Jeff Dean’s 1966 BMW R60/2

| 8/8/2018 1:47:00 PM

classic bmw motorcycles 

Your column on the size of motorcycles struck both classical and modern chords with me. I have ridden big BMWs for many years. My first motorcycle, acquired in 1967, was a 1966 BMW R60/2 (see photo). Years ago I rode 833-pound K1200LTs all over the United States. I still have 2015 and 2017 BMW R1200RTs, which weigh in at about 630 pounds each. I also have three 1967 R60/2s, which tip the scale to 460 pounds. They are much lighter than my big modern BMWs and I love riding them locally. Recently I was impressed with the 2018 BMW G310GS, which weighs only 373 pounds wet, nearly 300 pounds less than my RTs and 460 pounds lighter than LTs. Indeed, it would take both an R60/2 AND a G310GS together to weigh as much as one LT. The G310GS has a little bit more horsepower than my R60/2s. And it has other benefits: electric starter, soft 7-inch suspension, tubeless tires, modern ABS brakes, 12-volt electrics and an MSRP of around $6,000. All good points. I ordered one. It has chain drive and a single-cylinder engine: I can adapt.

Jeff Dean/via email

9/6/2018 8:25:12 AM

Since my name is Earl, it's a foregone conclusion that I would be impressed with anything sporting an Earle's front end. Naysayers aside, it didn't nose dive on hard braking. I worked at a tool & die shop in late '66/early '67 where a machinist owned one of these. I was totally impressed when he pulled the engine to trim excess weight off the 13# flywheel! He claimed it was oversize to accommodate side-cars and the engine accelerated much faster. It was years before I met another dude with a '64 R-60 and got to ride one. What a magnificent, classic machine, with built in, sacrificial heads that didn't need or want a crash bar! Outstanding example, above...