has a sweet Avon fairing, Buco bags and more.

Book Review: BMW GS Adventure Motorcycle

Written by a pair of dyed-in-the-wool BMW GS fans, BMW GS Adventure Motorcycle is an unabashed celebration of the brand and the model.

The BMW K1

When BMW introduced the radical sport-touring 4-cylinder BMW K1 in 1988, the Bavarian firm was already under attack from BMW traditionalists.

10 Days with a 1975 BMW R90 /6

As the largest of BMW’s new line of Slash-Six models introduced for the 1974 model year, the BMW R90/6 plugged an important hole in the famed Bavarian company’s line-up.

Found on eBay: 1976 BMW R90/6

This week's cruise through eBay resulted in a few finds that got us a little hot under the collar. First there was a little 250cc MV Agusta we could see ourselves riding in the next Giro. Then there was 1964 Honda CB77 Superhawk bobber that caught our eye as something delightfully different. But in the end, we settled on a bike that's not flashy, not particulary fast and one that appears to be very near stock. Yes, it's a 1976 BMW R90/6.

Owning and Collecting Classic BMW Motorcycles

Keeping any classic motorcycle on the road is a combination of who you know and what you know, and this is especially true in the classic BMW motorcycle market.  

Rally Rambles

Looking back, high summer equates to rally season. Whether you ride a Vespa or a Ducati, there will be a rally somewhere for your chosen mark. With all of this in mind, and the hopes of finding some riding pants that fit, we (my trust R80G/S and I) pointed south in mid July for the BMWMOA National rally in Vermont.   

Bonham’s Announces The Quail Motocycle Gathering

In the wake of the postponement of the 4th Annual Legend of the Motorcycle Concours d’Elegance, Bonham’s, which has held a very successful, high-profile auction at LOM for the past three years, has announced The Quail Motorcycle Gathering classic motorcycle auction to fill the void created by the cancellation of this year’s Legend show at Half Moon Bay, Calif.

Ride into history with the AMA

Going to Vintage Motorcycle Days in Lexington, Ohio this summer? Want to be involved in what's sure to be one of the neatest events we've heard of in awhile? Read on, and see if you've got the right bike to take part in a special celebration that the AMA is planning to celebrate its 85th Anniversary.

Is Newer Better?

Subconsciously, I have been arguing with myself for some time in an attempt to justify the purchase of a newer machine. After all, my ‘new’ bike is now 25 years old. Neither of my bikes is speedy, and many things need adjusting – frequently. 

The Bike That Fits (aka my BMW R60)

Like changing clothes to suit the season, my bikes take on new persona to match the changing times – but the bottom line always remains the same. Satisfying and safe riding on a compliant and willing machine - wherever the road might take me. 

Sidecars and Dogs

I like sidecars. They are unwieldy, awkward, off-centre, totally unique, and loads of fun! For years I had harboured a half-formed and totally un-researched notion that involved a sidecar rig, a long trip and my German Shepherd dog. This idea gradually took on a life of its own, not-withstanding the minor problems of not owning a sidecar rig and never having driven one!   

Mechanical Hypochondriac

All of my life I have been in the lucky position of assuming that good health is the normal state, and that anything less is an aberration that will soon pass.

First Restoration

There never was any concrete plan to restore or resurrect abandoned and abused air-heads, but somehow for the past six years, my garage has become a winter workshop. Let me hastily add that I make no claims to being a mechanic. I just can’t stand the sight of an otherwise lovely old boxer resting derelict under a pile of accumulated debris. It must be rescued!

Bikes and Blogging

Before we started this whole blogging/e-newsletter business, we figured it’d be fun and easy. Fun it is, and assuming you don’t have a gazillion other things to do, sure, it’s easy. Ahh, but there’s the kicker, because with everything else going on around here, it seems I can barely stay one step ahead of our publishing deadline, let alone stay on top of a blog. I needed relief: Enter the newest member of the Motorcycle Classics blogging family, Alison Green.

Found on eBay: 1978 BMW R100RS Motorsport Edition

If you've ever loved the sleek lines of BMW's great R100RS, you won't need much encouragement from us to get on eBay now and check out this bike.

Found On eBay: 1975 BMW R90S

One of the most loved BMW’s of all time, the R90S, with its signature half fairing, is a great classic bike to own and ride today: So great, in fact, that it was the bike we here at Motorcycle Classics featured on the cover of our Premiere Issue in the fall of 2005.

Found on eBay: 1966 BMW R60/2

When it comes to classic bikes, everyone has their preferences. Some like 'em loud and obnoxious, others quick and stealthy, and some just like the ones that work really, really well. The latter crowd is often drawn to BMW's due to their understated yet solid design, and if you've ever had a chance to ride a BMW from the Fifties or Sixties, it is likely an experience you'll remember for quite awhile. 

1977 BMW R100RS

In an era of increasingly sophisticated touring machines, the 1977 BMW R100RS was the best-dressed of them all.


BMW’s GS series, including the BMW R100GS, created the adventure/touring sportbike


Dubbed a "flashbike" when it was introduced, the BMW R65LS featured an out-of-this-world design on a sport/touring bike

Classic BMW Motorcycle Resources

A list of parts suppliers and resources for classic BMW motorcycles.

Dennis Gage on Two Wheels

Dennis Gage, the handlebar-mustachioed host of Speed TV's My Classic Car, has been lighting the old car world on fire with his passionate discourse on classic cars and the classic car scene for the past ten years. But these days, classic bikes are what really "move" Gage.


Desirable and rare, the BMW R69 US was built to be ridden.

John Penton's record breaking BMW ride

John Penton's record breaking BMW ride

The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

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