The photo of the R60/2 below shows how one would have looked in stock condition when sold new originally by a BMW dealer in the United States. Note the wide dual saddle and the U.S. handlebars, with the central cross-piece. Note the 4½-gallon gas tank with a key slot in the knee pad, which opens a tool box. The greenish battery is a modern addition. Otherwise this a pretty stock slash-2.
In 1986 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Jill and I bought from its first owner Iowa, a 1967 BMW R60/2, seen below. It was manufactured by BMW in its Munich factory on September 20, 1966, and sold originally in September 1967 by Paul's Motorcycle in Council Bluffs, which is still in business but is no longer a BMW dealer. Since then, I have ridden it some, and stored it for about 15 years in our sun room. After storing it, I rolled her out one day, changed the fuel and oil, and she started on the second kick. The old BMWs never cease to amaze me.
Here, below, is a photo of Iowa, taken shortly after I brought her to Madison, Wisconsin, in 1986. Note the optional wide dual saddle, which would have come with the motorcycle originally. The chrome quarter handles on the rear of the saddle denote the wide saddle.
Below: Here is Iowa, 20 years later posed in front of Lake Monona, Madison, Wisconsin, with the State Capitol in the background. She has lost the wide dual saddle for solo saddles. She was running well and looked pretty good for a completely original R60/2.
Iowa has Craven Golden Arrow saddlebags mounted on her. Back when I got her I chromed the air cleaner housing, Today I know that to be a no-no because it covers original paint. She also had stainless exhaust pipes and mufflers I installed in the '80s also no-no.
Years ago, I decided I wanted sealed, maintenance-free 6-volt battery for my slash-2 BMWs. I found an inexpensive 6-volt sealed AGM battery, which is sold for a little over $30 through Batteries Plus. I cannot say enough positive about these batteries. I have used some for over 10 years, and every one I have ever bought is still working just fine. If you have a BMW /2 that is still 6 volts, you really should use this battery. It inserts a fuse in a fuseless BMW and uses a common 2-prong electrical connector available from Radio Shack and other sources, allowing easy charging.
Over the years I did routine work on my bike. Left, below, my friend Norm Benedum helped me replace the head bearings with tapered bearings. To the right, Iowa is on my lift for some routine maintenance.
After riding her off and on for 23 years, I decided it was time for my faithful R60/2 to get a makeover. Below you see her in my garage in Tucson, waiting for the arrival on March 10, 2009, from San Diego, of master BMW restorationist Tim Stafford, who was picking it up.
Below you see Tim preparing to ride Iowa up on to the bed of his pickup truck. The orange straps are soft ties for the tie down straps he uses.
Below Tim loads the motorcycle in the bed of his pickup truck with the aid of aluminum ramps. He then ties her down at four points, front and rear.
Tim starts by stripping any BMW on which he is working down to its basic parts. He then paints all the painted parts if it is a concours retoration which this bike was not. For a concours restoration, Tim insists that every tiny detail be correct, even down to the bolts, nuts, and ties. In the photo below, left, my bike is in the early stages of reassembly.
Below, right, the repainted rear fender and fuel tank await assembly.