BMW introduced its first post-war twin-cylinder model in 1949; this was the R51/2, which was based, as its designation suggests, on the pre-war R51. For the next few years BMW concentrated on refining what were essentially pre-war designs, but by 1955 was ready with a brace of new machines: the R50 and R69. Of (nominally) 500cc and 600cc respectively, the newcomers inherited the updated, flat-twin engine introduced on the R51/3 a few years previously. This heavily revised power unit was deployed in all-new cycle parts, the most notable departures from preceding practice being the Earles-type, leading-link front fork, and swinging-arm rear suspension enclosing the driveshaft in the right leg: developments first seen on the works racers.
A luxury tourer capable of over 100mph, the R69 cost as much as a small family car and sold to discerning enthusiasts for whom expense mattered little when set against the excellence of BMW engineering. The R50 and R69 were produced until the arrival of the slightly more powerful ‘S’ versions for 1961. The larger of these, the R69S, produced 42bhp and was good for a top speed of around 110mph. ‘Luxury roadster with superb high-speed performance yet docile traffic manners; magnificent steering, roadholding and brakes,’ was Motor Cycle magazine’s verdict.
This beautiful BMW R69S was purchased in Germany in November 2012 from E Thiesen KG of Hamburg (bill of sale available). In restored condition and painted black at time of purchase, the BMW was then refinished in Chamonix White by S Meyer GmbH of Hillesheim, Germany (bills on file). The machine has been serviced and MoT’d annually since acquisition, the last service being carried out in June 2017, while the most recent MoT certificate expired on 26th February 2018. Additional documentation includes the current V5C Registration Certificate, old German registration papers, DVLA correspondence, VMCC dating certificate, and sundry service bills.
Report by bonhams.com