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Written by BMWVMCA NEWS   
Monday, 09 April 2012

      My name is Alan Meyer and I live in Burlington, Wisconsin.


     I am new to the vintage BMW arena and I am a new member of the BMW VMCA.  I wanted to thank you for all the great information posted on your site and let you know how incredibly valuable the BMW VMCA clubs’ “Orphan List” site is.


     I recently completed a restoration on a 1955 Chris Craft and was looking for a new winter project. I decided to work on a restoration of an old motorcycle.  I have almost always had motorcycles but they were mostly of the Milwaukee Wisconsin brand. I wanted something different, something with more “panache”. I chose to look for an older BMW that I could restore.  


     During my research, I came across many fine websites with great information. I include the BMW VMCA website as one that provided some great information, particularly the information provided on the Orphan List. The experience I gained while working on my Chris Craft told me that having the original motor that came with the boat mattered.


     Looking for a project, I sometimes came across some really nice machines for sale on eBay, Craigslist or other sources with non matching engine and frame numbers.  I checked the orphan list several times while considering them.  I had diligently checked the list when a non-matching machine would come up. I never came close with a match. I was pretty sure that it would be like winning the lottery to find a match.


     I recently purchased a couple of neat projects from a gentleman in Alabama. The first was a matching numbers, 1955 BMW R69 basket case and the other a 1963 BMW R69S rolling chassis without an engine. Since the engine was missing, the Earles Fork front brace was moved to provide clearance for a more modern engine.


     When I purchased the R69S, I was told that the bike had come from Colorado and the bike had “gone through several engines” during it’s life before coming to rest in Alabama. I was told there was “no chance of locating the worn out, busted engine”. I didn’t bother to check the orphan list because of my fruitless past searches and my belief that it was near impossible to match an engine with its counterpart frame.


     After returning to Wisconsin and sorting through the parts, I began to focus on the 1955 project.  I was searching through all the websites that I had bookmarked during my frequent web visits and came across the BMW VMCA Orphan list. I perused the list again; never thinking my engine case would be there. Imagine my shock to see a match! In disbelief, I checked again. Then I looked at the bill of sale. Yup, it was a match. Then I looked at the bike and sure enough, I had a match. I sent an email to the contact and waited.  Within a few hours I was talking to the contact person and I was told he would get back to me after checking if it was still available.


     I was soon told that the case was available and a deal was struck to reunite the engine case with its original frame. I would like to thank Duck Koch, owner of Vintage Motors LLC in Guyton, Georgia and Nathan Mende who owns Boxerworks-Service in Watkinsville, Georgia for their invaluable help in re-uniting this machine. These two gents believed in the impossible. A matching frame and engine BMW will be restored to life.  That is only possible because of the BMW VMCA provides the Orphan List website.

  Hi Alan,     

     Thank you for sharing your success story with us. We came up with the idea when I had located a matching engine that came out of a rolling chassis (a 1938 BMW R66) after a twenty year search. When we founded the VMCA, it made sense to create a voluntary list of mis-matched frames and engines. Since year 2004 the list has grown considerably and continues to grow.

      The list also reflects our belief that even the most derelict matching numbers bike should not be parted out for the purpose of profit, which money would soon disappear anyway.     

    Thank you for your kind words about the VMCA.                                  ED

 R26 Transmission 

     In the latest issue of BMW VMCA News you mentioned the charging system of the R27. I have made several adapter plates to use the stator from a /7. The sealing lip of the rotor must be removed and a diode board/regulator have to be fabricated. I used two bridge rectifiers and a BMW regulator, both mounted under the tank. Kevin used the diode/regulator from a car alternator (the type that does not use an external regulator), he mounted his in the air box.


     We also changed the gears in the transmission with a set from a /2. It is my understanding the /2 ‘sidecar’ transmission uses the same ratios as the R27. Changing the gears is no more difficult than rebuilding a transmission. The input and output shafts of the R27 are reused, the /2 cluster is used and the gears on the /2 output shaft are installed on the output shaft of the R27. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ratios will be higher but 4th gear will remain the same. The R27 will be much more rideable with a ‘close ratio’ gear box. Kevin now has a sidecar on his R27 which he takes everywhere; I don’t think the boy is quite right, please slow down for him.


     If someone is interested in an adaptor plate Clanton Austell in Columbia S.C. has been able to supply them in the past. He needs to know if a /5 stator or a /6 /7 stator will be used.


     Thanks for all the good information in the mag.

 Ed Miller

 Hi Ed,

      I tried /2 gears in an R26 transmission. It is my experience that these gears in no way make the bike more rideable, rather just the opposite. That was with using a hopped up R26 engine.

      Those ratios are fine for the more torquey R50, but are too tall for any of the singles.                   ED  

     Richard - I am looking for a serviceable R25 driveshaft. Any chance you have one? And are we going to see you and Daniel at Bonneville this year? Sure hope so. I spoke w/ Daniel some months ago and he indicated that he might be able to make it. We have started the construction of an ‘R25S’ and a sidecar for it to haul around. It will definitely be at the salt this August!


     You can read a little about it on our racing blog, and we have posted a couple of photos over the last few days. Doesn't look like much yet...but we'll see.


     I can generate another article about it if you think it may be of interest. Let me know. THX

 Kevin Brooks

      Thanks for your message.  The newsletters went out yesterday. Sent you a sheaf of them for your disposal.

       Yes, please write something up about your R25S project. Please include any technical secrets you are prepared to reveal.

      Don't know about Bonneville this year.

      Note: Anyone out there who has a spare R25 drive shaft, please contact our Director, Kevin Brooks. See P15        ED  

     Richard - Got the Latest Issue yesterday and it really looks great. I think the magazine is an essential component of the clubs viability, especially in the ‘off season’ (dead of Winter) as it keeps us in touch with our hobby when we cannot ride, and helps us to look forward to the coming Spring and the new rides and gatherings of Vintage bikes.

      I for one am certainly ready for some warmer weather and a day or two of riding in the sunshine!

Any luck on finding me a drive-shaft?

 K. Brooks 

     It seems Kevin sent the photo above right to remind us of winter.       ED  


‘Dead of Winter’ Photo sent in by Kevin Brooks (This does not look like Seattle!)


     I would like to pay for membership for this fellow. He runs a small BMW repair shop on the Alabama Georgia Line. He could benefit greatly from the articles in the BMW VMCA News. He, his wife and daughter (who was born on the tour) traveled the globe for eight years, earning their income from mechanic and carpentry jobs.


     They travelled in their R80GS and home made sidecar.


     Also (enclosed) $25.00 contribution to the club, small token of appreciation.


     Thank you for your service to the old BMW community.


John Harper


      Thank you for your generosity and continued interest in the VMCA and the vintage BMW community.    Richard


     Dave Kaechele and Glenn Cannard are hosting the 2012 BMW Campout August 17-19.


     Camping will be in Loop B, Friday and Saturday. There are hot showers, rest rooms and fire pits. A small fee is charged for entering the park. RV sites and cabins can be reserved on the State Park website. Ice Chest available. Participants to bring their own drinks and food items.


     Also, there will be a vintage motorcycle ride on Saturday on the roads near the park.


     Please RSVP if you are camping to Steve and Jan Prokop of Steve’s Bavarian Motorcycle are hosting the annual Vintage Motorcycle Show, which  will be on Sunday, August 19, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot of the Newell House outside Champoeg State Heritage Park on the south side of the park entrance. The park is situated on the south bank of the Willamette River in the Willamette Valley north of Salem, Oregon. There is no fee at the Newell House.


     Steve and Jan Prokop of Steve’s Bavarian will have all their customers there so will expect 120-130 BMW's plus newer ones ridden to the show . If you can get together a ticket, come on out. We can host you if your son has moved on. It is real nice July-September with almost no rain. Don't let others know that though, we need the gloomy and rainy reputation.

 Dave Kaechele 

Axles Revisited

Richard at Hard Chrome said thanks for the business, he had 6 axles going last week. 

        In the last issue we mentioned finding a chrome plater who understood how to refinish an old BMW axle. Since that issue, a pair of axles came back from them.  See photo. 

      Some of the information in the previous article was incorrect.

      The fee for completely stripping, re-chroming and grinding and axle is $90.00. Because most of our axles do not require any work in the area where the bearings rest, the fee for finishing the exposed areas is $55.00

      Note: Originally, these axles were never chrome plated at the threaded end, not even the very end. That latter part was coated with aluminum paint. The washer and nut was cadmium plated, never chrome.

      The next correction is Hard Chrome is not set up to accept credit cards.  ED

 Hardchrome, Inc.

1152 NW Commerce Ct,

Estacada, OR 97023


 Tool Loan Rules 

1).  Membership is required.


2). We have to have the tool you need in our inventory.


3). You are responsible for return postage, loss and or damage.


4).  Upon your request, we will mail the tool out the same day, unless it is already out on loan.


5).  Your timely return of the tool, much like you would return a book from your local library. (Insert funds in the amount it took to get the tool to you as shown in postage on the box, either cash or check, in an envelope, tucked inside the return package).


     Reimbursing us for the cost of postage seems to be the most overlooked part of this process. Please remember to double check the return package.

Last Updated ( Friday, 25 January 2013 )
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