1965 BMW R50/2
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By 1960, new investment and management had revitalized BMW and the company introduced four new motorcycles including the R50/2. Inside the air-cooled, overhead-valve, horizontally opposed 494cc twin, key components such as the crankshaft and camshaft were strengthened, hardened chrome piston rings were added, and ventilation of the crankcase and transmission was improved. With bore and stroke of 68 x 68mm and a low 7.5:1 compression ratio, engine output was 26hp at 5,800 rpm and a pair of inclined 24mm Bing carburetors managed fuel flow. Unitized construction mated the engine to the four-speed gearbox.
The BMW R50/2 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds and managed a top speed of 87 mph. Like its R60/2 and R69S siblings, it had a six-volt, 60-watt Bosch electrical system with magneto. Electric start was still a few years away for BMWs. Tank capacity was 4.5 gallons, and fuel consumption was 46 mpg. The R50/2 could also be attached to a sidecar, bringing the weight from 436 to 705 lb.
The 1965 BMW R50/2 had all the brand’s characteristic attributes: twin-loop steel frame, cylinder heads poking out into the wind, shaft drive, link-type front and rear suspensions with hydraulic dampers, and a conservative stateliness of appearance. Black with white stripes prevailed as the standard paint scheme, but buyers could be special-order any color used for BMW automobiles. Production for the 1965 BMW R50/2 numbered about 2,100 units.