Based largely on the R26, in 1960 the R27 added rubber mounts for the engine and boosted power to 18 hp (13 kW).
The R27’s 250 cc OHV vertical single was the only rubber-mounted thumper engine BMW ever produced, and was their last shaft drive single-cylinder motorcycle.
The engine developped 18 hp (13 kW), the highest ever for a shaft-drive BMW single. BMW manufactured 15,364 R27 models (engine numbers 372 001 – 387 566 ) over the production years of 1960 to 1966.
BMW did things differently from other manufacturers. This is evident in the R27. Its enclosed shaft final drive is rare for a single cylinder motorcycle. But it also had a triangulated Earles front fork (named after English designer Ernest Earles);
so the motorcycle had a front swingarm as well as a rear swingarm.
When you squeezed the front brake lever hard not only did the front end not dive, it actually rose slightly. Thus, braking was a very steady activity, though the brakes were weak by today’s standards.
The engines crankshaft was laid out fore-to-aft, not side- to-side; also a rare feature. This way, the crank and the final shaft were in line, and drive forces did not have to be run through a set of 90-degree gears. Also, the kick starter swung out sideways instead of parallel to the frame, so kick starting an R27 is a rather easy and danger-free affair.
This 1962 BMW R27 with a Steib 200LS sidecar, is a well running, older restoration.
Report by Yesterdays