1951 BMW R-Series
Price: $25 000 ≈ €22962 ≈ £19686
Item location: Mooresville, North Carolina, US
This 1951 BMW R51/3 was manufactured on October 11th, 1951 and delivered the same day to BMW dealer Zeiss & Schwärzel of Mannheim, Germany, per BMW's Historical Information Service in Munich. The bike is believed to have arrived in the US during the early 1960s, and according to correspondence from a previous owner, was first placed into long-term storage in New Jersey in 1969. It changed hands once after that before being acquired by the seller as a non-running project in mid-2021. An ensuing refurbishment took over a year to complete and included repainting the bodywork in black with white pinstriping, powder-coating the frame, refreshing the fuel system, and rebuilding the 494cc opposed twin, carburetors, transmission, driveshaft, and wheels as well as replacing the seat, upper shock covers, steering neck bearings, fork seals and gaskets, brake shoes, coil, carburetor boots, throttle cables, fuel cap, and exhaust system. This R51/3 is now offered in North Carolina with repair and parts manuals, refurbishment records and photos, correspondence, removed and spare parts, a pillion seat, passenger foot pegs, a sidecar mount, a tool bag (missing tools), a BMW shop rag, a tire pump, and Vermont registration.
The bike has been refinished in black with white pinstriping over a black powder-coated frame. Features include a 4.4-gallon fuel tank with a built-in locking storage compartment and black rubber knee grips as well as a replacement black rubber Denfeld solo saddle suspended on a chrome horizontal spring. Additional equipment includes a mirror, a rebuilt horn, a luggage rack, a frame-mounted tire pump, a center stand, and a hinged rear fender that underwent straightening prior to being painted.
The headlight features a chrome guard, a replacement Bosch chrome trim ring, and a Serif-script Bosch lens. Electrics run off a replacement wiring harness that is fused and provides high-/low-beam switching capability along with rear brake light functionality.
Alloy rims were powder-coated black with silver center stripes and mounted with 3.50×19″ Heidenau K34 tires. Rebuilds of both wheels at Buchanan's Spoke & Rim of Azusa, California, included cleaning and repacking the wheel bearings, replacing the seals, and fitting stainless-steel spokes. Suspension is handled by a telescopic fork with replacement seals and crush gaskets as well as a pair of shrouded plunger shocks with replacement rubber bumpers and upper covers. Braking comes from 200mm front and rear drums with replacement shoes. Tapered head bearings have been fitted.
A chrome handlebar clamped by pullback risers and fitted with Magura grips fronts a replacement 160-km/h Veigel speedometer mounted in the headlight nacelle. The five-digit odometer shows kilometers, and true mileage is approximately 35,400 km prior to the restoration.
The 494cc opposed twin was overhauled with a replacement camshaft, lifters, bearings, and oil slingers as well as later-model valves, seats, guides, collars, and keepers. Rebuilding the crankshaft, hard chrome-plating the rear bearing journal, replacing the connecting rod bearings, and truing the crankshaft were handled by Salis Parts in the Netherlands, and the cylinders were bored one size over at Long's Custom Mechanical of Honey Brook, Pennsylvania. Barrington Motor Works in New Hampshire installed the first-oversize pistons and cylinders and set the crankshaft, flywheel, clutch, camshaft, timing gears, magneto, and generator. The coil, points, spark plugs, ignition wires, and caps were replaced while the generator and voltage regulator were cleaned. Carburetor rebuild kits were sourced from Bing Agency International out of Kansas, and the fuel petcock, hoses, and in-line filters were replaced. The bike has been displayed or stored with oil but no fuel under current ownership, and it has not been started.
Completing the drivetrain is a single-plate dry clutch with a replacement pushrod and bearing as well as a four-speed gearbox that was rebuilt at Barrington Motor Works with replacement bearings, seals, and gaskets. The chrome exposed driveshaft was re-plated and fitted with a replacement white rubber disk, drive flange, and Hardy disk at Bench Mark Works of New Milford, Connecticut.
The number 526178 stamped on the steering neck tag matches the numbers stamped on the engine case and the left-side upper shock mount. The shock-mount stamping is partially filled in by the powder-coating.
The bike is accompanied by a repair guide, an electrical system maintenance and repair guide, a special tools manual, and several parts lists as well as previous owner and BMW Motorrad Munich correspondence, refurbishment records and photos, removed and spare parts, a grab-hoop-equipped pillion seat, passenger foot pegs, a sidecar mount, a tool bag, a BMW shop rag, and a frame-mounted tire pump (it works).
The bike has been vetted and runs beautiful. It has 37 km on it currently. Due to the extensive rebuild it will require a 1st service in about 500 km. You will also be responsible for the shipping of all the parts that were saved during the restoration process that goes with the bike.
For clarification I have extensive records and receipts verifying parts and sublet costs that will be provided with the sale for documentation.
You are welcome to inspect, view and ride the bike.