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Written by BMWVMCA NEWS   
Saturday, 25 June 2011


     Novice question, which most of my questions will probably be, hope you don't mind. In regards to getting my bike on the road, do most owners tag their bikes with standard motorcycle tags, or do they go with Antique or Classic tags? I just joined your club last October at Barber Vintage DaysI just received my first news letter. I am glad to see you folks are promoting the vintage BMW scene. 




Tony Testa

       Not having taken a survey, I cannot answer your question directly.

      Not sure of Pennsylvania law. In Ohio and many other States, the antique and in some States Vintage or Antique (owner has a choice) tags are restricted to specific use such as riding to and from meets and events, parades, and so forth. Times generally not allowed, and owners report instances of being fined for riding up to their local tavern, going to Aunt Minnie's for dinner, and in general, riding for their personal use.

       Some of my bikes have Antique tags, because they are good for fifty years in Ohio, and they are cheap. Those are the bikes I would take to vintage meets and ride for the assigned purposes mentioned. The others are tagged annually and used they way any modern bike would be.  I could probably risk misuse of antique tags, but then what message would I be sending to my grandsons, my friends? He's willing to cheat the State and therefore the taxpayer, which is me.

       If you have only one vintage bike, you might be better off with everyday use tags that you renew once a year. They are certainly cheaper than the fine you'd risk getting.

 Hope this helps,


 Recent Obits 

     I much enjoyed your article about Karl Duffner. I have seen Karl at many motorcycle events over the years, usually on his awesome R90S or his R68. I always wondered who was that interesting guy with Roy Orbinson style black hair, I only said a glancing hello to him because I didn't know him. It's nice to be remembered in an obituary as Karl Duffner and Harry Buck were and I guess as we get older we will be reading more obituaries about people we knew.


      It would be even better to learn about fellow enthusiasts and assorted odd balls that are still among the breathing, that way when we run into one of them at a rally we will be more inclined to say hello. Keep up the good work and please more articles about the people with whom we share this passion for old iron.


Best Regards,


John Landstrom

 Seeking Old Ride

     I have a 2006 K1200LT.  My dream is to own a vintage BMW.   I have joined your organization so that I may learn as much as I can about this fine hobby.  I purchased as many back issues of the News Letter as were available, read them all cover to cover and now I’m in the process of reading the missing issues online.  I know of no other organization that allows full access to their publication like that so you wouldn’t even have to buy the hard copies. What a wonderful club. Everyone is so friendly and willing to help new enthusiasts.  That is what it takes to keep things moving and growing. Makes me proud to share in this group of friends.


     Compared to most of you, I haven’t been in motorad all that long.  I did start early, when I was 14, dad cosigned a note so I could purchase a Lambertta scooter that I ran through the mill.  It was shaft drive too and I was always twisting one into two pieces.  I actually got real handy at replacing them.  Then girls and cars took over my life as well as the USAF. Then a family.  Fast forward to 2006... I found this LT with only 1241 miles on it.  This has been a fine ride but there has been something lacking.  I want to go back to before I started.  I’m now looking at a 1951 R51/3 that I feel I will be proud to own and ride.  I couldn’t own a bike that just had to set on the living room coffee table, not that my wife would let me, but I want function. I just felt the need to write and let ya all know what a great club you have and I hope to meet you at Bench Mark’s rally in April.  I will be the one on the nonvintage BMW.


Don Meller


 Enid, OK

 Note: Don submitted the article on pages 6-7 ‘So You Want To Buy an Old Bike’ ED 

Palo Alto: Better Late Than Never 



     I hope that I have your email right?? Well, I wanted to make contact with you about a speedometer that I have on my shelf from you. This is one you returned to me some time ago, to have the JSGUS script silk screened on the inlay ring. From your posts which I have read, I am sure that you do not want to hear from me, but I would like to make this last one right. I have the inlay ring rescreened, and can install it next week.


     It is hard to explain why we had so much trouble with so many speedometers for you. I realize that you have had many bad experiences with us, and for this apologize. We have been at this for a long time, and take great pride in our work. We have repaired hundreds of BMW speedometers, and have made many BMW riders very happy. Hopefully we can some day have the opportunity to do work for you again.


      I will try to follow up with a phone call with you to get this speedometer returned to you.

Hartmut C. Mees

Palo Alto Speedometer, Inc.

718 Emerson Street

Palo Alto, CA 94301

      Some of you might be scratching your heads wondering what this is about.

      Sometime in mid to late 2002 I sent a rugged looking ISGUS speedometer (off an R69) to Palo Alto for a full rebuild/restoration. They said no problem, they could do the job including all the screen printing needed.

      Two months and $350.00 later, the speedometer arrived back here looking as it came from the factory, except the name ISGUS was missing. I let this matter go until later.

      The bike was not yet complete, so the speedometer sat on the shelf for close to a year, after which the bike was finished and ready to test ride.

      The speedometer lasted a little over 80 miles before it self destructed. Irritated, I sent it back along with copies of the paperwork from PA.

      Several days later, I phoned and spoke with Mr. Mees, who told me the speedometer was no longer in warranty.

      I tried to show him that it had only 80 odd miles on it. Certainly, it should last longer than that?     Sorry, he said, it was out of warranty.

      ‘Well, how about the name ISGUS you promised to screen onto the ring and never have?’

      ‘Of course,’ he said, (he) ‘would get right on it.’ 

      That was eight years ago and a half dozen unanswered e-mail messages inquiring about where the speedometer was. Prior to this PA rebuilt several VDO speedometers for me. Three out of five had to be sent back after less than two hundred miles for service. One of those three had to be returned three times.

       Lending closure to a painful experience is a good thing.


 Faulty Seal Revisited 

     After the recent purchase of a Huggett seal and gasket kit I have found the rear main seal to be problematic. After discussions with some other restorers and engine builders I was informed that the garbling, squealing sound being emitted was the rear seal. As the sound was one I have never heard from a pre 70's twin I was open to this opinion and promptly replaced the seal with a different Viton version. The result was not more objectionable noise.


     When I asked Vech about it he did say that the seal included in the Gasket Seal Kit is problematic and has been known to make such noise. When I further asked him why he did not inform buyers he said that Huggett would not alter the kit. Continuing to supply the seal that he is having made. Saying that the noise may eventually go away, but could reoccur under certain conditions. I find this answer unacceptable. As I and others have fallen victim to this faulty seal I would like to see an article about this problem in the News.


     If one has already appeared and I have overlooked it please do a follow up. Some trying to search out this problem may not discover the seal as a problem until they have gone thru more than one engine removal. I being somewhat knowledgeable of the sounds that most failures sound like and this being different made me quite willing to accept the info from Todd (Rasmussen) that this could be the problem and that it had been going on since this seal became available, he mentioned that you were also aware of the situation.


     In short, a lot of additional work and worry that could have been avoided over a faulty seal.




John Swift


 From Mark Huggett: Reprinted from V6N3

      The material Silicon and the LH helix were specified by both BMW and the suppliers Goetze and KACO due to the application, namely: The material of the flywheel seal flange {C45V75}; the finish of the sealing surface Rz2,5÷4µ; Oil temperature ÷150°C; Revolutions 7500 1/min; Rotating speed 20,4 m/secNegative pressure in motor case ÷600mm (water manometer)

      Field trials and tests from BMW and their oil seal suppliers came to the conclusion that the material specifications and LH helix are necessary requirements in this application.

      The only down side of the helix is its tendency to "sing" when it is cold and dry. As you all know, oil or any other liquid or lubricant does not adhere to silicon. When the motor is in operation, reaches operating temperature and the oil seal receives sufficient oil splash, the singing tends to go away.

      As Mark Huggett GmbH is the supplier of gasket sets to BMW Classic we produce and pack our gasket sets according to BMW specification. As both KACO and Goetze no longer produce these seals, we had to have this seal produced under our own brand name with an OEM producer.

      Our 11 11 0 001 122 therefore sings just as much as the Goetze or the KACO seal ring used to.

      Due to popular request by the market, we also produce the identical oil seal in Viton and sell it under the number 11 11 0 001 122.1. Naturally, Viton does not tend to run dry like silicon.

 Mark Huggett 

     I read Mark's reply and have only one question to ask. Why has this same symptom not occurred in previous engines using the seals supplied from BMW? Or is it I have just been lucky to have avoided this time and time again?


     Thanks for the info and I am sorry to have overlooked or forgotten the info already published. I do think it is a good idea to pass info like this on again from time to time if only to refresh the memory or let new members you have not yet read it know.


     I still think that a disclaimer or notice of some kind should be offered by the seller or supplier. At least one could then have a choice about using it.



John Swift

 Maxton in May:  Rebecca Bernack

     We are traveling back from Maxton and thought you might like a recap.


     The bike ran GREAT except for the times Dan messed with it. Hhahha! I broke the 72.085 record on the first run at 75.518. We switched riders and classes and Dan took a 0 standing production modified partial streamline class with 72.472. After his two runs I got back on and ran another 8 times cynching the record with 77.394. We saw no rain while the track was open, but the skies decided to open up in the evening.


     It was a light weekend. Only about 50 pre-registered riders/drivers which was much less by Sunday. Dan started the day with two runs and handed over the reins about noon (course didn't open until 10 because the fire truck was late to arrive). Dan didn't speed beyond 71.


     It was happening pretty fast between noon and 1:15 when he politely hinted I stop. I think I got in 5 runs; one of which inched me up to 77.588!


     For sure the green bike will be able to top 80 in October, something I'm already excited about!  Lotsa fun!


PS: Looks like the 2012 season will take place in Wilmington OH! We fully expect to have spectators or better yet, competition!


 See Page 13, V6N3 for related story.


Internet Traffic:  Wanted - R26 or R27

 Note: We install copies of these transmissions in the News because they shed light on some of the thinking in our community.  ED 

“Looking for a great bike here in California, something for a girl to ride. I think the R50/60`s are a little big. So a nicely restored R26/27 would work well. Need something very soon.”


 (Tony BSA)


     “We have been through this before. Don't bother with a single. Get a twin.”


 (Duane Ausherman)


     “Its not for me, its for a girl and its her first bike. Don`t you think a twin would a bit much to handle ?”


 (Tony BSA) 


     “How tall is she? What is her inseam length? How much does she weigh? Has she any experience with riding a motorcycle?”


 (Duane Ausherman)


     “5`9`` 135 lbs and she has only ridden Vespas, a BMW R60/R69S is quite a jump, especially here in LA. People can`t drive and give bikes no respect.”


 (Tony BSA)


     “Where one lives makes quite a difference. So does one's level of self confidence. My wife's first bike was an R25/3. She learned how to ride an R27 in a school parking lot on weekends. Soon after she took the State Motorcyclist Safety course. We live in rural NW Ohio where she now alternately rides her 25/3 and an R68. Experience also counts: Bob Zronek on an R69S and I on an R68 tried to follow Dave Percival on his R27 through Maine rural roads last summer. Dave rode the legs off both of us. There's a fellow living in Florida who rides his single (R26 or 27) to the MOA National meet every year. He'll probably be at Sturgis, MS next week. The singles, especially the R27 are fine machines and should not be sold short. Riding where the traffic is dense and the matter between the ears of the motorists even denser is dangerous on any bike.”




     “The fellow's name is Tom High and he has a BMW motorbike repair business just outside Daytona. I sat next to Tom during the awards presentation at the MOA National in Burlington, VT some years ago. Tom did indeed ride his R27 all the way from Daytona to Burlington, VT and back with just a few minor problems. I had to smile when he was telling me about his adventures. He also owns and rides an R68 and an R100RS with almost a million miles on the clock. An interesting guy who is very lucky to have survived a head on collision some years ago, as a cage driver crossed the center line on a very foggy day/ I try to recall the details.


     Karl Duffner liked visiting with Tom during Bike Week and always tried to give him some business. I think he enjoyed sharing stories more than anything.”


 (Todd Trumbore)

 Thanks!  Elaine and Vech 

     I just wanted to thank you for opening up your home and workplace for the Open House at Bench Mark Works. The attendee numbers were down possibly because of the weather but (speaking for ALL attendees) we had a great time.


     The hospitality and friendship grows each and every year. This is the one rally (open house) I look forward to for the whole year. A special thanks to Diane, Richard and David for putting in all those extra hours and dealing with people asking where tools, parts and whatever else might be.


Thanks so much,


Dave Strauss 



     Well, thank YOU GUYS for lending a hand before and during the rally/open house.


     And Dave, thank YOU for the gift of Mr. Jacob Daniels. I have not cracked the bottle open, but I will one of these days.


     We had only 85 attendees. Completely understandable, considering the 3+ inches of rain on Friday.


     Mark Huggett, (who got married at our rally last year) insisted that I go down and buy Champagne for the awards ceremony.  So I did. I bought all they had at the booze store, of one brand... And, the crowd managed to drink it all. :-)


     The BMW factory films from the 1950's and the R75M film I put on the big screen TV went over well also.


     The tech seminar went well. So did the mass ride to eat on Saturday.


     And everyone seemed to enjoy the swap meet, digging through the used parts.


     Thanks again to everyone who helped us out.   




Last Updated ( Friday, 25 January 2013 )
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