3 replies [Last post]
jambo's picture
VBMWMO #9208
Long Island
Joined: 11/23/2016
Posts: 72

I have read several threads on cleaning and/or polishing of the engine cases on several forums.

My question is about what is "original"? I see engine pictures with various luster of polishes as well as matte, bright aluminum. What is the "factory correct" engine look? I would figure they came with bright, matte finishes (fresh aluminum) and not polished, but figured I would ask.




James W.
1966 R50/2, 1963 R27 and 2018 R1200GS

miller6997's picture
VBMWMO #6997
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 992
Good question

I wondered about this as well, after seeing some restored cases that looked too bright to me. If you spend some time on Jeff Dean's website (http://bmwdean.com/), you will see pictures of his /2s that were restored by Tim Stafford, whose work is highly regarded for authenticity. You will also see some vintage photos of /2s when they were factory-new. It was those old ad pictures that convinced me that the cases were brighter than I had remembered.

They were definitely not polished, though some owners polish the front engine cover, the little cap that covers the crankcase vent, and the valve covers.


Jon Miller
'67 R69S
'13 F800GT

stwilliams's picture
VBMWMO #6618
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 83
The cast aluminum parts such

The cast aluminum parts such as engine, transmission, final drive, hub (on /2), etc. Were cast and then media blasted. The somewhat frosty white finish is correct. This will naturally dull over time, but these parts were never polished from the factory. The rough texture on the surface actually has much more surface area than a polished aluminum piece, and aids in heat dissipation. Some of the books show pictures of huge factory machines that were used to media blast the parts.

808Airhead's picture
VBMWMO #7677
Joined: 08/05/2009
Posts: 1010
If you look at the pictures

If you look at the pictures of the original bikes on Deans sight you will see that the block/timing chest cover/electrics cover all have a different shade since they were all finished at different times in the production process. They dont seem to be as bright as super blasted,restored cases. The vapor blast gives a awesome finish,and makes parts look like they just came off the shelf. When I did my last 3 motors,I soda blasted them all with a home made rig and it gave it a natural finish,not super bright like glass bead/vapor blast. Some have mentioned having great results with aluminum naval jelly/wd40/scotch bright pads,so there are many options out there. Have fun!


Thomas M.
R69s - R60/2 - R67/2 - R51/3

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