I saw a “slash-2”
Granada red BMW motorcycle for the first time in 1968, when Harder's
Sales and Service, Janesville, Wisconsin (no longer a BMW dealer) had an R60US in that color for sale.
In the 1960s, BMW motorcycles could be special ordered in any color the
BMW cars were painted. Granada red was one such color. I could not
afford that BMW in 1968, but I remembered it and wanted to obtain one of
my own eventially.
Below and above you see Scarlett with Craven Golden Arrow saddlebags, painted to match. The photo below was taken in Madison, Wisconsin, with Lake Monona and the state capitol behind Scarlett.
In January 2006, I met Tim Stafford
at the MidAmerican motorcycle auction in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he
was auctioning of the most beautifully restored BMWs I had ever seen.
Tim, who works out of San Diego, does exquisite restorations of BMW
motorcycles. I since have heard his restorations represent the “gold
standard” of BMW motorcycle restorations.
I discussed my desire with Tim, and he indicated he could do
a restoration for me. We concluded a deal with a handshake. By that
autumn, the R60/2 was ready, and you see photographs of it on this page. The photo above shows Tim riding the bike in Tubac, Arizona.
Above: I love the view of a BMW boxer-powered motorcycle, like this
R60/2, from above. The cylinders protrude sideways from the engine, like
stubby wings. No other motorcycles have such an affecting view.
In the photos below you can see the motorcycle before
restoration. It was clearly in need of a complete restoration by Tim
Stafford. The Tim's work brought about an incredible change.
In the montage below, you see the restoration of the red R60/2 under way in Tim's work shop.
I wanted to make my “new” R60/2 functional, so that meant installing appropriate period saddlebags or panniers. I used Craven panniers in the 1960s, so I set about finding a pair of the handsome “Golden Arrow” panniers on eBay.
I obtained two bags, which were in the standard Craven
color of black, and had them painted Granada red. I installed them on Scarlett in November 2007. The result is shown
Below: Here is “Scarlett” posing in front of Frank Lloyd Wright's First Unitarian Society Meeting House in Madison, Wisconsin — a National Historic Landmark.
Wherever “Scarlett” goes she draws admirers from
among current and former motorcyclists.
Admirers often focus in on pre-1970 BMW motorcycles. I told Norm that,
as a new rider of an R69S, he should get used to it. Below I am at Norm's place with Scarlett before she received her Craven saddlebags (photo by Kris).
Note in this photo that Scarlett has an orange reflector on the side of the headlight and a red reflector on the rear fender in front of the tail-light housing. These reflectors were only installed by BMW on 1969 models sold in the United States. After restoration, I learned that Scarlet was actually built on February 9, 1967. I chose to leave the reflectors on in spite of the fact that they would not have been originally installed on a 1967 R60/2.
Here (below) she waiting to board the free Merrimac Ferry (Colsac III), which crosses the Wisconsin River (though many bridges are available). Motorcyclists can ride up to the head of the line of waiting cars. Riding pre-1970 BMW motorcycles can be infectious on beautiful days like this one.
I have period oval crashbars (page 6) on all my R60/2 BMWs, now including Scarlett, below. These bars are hard to find in excellent condtion.
Below: “Scarlett” showed up at Iron Horse Motorcycles, Tucson AZ, during a 2010 open house. John Cartright, owner, smiles behind the old and the new.
On July 14, 2011, Norm and I converted Scarlett from 6-volt electrics to 12 volts. We used the Bench Mark Works
“Slap-On” conversion kit. It took us (mostly Norm) 90 minutes to
install the components under the front cover. It took more time to
replace all the 6-volt bulbs with 12-volt versions and to install the
battery. Now Scarlett has 200 watts of power, not just 60. Now all three of my R60/2 BMWs have 12 volts.
The photos below show the 12-volt alternator and
voltage regulator (right) that replaced the 6-volt generator and regulator (left).
The original BMW magneto remains in place to fire the spark plugs.
However, after the conversion the motorcycle should not be run without
the 12-volt battery as it would destroy the voltage regulator and diode
At the 20079 BMW Motorcycle Owners of America rally in West Bend, Wisconsin, Scarlett received a nice award.
Below: The Arizona license plates for historic motorcycles (HM) over 25 years old are made out of solid copper. Arizona's mines produce the most copper in the United States. Wisconsin has "Collector" plates for motorcycles 20 years or older that are nonexpiring.
Photo below: A restored 1964 R50/2
was sold at auction by Bonhams in Las Vegas in January 2017. The only errors I see on this bike are minor items, such as the foot pegs, battery holder, and the spring-loaded cap for the electrical socket behind the battery they were left black by the factory.
Click here to read English R60/2 specifications
from BMW A.G., Munich, Germany.
Click here for the complete 50-page 1966 slash-2 motorcycle owner's manual
Click here to see pages from the 1965 BMW motorcycle brochure
Click here to see original 1968 photos of 1968 BMWs