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BMW R60/2

BMW R60/2 1960s German classic motorcycle

The '60' in BMW R60/2 refers to the 600cc engine capacity. Coincidentally, the bike was released in 1960. It proved to be a popular addition to BMW's roster of rugged, reliable machines. The R60/2 was no athlete ... well, actually it was, but its athleticism was definitely of the long-distance kind. Heavy steering - and soft suspension - meant the bike was far from 'flickable'. But, point it at some far-flung destination, and it would get there - or die trying! Should there have been a side-car attached, so much the better, stability-wise. The R60/2 adapted well to three wheels - at a time when the motorcycle was often the sole form of family transport.

The BMW's 'boxer' flat-twin engine was the power behind such 'marathon' feats. Though not the most finely-tuned of layouts, it was strong and smooth, along with its stamina. That had been well-verified competitively. In the '30s, Ernst Henne had set speed records on streamlined, supercharged 'boxer' BMWs. Schorsch Meier was the first foreign rider to win an Isle of Man TT ... the '39 Senior, aboard a half-litre BMW. In '56, Walter Zeller was runner-up in the 500cc world championship. BMW's forte, however, was side-car racing. Between '54 and '74, they notched up 19 out of 21 world championships, in the 3-wheeled category.

The R60/2's top speed was 87mph. That, from a mere 26bhp. German engineers, though, had pared down weight to just 430lb. So, the shaft drive still gave a reasonable output return. Leading-link Earles forks improved comfort. The R60/2 was pleasantly styled - in a 'solid' sort of a way. So, while not, perhaps, a bike to set the world alight, the BMW R60/2 would travel the length and breadth of it without missing a beat!


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