1966 BMW R69S Restoration
I purchased my BMW R69S from a local rider in December of 1997. The bike was in rideable shape and I rode it around the San Francisco Bay Area most every weekend until October of 1998. The few changes made during that time included the replacement of the rusting after market exhaust system with a stock (chrome) system, replacement of some bulbs, and replacement of a broken speedometer cable. I also hammered out the dents in the oil pan and cleaned up the wiring in the headlight bucket.
When I first rode the bike it had low bars and a Harley style solo saddle. The owner gave me the option of high bars and the wide bench seat. I took that option when I purchased the bike, not knowing at the time that I’d eventually wind up with low bars and a Denfeld solo seat.
I wanted to remove the 2” x 3” tabs the previous owner welded onto the frame to support the springs on his Harley style solo saddle.
Oil dripped from somewhere on the right cylinder. It was very minor—a few drops after a ride—but quite annoying.
The bike was painted El Dorado grey. I wanted white with black pin-stripes.
The bushings/silent blocks were all worn and needed to be replaced.
Some of the odometer digits were impossible to read and the trip odometer could not be reset.
I thought the bike had about 40,000 miles on it but actual mileage was (and still is) unknown. The top end was known to have had an “unleaded conversion” done about 5,000 miles prior to my purchase of the bike. The bottom end had never, to the best of my knowledge, been opened.
With all of that in mind I decided to do something I’d never done before—restore an old bike. That idea was a bit shocking as I was not what one would call mechanically inclined; a mechanical moron would be a better description of my abilities at that time. All my vehicles had any work more involved than changing fluids or bulbs done by the dealer. A lot has changed.
These pages document the work, both good and bad, done to make my R69S look and run great. I had the help of a great “support staff” in the form of the folks who used to hang out at Groeger Special Tooling on Saturday mornings. Joe Groeger did most of the needed heavy machining. Joe passed away a few weeks before turning 100 years young in 2020.
This is revision IV of these pages. Images have been expanded in size. Revision III, done at the end of 2007, put the pages into date sequence yet still allow one to find pictures and comments about specific items of the restoration. I do not forsee any future revisions.
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