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Thread: 1959 R50 current market value

  1. #1
    Registered User 80092's Avatar
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    1959 R50 current market value

    This Friday, March 26 I will be looking at a 1959 R 50. Question to forum members as to the value of original condition bike in Fair to Good to excellent condition. I looked at NADA prices they seem high. The bike has been sitting for 4 years or more.

    Thanks
    Peter Murray
    Stroudsburg, Pa.
    IBA 359
    2014 RTW, 73 R75/5

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I would say those NADA prices are not out of the ordinary. But you're going to see something that is likely not anywhere near Very Good, but maybe something between Fair and Good. I suppose $5000 could be a reasonable number to imagine. The thing you have to factor in on a pre 1970 is the health of the slingers. These bikes did not have a filter, so relied on slinger add-ons to the crankshaft to catch the particulates of the oil. There is no way to inspect them...the crank has to be removed from the engine. So, if this hasn't been done before, and the mileage is north of say 30-40K miles, that service will need to be done if you plan on keeping the bike and riding it. Without a slinger service, there's potential to starve the main bearings for oil which means a destroyed crankshaft.
    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
    Registered User 80092's Avatar
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    Th e owner passed 4 years ago so the slinger maintenance is unknown.
    I suppose a oil additive engine cleaner would not be advisable ?
    Peter Murray
    Stroudsburg, Pa.
    IBA 359
    2014 RTW, 73 R75/5

  4. #4
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    There is no shortcut when it comes to the slingers. The slingers are small disks that are fixed to the crankshaft...these disks have a curved lip all the way around the circumference. Oil is fed onto the spinning disk and slung out to the lip or channel on the edge. As the oil builds up, it finds its way into the hole which feeds the main bearings. While the oil is spinning in the channel, the particles are thrown outward and become compacted in the channel. If the channel fills up to the level of the hole, then no more oil feeds the main bearings.

    Here's a little bit on what's going on. When the bike was new, most oils were non-detergent. One of the properties of this type of oil is that it didn't hold things in suspension so after the bike had been stopped, the particulates tended to settle out to the bottom of the pan. It was routine for an owner to drop the pan as regular maintenance to clean out the sludge. The good thing about this was that those particulates tended to not circulate as much and those were not captured in the slinger channel. As most people ended up doing over the years, they switched to detergent oil for better lubrication qualities but which did hold things in suspension longer. The idea here was to give the engine's oil filter a chance to filter them out. But with no filter, those particles were captured by the slinger. With these later oils, things tend to stick on all kinds of surfaces inside the case. Anything that might instantly release that could flood the slingers with a lot of particles thus overwhelming the slingers.

    So with an engine that's been sitting and with no maintenance history, it can be risky to continue to operate the engine without a teardown to find the status of the slingers. In the case of both of my pre 1970 BMWs, I had some history but I was still concerned about the status. So, after a basic mechanical restoration for the road, I rode them for a year or so, maybe 1000 miles so I could get a sense of what else needed work. Then I tore the engine down and provided the bottom end to my chosen mechanic to pull the crankshaft and service the slingers as well assess the health of the bearings. This is good peace of mine.

    Now going forward, I use detergent oil but consider frequent oil changes to get the contaminated oil out of there. I believe that with the approach, I should be able to ride the bikes for 40-50K miles without concern for the slingers. I will never ride the bikes that many miles in my lifetime. This issue will be for the next owner of the bikes.
    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!

  5. #5
    Registered User cwroady's Avatar
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    $5K would be a steal here in SoCal
    Chris - 2015 BMW RT / 1973 BMW R75/5 / 1955 BMW R50 - Yard Art - 1968 Hodaka / 1968 Sachs
    SCBMWRC / MOA / Airhead Beemer Club / VBMWMO

  6. #6
    Registered User 80092's Avatar
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    Thanks to all, I'll post the outcome this weekend.
    Peter Murray
    Stroudsburg, Pa.
    IBA 359
    2014 RTW, 73 R75/5

  7. #7
    Registered User 80092's Avatar
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    The R50 doesn't exist.

    There is a /2 motor, Suggestions on value ?
    Peter Murray
    Stroudsburg, Pa.
    IBA 359
    2014 RTW, 73 R75/5

  8. #8
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    So no bike at all? Or the R50 doesn't exist but you have what looks like an R50 but with a /2 motor?

    What's the VIN number? There is an orphan list here:

    https://vintagebmw.org/orphans/

    Maybe an engine matches a frame in this list???
    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!

  9. #9

    Bare motor?

    If its a bare motor that is complete with electrics, carbs and turns over smoothly it would run around $300 - $650. You also have to examine the heads (LK ?) and cylinders for broken fins and other types of damage to the cosmetics which could affect the value. I just recently paid silly money (top dollar) for complete engine internals for a '68 R 60US but did so with no regrets on the transaction. Get the Serial number and determine the approximate year and please do check the Orphan List for a match as Kurt suggested, a match would affect the value as well as lead to a possible reuniting of original parts.

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