1956 BMW 494cc R50 & Steib 250S Sidecar
Registration no. VXW 362
Frame no. 555846
Engine no. 555846
This R50 was sold new by dealer L F Pratt in Melbourne, Australia with a lightweight sidecar attached. Two years later it was brought to England and used as a solo. The machine was owned for many years by a BMW mechanic, which in part explains its fine condition today. The BMW was in the possession of the immediately preceeding owner Eric Rance, a member of the Yorkshire and Vintage sections of the BMW Club - for ten years, during which time it was progressively brought to its current state, much of the work being carried out by BMW and Moto Guzzi specialist Eric Krahe of Carleton near Skipton. It is basically standard, but incorporates a number of worthwhile improvements including a 1955 Hoske fuel tank, stainless-steel exhaust system and handlebars, Pentacomm ignition conversion, wheels built with alloy rims and stainless spokes, Cyclon dry cell batteries inside original Bosch case, stainless fastenings, Denfeld carrier, dual-seat and footrests, taper roller 'head bearings, VDO Rev counter and halogen headlamp conversion. BMW spares were sourced from Martin Kornhas of Karlsruhe and Motorrad Stemler of Remscheld.
Previously attached to a BSA A10, the rare Steib 250S sidecar was rebuilt with help from Phil Primmer of West Country Sidecars and set up by Eric Krahe. The combination has been rewired (in March 2004) - with provision for indicators - and fitted with an electronic regulator, while the sidecar benefits from complete refurbishment and new upholstery. An aero screen is fitted currently, but the correct screen and hood are available. The rear inner tube is new.
Well known in Northern England and ridden to all events by Mr Rance, the R50 proved absolutely reliable and extremely comfortable, possessing the best lights and brakes of its era. It has also been successful at concours events, including winning the 'Best European', 'Best Combination' and 'Best Motorcycle' awards at the Castleford & District Motorcycle Club, and was the only British entry in the 2001 BMW Classic Marathon, covering 4,000 kilometres around Germany's borders via 11 countries. It is also likely to be the only BMW to have completed the Mastiles Lane section of the Scott Trial!
The current owner purchased the combination at Bonhams' Harrogate sale in November 2004 (Lot 585), since when it has been kept on museum display. Finished in BMW's traditional black with white coachlining, this superb BMW combination is offered with a most substantial history file (close inspection recommended). The file contains the machine's original buff logbook, BMW Mobile Tradition dating certificate, VMCC dating letter, instruction and repair manuals, numerous invoices, assorted correspondence, various press cuttings and technical literature, sundry expired tax discs and MoTs (most recent June 2010), SORN letter and Swansea V5C document.
- Please note that the VMCC dating letter and BMW Mobile Tradition dating certificate as mentioned in the catalogue description are both copies, not originals.