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Thread: Early R69Ss

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Early R69Ss

    Are pre mid-1962 R69Ss that unreliable? They don't have the reinforced cylinders, newer pistons with shorter wrist pins, vented rear drive case, crackshaft vibration damper, etc., etc. (I've been reading Ian Falloon's book on Boxers), but are the R69Ss after mid 1962 that much better?

    Any informed opinons are welcome.

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    I would say that the bikes got better with each year. The later bikes will have all significant mods incorporated while the early ones won't. There was a period from about 1965 to 1966 where the alloy used in the heads was softer than it had been. These heads are known as the "butter heads". They were prone to cracking and having the steel sleeves work their way out. The redesigned heads were better alloy and thicker in the spark plug area - 3/4-inch - there's an LK stamped in the head which is an abbreviation for long reach.

    Some think the damper is not really necessary. It certainly comes into play if you're pushing the engine to near redline speeds. I'm not sure if the early bikes can be retrofitted...obviously you'ld need a new cover and there might be an issue with clearance on the front fork brace.

    I wouldn't say the earlier bikes were unreliable. They just have different quirks and will take more care and feeding.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
    My '61 R60/2 has the unvented final drive case, is missing the "gusset" at the middle downtube in the frame, and other such changes. I've put over 20k miles on it since I put it together from 5 boxes of parts. The final drive doesn't leak, and I have a great time when I take it out. I just put 100 miles on it last weekend, in fact.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison

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