Although it was predominant in the 500cc category at home, what BMW lacked in the early 1950s was a big-bore sports model able to compete with the 650cc twins offered by British rivals in its chief export market, the USA. Styled like the factory's ISDT machines, the long awaited new sportster debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Cycle Show in October 1951. This was the 594cc R68, readily distinguishable by its restyled valve covers that hinted at the engine's enhanced specification. The latter included bigger valves, needle-roller rocker bearings, high-performance camshaft and larger carburettors, all of which contributed to a maximum power output of 35bhp, good enough for a top speed in excess of 100mph. The show models' high-level exhausts were not carried over to the production R68, which featured low-level pipes equipped with 'fishtails', while for 1953 there were numerous revisions including full-width hubs, alloy wheel rims and cigar-shaped silencers. Replaced by the Earles-fork, swinging-arm suspended R50/R69 in January 1955, these final telescopic-fork, plunger-framed models represent the end of an era for BMW motorcycles, of which the high-performance R68 is the ultimate expression.
An exciting project for the dedicated BMW enthusiast, this dismantled, engine-less R68 is offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed. Prospective purchasers should satisfy themselves with regard to this motorcycle's completeness, or otherwise, prior to bidding. There are no documents with this Lot.