1958 BMW R60: Bavarian Boxer

1958 BMW R60

After featuring a few motorcycles lately, we have been getting more requests for us to cover barn finds of the two wheeled variety. One of the major reasons we haven’t featured more of them in the past is that we simply don’t have a lot of knowledge about them. I’ve been busy studying, but I still have a lot to learn! Even with my limited knowledge, when I spotted this BMW R60 here on eBay, I knew it was an interesting find! The seller claims it has been in this barn for the past 35 years. There is even a spot under it where a chicken decided to lay some eggs! The seller admits they don’t know much about BMWs, but they seem to have a basic understanding of motorcycles. Supposedly the 600cc boxer engine is free and has good compression, so hopefully it will be a simple job to get it running again. So would you trek across the globe on an R60 like Danny Liska did on his?


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  1. Tom S.

    Thank you for featuring an interesting bike. More, please.

  2. Mark E

    One of my college roommates had one of these. Very nice bike but I’ve all but given up on finding one for a reasonable price now that they’ve started appreciating…

    • Tirefriar

      You still have time to pick up an air head. A decent one will run you about as much as this R60 is currently going for but you will have a more refined bike with better brakes, performance and handling. Hold on to it long enough, and it too will appreciate in the same manner as this one.

  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    I like those Beemers; they’ve got a lot of class. Not as easy to work on as say a Harley or an English bike but still something that can be worked on without too many special tools. I remember a German immigrant who was in my home town. He served in the German infantry on the Russian Front for nearly four years and from time to time was able to do some dispatch riding. He said that the BMWs and Zundapps ran very well but were so precisely machined that when they broke down, they were extremely difficult to repair. Halfway through the campaign his unit happened upon a couple of abandoned Russian Harley Davidson 45s that must have come from a lend-lease agreement with the Americans. He said that the Harleys clanked and rattled their way everywhere and seemed virtually indestructible.

  4. Ken Nelson Member

    I bought one of these, a ’62 R60, in London, Aug. 1970 for $750, with full panniers and faring from a nice British gentleman, then rode it thru France & Denmark to visit relatives in Stockholm. What a gorgeous ride – smooth as silk, and quiet. Did find the drum brakes weak tho – almost rearended a car in traffic in Holland. Best part of trip was following a guy with a broken speedo on his Triumph twin who just set it at 90, and I followed in his wake, all the way from Denmark to Saarbrucken Germany – one long haul, but that flat twin was a marvel to listen to and easy on the body – loved the Earls fork, with its lifting on front braking instead of pitching me over the bars. Let it go a few yrs ago – after keeping it sitting in the garage for 30 yrs, but still clean & in near original condition – swapped for an all original aluminum Panhard Dyna Z1 that came out of the Reynolds Aluminum collection and runs – but probably should’ve kept the bike! Ironic tho – both aircooled flat twins and both capable of 90 mph, but the Panhard won out, what with its engine with rollerbearings designed by Leonardo DaVinci – that has to be some panache –

  5. seth

    it is a desired bike to collectors. Will end of selling for stupid money. Had a 65 R50 500 cc in college. could ride it all day and just add gas. Put 10,000 miles on in 6 months

  6. Chip Lamb

    BMW motorcycles were made in Berlin, not Bavaria.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Really? I always thought that BMW stood for Bavarian Motor Works. Interesting, you always learn something new on this site.

    • Tirefriar

      This model was still built in Munich, Bavaria.

  7. hhaleblian

    Had a 69 R69s , tach, handlebar turn signals, saddle seats. Sold a few years ago because it was such a bitch to start. I’ll take my 66 Honda 305 with electric start.

  8. brakeservo

    Wow – seller says restored is worth $15,000! So, let’s figure this one out, maybe $5,000 will buy it, restoration will be at least $15,000 or more, and when you get done, it’s still only worth $15,000? What part of the equation don’t I comprehend??

  9. John

    Never had a problem starting old BMWs as long as the simple maintenance was done. And the engines are real easy to work on since the opposed cylinders stick right out. I never had one newer than 15 years old. My R69US was a sweet ride…

    • BenG

      Please elaborate on the simple maintenance – do you mean dumping fuel from the Bing carb bowls? I have an R70/5 that is chronically difficult to start.

      • John

        My newest bike was a ’69, with kickstarter only. Carb and valve adjustments, points, plugs, timing- the basics -kept ’em going pretty well.Taking off the heads and cylinders was also real easy. Now, if you needed new rod bearings, that was a job for a machine shop, since they had roller cranks. With low compression, and built like tanks, they were nice bikes-

  10. DT

    Looks like dirtbike handlebars,arent the brake and clutch levers suposed to go the other direction??

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