Sunday, May 1, 2011

BMW R69S custom

BMW R69S custom motorcycle by Ritmo Sereno
I’d be a very happy man if this was the sight that greeted me when I opened my garage door on a Saturday morning. Unfortunately, this is not my workshop; it’s that of Ritmo Sereno in Tokyo, a treasure-trove of exquisite vintage machinery. Right now they’re working on this R69S, which is being customized to a client’s specification. The Munich-built R69S had a long production run—throughout most of the 1960s—and was powered by a 594 cc boxer twin putting out 42 bhp. It was not the fastest machine you could buy, but the engineering was state-of-the-art. The motorcycle magazines were enamoured: in 1962, Cycle World said, “Whatever the BMW’s merits in a contest of speed, it is still the smoothest, best finished, quietest and cleanest motorcycle it has ever been our pleasure to ride. To be honest, we think that anyone who would worry much over its performance-potential is a bit of a booby. The R69S is fast enough to handle any encounter, and it has attributes that are, in touring, infinitely more valuable than mere speed.” Ritmo hasn’t revealed the mechanical modifications yet, but the suspension, bars and exhaust system are new. The bike has also been fitted with revised bodywork including a new fairing, fenders, seat and rear cowl. For more pictures of the original—including some with a sidecar fitted, as was common—check out BMBike’s R69S page.

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