BMW R50/3 “A bavarian Bobber”
If we would say that we thought it will be easier, then please believe us. Within normal circumstances, we do not have any inhibitions when it comes to structural changes of a framework. And so we did this time.
A happy coincidence let us to this order for a well-known company in the south of Germany. Obviously, it had to be a BMW, but he wanted to see it in a dress that is normally not intended for a “Bavarian”. Boxer goes Harley, could have been a brief description for the dutiesheet. All technical parts should be the finest, simple and modern. Displacement Advanced. Rear suspension – Nope. But electronic ignition etc. The framework for this project should be as old as possible, most preferably from World War II.
For weeks we studied wheelbases, axle loads and steering head angles. Finally we thought a R75 Wehrmacht has to be selected, without the sidecar naturally. At that time this was optionless for us. No doubts anymore.
Then fortunately, we found Mr. Zink, an outstanding expert on old BMWs. Roughly we briefed him about our project, and after the second beer he convinced us, to take any other ancient frame but the R75. The performance we wanted to achieve was not matching to the eight-part bolted frame, made of the lowest-quality steel of the last war years you can imagine.
During the next beer we researched together his literature and BMW pre- and post war books, the logical consequence was to buy the R50 / 3 frame he had stored on the attic.
Well it was not cheap, but who buys cheap buys twice. So let’s talk.
To cut a long story short: We had our framework. The rear suspension had to be removed, a mount for the kardan shaft drive had to be developed.
A week later we started hunting for a engine and gearbox from the late 70ies or early 80ies. Luckily we were able to buy a R75 / 7 almost next door for a reasonable price. Spoke wheels, engine, gearbox and the axle drive was what we kept. And the fork tubes.
No, we did not sum up our hours at the end. Only the 70 hours for the fork cladings made by the famous sheet metal whisperer sitting in the South of Burgenland are still in my memory….