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.
The result of my desire was fulfilled 38 years later and is seen in the photo above, taken in Madison, Wisconsin. Lake Monona is behind “Scarlett,” a Granada red R60/2, and beyond the lake can be seen the white dome of the Wisconsin State Capitol.
Below you see Scarlett together with Craven Golden Arrow saddlebags, painted to match, beneath billowing cumulus clouds in Tucson, Arizona, .
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 the
autumn of 2006, the R60/2 was ready.
Below, master restorer Tim Stafford is riding Scarlett in Tubac, Arizona, several years after restoring her.
Below: 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.
Below: Here is “Scarlett” posed in front of Frank Lloyd Wright
's First Unitarian Society Meeting House
in Madison, Wisconsin — a National Historic Landmark
(Below) wherever “Scarlett” goes she draws admirers from
among current and former motorcyclists.
Admirers often focus in on pre-1970 BMW motorcycles.
I told my friend, Norm,
a new owner and rider of an R69S, that he should get used to it. Here was Scarlett in 2017 at the “Distinguished Gentleman's Ride” in Tucson, Arizona.
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.
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.
I have period oval crash bars (page 6) on all my R60/2 BMWs, now including Scarlett, below. These bars are hard to find in excellent condtion.
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
With the addtional power provided by the 12-volt system, I added an auxiliary LED driving light mounted on the right side crash bar. This makes me and my motorcycle more visible to car drivers.
At the 2007 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.
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