- Dependable shaft drive
- 1 of fewer than 4,000 R60s produced during the four-year model run
- Powered by a 594cc horizontally opposed twin engine
When BMW unveiled its new line of post-war motorcycles, the R60 would prove to be one of the most dependable shaft driven motorcycles ever produced. These models were designed primarily to be strong and rugged, and able to pull sidecars; their duplex tubular steel frames actually have mounting points built into them for that purpose. The R60 would see approximately 3,925 units produced between 1956 and 1959 when it was updated with the R60/2 models in 1960. Powered by the 594cc horizontally opposed twin "Boxer" engine, it was set to deliver 28 horsepower and could maintain speeds in the 90-mph range. Fitted with the Earles fork system up front, the hydraulic absorbers offered a smooth and controlled ride while the brakes were adequate for the day. The R60 gained fame with adventurer and writer Danny Liska who recounted his exploits in the book, Two Wheels to Adventure where he detailed his trip from northern Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in Argentina on his trusty BMW R60. He later completed a trip from Europe's Northern Cape down to South Africa's Cape of Good Hope, also riding his R60. In the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, when talking about a trip taken in 1968 on his BMW R60 from Minnesota to San Francisco, he states, "The BMW is famous for not giving mechanical problems on the road and that's what he is counting on."
Finished in its original red paint scheme, this example is complemented with white pinstriping on the 4.5-gallon fuel tank. This R60 is fitted with the U.S.-required-style handlebars, standard-equipped dual saddle seat, factory head and taillights, as well as the hinged rear fender for easy servicing when needed. According to the engine number, this is a rather early production unit, most likely one of the first group imported to the United States. Today, the odometer shows just under 63,100 miles and while there are signs of enjoyable use, it appears to have been cared for and pampered throughout its lifetime. The superb engineering invested in the R60 shows why these are so desired by collectors and enthusiasts who live to ride.