1960 BMW R60/2 Barn Find Project

Working under the theory that Harley-Davidson isn’t the only motorcycle manufacturer with a design heritage, BMW has recently released the R 18.  This motorcycle displays such BMW styling cues as a black gas tank with white pinstriping, a sloping frame, shaft drive, and, of course, a boxer engine.  If the new BMW is too big or expensive for you, then there is another option.  Take a look at this 1960 BMW R 60/2 motorcycle being sold on eBay out of the hamlet of Hunker, Pennsylvania.  While needing a lot of work, this boxer beauty could be your next project with bidding at a ridiculously low $1,500 at this writing.  There is one problem though: no title.

Sellers with no title can be a problem.  Most of the time, legitimate owners have lost this important piece of paper over the many years they have owned a vehicle.  Given that most of us can’t keep track of our car keys, this is understandable.  The usual remedy is a trip to the Hades that is your local DMV to apply for a duplicate title.  Other instances are a little murkier.  Junkyard queens and parts cars that are now desirable often suffer from this malady.  Nobody cared about titles if it was never going back on the road.  Or so they thought.

Back in the day, an Alabama title was the usual remedy.  The great state of Alabama would give you a title on a bologna sandwich without much fuss or cost.  My understanding is that things are a bit more restrictive today.  Some enterprising folks have made a business of buying titles from junkyards and selling them online.  Most vehicles up to the 1960s had easily replaceable plates for their VIN numbers.  Theft wasn’t such a big deal, I guess.

The seller of this diamond in the rough makes it clear that a title is not going with this bike but suggests that a Vermont title may be an option.  Each state has different rules, and perhaps a reader from Vermont can expand on this statement and let us know the process.  At any rate, it would be a good idea to get the legal challenges out of the way before sinking the GDP of a small country into restoring this BMW.  At least the title issue appears to be keeping the bidding low at this point.

To further add to the mystery, the seller isn’t sure that the bike is a 1960 model.  The R 60/2 was produced from 1960 through 1966, with the serial number range of this matching numbers motorcycle falling later in that timespan.  Regardless, this machine comes with the more desirable Earles type forks.  As the US market became more important for BMW’s survival, it was decided to get rid of this type of front suspension and replace it with a more conventional front end to please American buyers.  There was really nothing wrong with the Earles type forks, just a marketing thing unfortunately.

As for the rest of the bike, the seller tells us that it rolls without hang-up.  The motor is locked up despite being in running condition when parked.  To add to the challenges, there is also no key provided with the motorcycle.  The pictures also tell us that the buyer will be spending a good bit on refinishing the paint and chrome bits on this beauty.

The end result would be a classically gorgeous BMW.  The company made its reputation in the United States by producing extremely durable motorcycles built for long distance travel.  BMW motorcycles are usually not the fastest, nor do they offer the timeliest styling.  They are an evolutionary rather than revolutionary motorcycle.  Whoever buys this bike can expect great enjoyment when it is done.


  1. Howard A Member

    Normally, I admire German vehicles in the highest regard. They are simply the best in the world. I’ve ridden a LOT of motorcycles in my time, from every country, and liked them all, EXCEPT,,,the BMW. Now I don’t want to start some war or debate, it’s pointless, but the BMW had quirks I just didn’t care for. That’s a lot of metal hanging out both sides, making for tippy handling, just felt heavy. My GWs exhibited the same feeling. They can be hard starting, driveshaft final drive was quirky too. The list of pluses however, is much longer than the minuses, I guess the whole package is just not my style. Now, you talking a Kaw Z1B, which is about as opposite as this bike is, that’s for me.
    For a Beemer fan, it doesn’t get much better than this.

    Like 4
  2. RoughDiamond Member

    No title, no key and the motor is locked up. That for me is the perfect trifecta to stay clear of it.

    Like 12
  3. Charlie Mullendore

    Vermont doesn’t issue a title for vehicles older than 15 years, they will register it and the registration can then be used in most states to obtain a title. There is also Saint’s Title Service: https://www.saintsengine.com/services/title-service/

    The key is literally just a piece of rod that opens two contacts, not at all like a modern key. Any good BMW parts supplier can supply one.

    Like 4
  4. Anthony M.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaand again we have a seller who provides about 50 photographs and not a single… decent… shot… of the overall bike from either or both sides. *smh*

    Like 4
  5. Bob

    I’ ve ridden these. They’re really nice bikes. It would be a good project.

    Like 2
  6. GlennH

    Learned my lesson on missing titles. Bought a Vintage Honda moped and brought it back life. Only intended to ride it around the neighborhood, so never registered it. Lost interest and sold it to someone who wanted it registered via bonded title. Vin search show up stolen 15 years ago. Police came and got it and I gave him his money back. No more.

  7. Frogman

    Shoot, i have a 1976 R75/6 w title, key, runs, stops gets 46mpg w a humungus 6 gal tank, was painted in a john deere tribute, and although i have all the acc im running a cafe style seat i couldnt stand a JD yellow seat. Its fun to bomb around on but i have a blown up right side hip leg and ankle that hurts too much too ride. Id let it go for 2800. Im stoked that u guys are showing bikes too, even mopeds. Thanks BF.

    Like 2
  8. Gerard Frederick

    Earle fork front suspensions were semi popular in Germany in the middle fifties. The most spectacular one without a doubt was the Express powered by the superb ILO 250 Twin. That machine had an Earls Fork to end them all; however Express switched to a straight telescopic front suspension due to slow sales of the original bike. As far as Harley Davidson bikes go, they would be but a bad memory had it not been for a complete re-design by Porsche way back in the day.

  9. jwaltb

    Earles forks were the only available in these years. This bike was left outside; even has rust inside the speedo, which I haven’t seen before. This is a money pit.

    Like 3
  10. George Everett Smith

    I have a 1995 R100RT that now has 95,000 miles on it. Still runs great. I’d take it anywhere. They are easy to ride once you get used to the “metal parts sticking out” as was mentioned earlier. Amazing low end torque

    Like 1
  11. Wayne

    Howard A, very funny description! I had an R90/6 that I completely restored and rode for many years. And I agree with the “handling” feeling that you described until I upgraded the tires with Metzler radials. It then became a completely different bike. So then the problem came to be that I had not installed case guards. Because when I sold the bike (a very sad day) the new owner had not seen how much of the cylinder heads had been ground off by the street from very brisk cornering. My previous Hondas were only good for about 2 hour rides at a time. (numb butt) But that BMW was good for all day long!

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.