Until the late 1960s, BMW was still making bikes that looked and performed much like the slow but durable touring bikes they were known for before WWII. For the uninitiated it is hard to place this 1967 R50/2 historically and it was a bit of a modern classic even then. This particular bike, as seen as the 2013 HoAME Vintage Motorcycle Show, wears white with black pinstripes, the reverse of the typical color scheme, which helped it win best BMW.
Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles representing the best of British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American manufacturers. Some of the brands on display were Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley-Davidson, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Lambretta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, and more. There was everything from 100% perfect restorations, to well worn bikes daily riders, to full-on customized cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. As part of the museum’s permanent exhibits, there were also vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and, the pride of their collection, a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
Except among the real sticklers, all 1955-69 BMW boxer twins are lumped together as the “slash 2” bikes, even though not all of them have the “/2” in their official model name. These were rugged machines, with the Earles leading link front end particularly well suited for side car duty, which many of them saw. In fact, so many BMW were attached to sidecars during this era that the factory included mounting lugs on the frame of many models. In the US, where riders were less enamored with sidecars, some models came with the more typical telescopic front forks.
Read more about the BMW Slash 2 (/2) on Wikipedia.
If you own a tough and dependable (when these bikes were new touring riders took them to literally every corner of the Earth, whether there were roads or not) BMW /2, Clymer has the perfect accessory in our BMW 500 & 600 twins 1955-69 manual. Or if you prefer a manual with condensed information that covers many brands, pick up the Clymer Collection Vintage Four Stroke manual.