“Weiss” — a Dover White
1967 BMW R60/2

“Weiss” (pronounced as "Vice") is German for “White”

by Jeff Dean
Tucson, Arizona, and Madison, Wisconsin

Last Updated:

Live Stats For Website

This (above and below) is a 1967 BMW R60/2 (built 2/12/1967) with its original Dover white paint and black pinstripes. In 2002, I purchased it from the widow of its original owner. It had 29,142 miles (46,900 km) on the odometer and is completely original, except for the reproduction rear-view mirrors. For the truly picky, note that it even has its original white rubber timing-hole cover in place. I added the period correct Craven saddlebags in 2007, painted to match.

The photo below (photo by Rider Coach Trainer Mark Weiss) shows me putting the R60/2 through its paces during an MSF Professional Development Workshop at Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona, in March 2012. If the truth be known “Weiss” is capable of more than I am. A further truth: of all the BMWs I own, this and Scarlett are my favorite bikes to ride on a daily basis.

The motorcycle now has a 12-volt, 200-watt electrics from Bench Mark Works instead of the original 6 volts and 60 watts. Its headlight is much brighter, and I can use 12-volt accessories on it now. I installed a Shorai 12-volt battery, which is much smaller and lighter than the standard 6-volt battery. See information about this at the bottom of this page.

The photo below is a view of which I cannot get too much. I just love the two cylinders protruding to the left and right, like stubby wings. I remember clearly the first time I ever owned and rode such a BMW twin, though it was black with white pinstriping. I was in heaven, floating over the road on a magic carpet. All was right with the world and my motorcycle. Whenever I ride a 1960s BMW twin I am transported instantly back to my youth and to that lovely Wisconsin spring afternoon in 1967.

Michael Bondy, of Butler & Smith, then the U.S. importers of BMW motorcycles sent BMW in Munich a can of that color paint, which was used on his 1942 Packard, and BMW duplicated it. He then ordered 50 motorcycles in that color. Do you want to know the paint codes for this color? In modern terms, the Dover white paint color is GM paint code #059, 1980 General Motors frost beige (PPG #3087). I walked into a Sherwin Williams paint store recently and told them about #059. Within minutes, the proprietor handed me a half pint of what we call Dover white as touch up paint. On the can, it was labeled “frost beige!” It is a good match.

The photo above shows Weiss and Norm's black R60/2 parked in front of the octagonal “Hamburger Barn” northwest of Plain, Wisconsin, on county highway N, named after its builder, not the sandwich. Now it is called the Tim Thering Barn.

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.

Below: this R60/2, still running beautifully and a joy to ride, turned over 33,333 miles in May 2012.

Below: Here is “Weiss”, taken with a fisheye lens and Tucson, Arizona, in the background.

Below: “Weiss” does get around. Here she is posed in front of a National Historic Landmark, the Harold C. Bradley House in Madison, Wisconsin, designed by Architects George Grant Elmslie and Louis Henry Sullivan.

Photo below: I use a clutch-mount Albert rear-view mirror on the left side, and a headlight-mount Albert mirror on the right side. I use that arrangement on all of my R60/2s. I like it and am used to it. It might not work in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, India, or Japan.

Below: “Weiss” does need occasional attention. In 2007 I replaced the steering-head bearings with tapered bearings. This is a common and highly recommended change for vintage BMWs.

In the photos below you can see “Weiss” in Vech's Bench Mark Works shop in November 2010 for some basic repairs and maintenance. The slingers were replaced and the crankshaft was rebuilt. Vech also installed a 12-volt alternator and checked and lubricated the various bearings, touched up areas of paint damage. The bike also received new 1st over pistons. Slingers were cleaned. Installed were new push rods, push rod seals, cylinder head gaskets, spark plugs, fuel lines, front tank bolt. Head guide seats were cut and cylinders bored. Installed were new rear shock covers, bearing crankshaft crown gears, rear crankshaft seal, clutch plate, gasket oil screen, pan cork, spark plug caps, rear eye shocks. Wheel bearings were packed. Balance rods were cleaned and con rod installed. Cylinders were bored and new intake and exhaust valves installed. Other seals were replaced and bearings packed. When done, Vech pronounced “Weiss” sound for a 44-year-old R60/2.

The conversion from 6-volt electrics to 12 volts involved the Bench Mark Works “Slap-On” conversion kit. The 12-volt conversion was done with all bulbs and new 12-volt battery. 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 board.

Below: Here is “Weiss” back home. With Bench Mark Works' 12 volt system and 200 watts of power, the bike has a more powerful headlight, a headlight modulator, and Hyper-Lites brakes flashing LEDs — none of which can be used on the original 6-volt, 60-watt BMW — and it runs beautifully. The 12-volt system also allows me now to wear an electric vest or jacket, power a Garmin Zumo GPS, and charge my cell phone, which is impossible on a 6-volt bike. Of course, the new electrical system is independent of the magneto, which still powers the spark plugs in the engine. And just looking at the motorcycle, you cannot tell it has been converted to 12 volts (unless you notice the large 12-volt sealed battery).

Above: Here is Weiss, without her saddlebags, by Lake Monona, in Madison, Wisconsin. Across the lake the white granite dome of the state capitol rises above an office building.

Later I installed a Shorai LFX14A2-BS12 lithium battery which is so tiny it surprised me. It fits easily into the /2's BMW standard battery tray, but is just as strong as a big 12-volt battery for a modern BMW.

The Shorai site lists this battery at $159.95. However, you can Google it and find it for $16 less or lower prices with no tax and no shipping.

Below: An LED taillight/brakelight combination, left, can be run with 12 volts, as can a much brighter headlight, right.

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. The blue-and-red Wisconsin "collector" plates are non-expiring and for motorcycles at least 20 years old.

Click here to read “Herewith the True Unadulterated and More-or-Less Complete Story of Weiss”

Click here to read a Motorcycle Classics January 2016 article on a Dover white 1962 BMW R60/2

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