1966 BMW R69S
Registration no. 18451 Maryland
Frame no. 660764
Engine no. 660764
It's not a stretch to suggest that prior to 1967 the specification of the BMW flat-twins shipped to the USA was the same, in essence, as those for the European markets, except perhaps for handlebars; that year by year development was progressive and not in any sense radical; and that there was little focus on improving performance, instead longevity and reliability were BMW's mantra.
The R69S was an uprated /2 model, the range lasting from 1961 to 1969. Some 42hp was quoted at 7000rpm for the R69S from a higher compression (9.5:1) R69 motor, helped by less restrictive mufflers and a pair of Bing 1/26/71-72 carburetors, and a rubber crankshaft damper. An improved clutch with reinforced springs together with a close-ratio transmission added performance. The benchmark Earles leading-link front forks were not replaced by telescopic forks until 1967 for the American market. Precisely how many R69Ss came to the USA is not known but some 1416 R69Ss were produced in 1966 out of a nine-year lifetime total of 10,314.
With a believable 22,825 miles aboard, this Dover White example features accessory Enduro saddlebags and is being sold by its second owner who bought it from the original owner, a Walter J. Yurkonis of Lewiston, New York, in 1984. At that time it did not run and had 12,800 miles on its odometer. In 2004 vintage BMW specialist Tom Turnbull of Baltimore, Pennsylvania was given the task of an overall mechanical refurbishment. Turnbull went at it with enthusiasm and cleaned everything then replaced or reconditioned back to original specification every component from push rod tube grommet to brushes in the dynamo, from tail light lens to (deglazed) brake drums. In addition new stainless steel spokes were used to rebuild the wheels, and new tires installed. Dual Albert mirrors were mounted either side of the headlamp. This bike was re-commissioned to perfection, and remains that way today. Reportedly, it starts usually on the first kick and idles evenly at 600rpm, and runs strongly, and as the seller quoted "the speedometer has registered just under 105mph with me in crouch position on a level course at full throttle."