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, and a BMW tank bag. These photos were taken in front of a blooming palo verde (Spanish for "green wood") plant in Tucson.
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.
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.
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. 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. Here she is on the Merrimac
Ferry crossing the Wisconsin River. Norm Benedum, wearing a red helmet,
is standing beside his black 1966 R69S, which he has named “Walter.”
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 Benedum).
Norm has been caught by the /2 bug. He now owns an R60/2 and an R69US as well as the black R69S below. Riding pre-1970 BMW motorcycles can be infectious.
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 Benedum 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.
The photos below show the 12-volt alternator and
voltage regulator that replaced the 6-volt generator and regulator.
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
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.
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