BMW 1961 R50S 494cc 2cyl OHV 3406



BMW 1961 R 50S 494 cc transverse OHV twin frame & engine # 564812
Bayerische Motoren-Werke is known in English as the Bavarian Motor Works, or more simply as BMW. The firm launched its first horizontally opposed twin in 1923 and has stood by this style of engine layout ever since. The opposed design offers riders buttery smooth performance as the engine has inherently good balance. In 1955 BMW created its R50, R60, and R69 models. These new models had a similar engine and the same shaft-drive as earlier models, but were fitted with modern swinging fork rear suspension for the first time. The telescopic forks at the front of earlier models were abandoned though, in favour of the swinging or “Earles Fork” system. In 1960 the twin range was revised as the “/2”, with quite a few improvements, most of them inside the engine. The Sports model R69 was taken out of production and two new Sports models appeared: the 500 cc R50S and the 600 cc R69S. The R69S delivered 42 hp @ 7000 rpm and its smaller brother 35 hp @ 7650 rpm.
The standard R50 had a 6.8:1 compression ratio, that was upped to 9.2:1 for the S type; also various transmission ratios were changed to reach the higher top speed. A notable external feature was that the cylinder heads had only two ribs while the standard R50 had six.
Although the R50S was good for 160 km/h, many customers chose for the more expensive but faster (175 km/h) R69s. From this model 11,317 machines were sold between 1960 and 1969. The R50S production was stopped in 1962 after only 1634 machines were produced, hence this model is one of the rarest postwar BMWs and much sought after by BMW collectors.
This particular machine was produced on November 23, 1961 and despatched to Dutch importer Hart Nibbrig & Greeve on December 1st. History goes that an enthousiast bought the BMW from a farmer and in July 2008 she became part of the well-known Neutkens BMW collection in the south of the Netherlands. The former owner was related to Neutkens and acquired the machine after he passed away later that year. Some years later the machine was complete restored to concourse condition, some 6000 km have been covered since. This really beautiful machine proudly shows the chrome “R50S” logo on the rear mudguard. The R69S was the only other BMW with that type of model designation on the mudguard. She comes with aftermarket aluminium oil pan; this has a larger capacity, is more oiltight and gives better cooling than the standard steel item. Other features include oil temperature gauge, complete tool set and 8000 rpm VDO rev counter. With the machine comes an extensive information file with many invoices, repair and maintenance notes, BMW Classic Zertifikat, valuation report, various magazine articles, photostat copies of 1960s Dutch importer’s Service Bulletins and original manual in German. In the restoration process the carburettors, horn and oil pan were changed, these items, plus original passenger’s footrests, come with the machine.
This rare, road-registered R50S is an excellent runner and truly a sight for sore eyes!