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PZ
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Hi,

I just bought a 1959 R50/2 and am learning about it. I don't see a section for new owners so sorry if my questions are in the wrong place. It runs great but I just took the spark plugs out, they are NGK BR6s. I'm seeing a spec of B8s, which seems cold. Also I don't know why it would have resistor plugs?

Secondly the air cleaner housing is chrome, and peeling. Did they come that way? I want to just paint it silver.

Thanks in Advance

PZ

The Plunger
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I don't know about the plugs

I don't know about the plugs but the air cleaner should be dull silver. Krylon Dull Aluminum is the one to get. Many got chromed over the years and if it's peeling it's a good time to strip it.

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Brian
'52 R67/2, '53 R51/3

schrader7032
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San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
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I think the B8HS would be the

I think the B8HS would be the nominal plug for a short reach head. For a Bosch plug, it would be W4AC....the numbers were originally W240T1. Here's some website info:

http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/Articles.asp?ID=136
http://www.stealth316.com/misc/ngk-partnumberkey.pdf
http://www.sparkplug-crossreference.com/convert/BOSCH_PN/W240T1

Don't use resistor plugs. Resistance just slows the spark energy getting to the plug...you don't need that. Nominally, the spark plug cap will have a 1K ohm resistor...not necessary to add more resistance.

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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

312Icarus
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Welcome...enjoy your ride. I

Welcome...enjoy your ride.

I believe that some of the aircleaners came chromed, but other experts will know better. My '68 is simple grey/silver.

Icarus

miller6997
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Not chrome

As far as I know, the air cleaners were never chrome originally, but after-purchase chroming was a popular modification. Same with the hubcaps. And on the related topic, my air cleaner and hubcaps were originally glossy, not dull, so I kept that look when I repainted them.

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Jon Miller
'67 R69S
'13 F800GT

wa1nca
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Ashfield Ma.
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Spark plugs

NGK B8HS is correct for your R50
Br6 plug is to hot (Unlike most plug spec's The NGK # the lower the # the hotter the plug is )
Also no need for the R and any resistance in the plug cap
Cap should have 0 resistance

I use B7HS (Hotter) on my R69s as his has a higher compression ratio of 9.5 o 1

Tommy

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Tommy Byrnes
54 R51/3 55 R50 64 R27 68 R69US 68 Sears Allstate 250 (Puch)

Daves79x
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I, Too

I too have a '59 R50, that I completely restored over the last 2 years. They are great bikes if all sorted correctly. Assume yours is more of an original bike than a restoration? Post up any questions you might have - everyone here is more than happy to help out.

Dave

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Dave

PZ
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Thank you guys! I will

Thank you guys! I will switch to B8HS (still seems cold..) before I ride it again and paint the air filter.

Next I'm wondering about the gearbox oil, the book says motor oil, which it appears to have, is anyone using gear lube these days? It shifts the typical clunky way, are there fluids that improve the shifting?

schrader7032
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VBMWMO #7032
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It comes down to whether the

It comes down to whether the seals in the transmission were changed to accommodate gear oil. According to the service bulletin, the factory made these changes for the R50 beginning with frame number 646358. That's very late in the run, probably in the 1967 timeframe. So, if you're bike is still original, you should use motor oil.

Clunky shifting! Yup, that's a BMW! A lot of that can be eliminated with proper shifting technique. Preload the shift foot lever just prior to pulling in the clutch lever. Hold the load on the foot lever during the change and even while you are letting out the clutch lever.

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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

PZ
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Sshrader, thanks for the

Sshrader, thanks for the reply. The R50 is actually my second /2, I also have an R90/6 powered conversion sidecar rig. It uses B6 plugs, which is why I was wondering why the R50 takes 8s. I'm pretty familiar with the later engine but this new original R50 is a new ballgame for me. I wanted one for solo riding. Anyway I have installed the B8HS plugs.

I tried your shifting technique today (on the sidecar rig, 4 speed) and it works great! No adverse wear or anything by doing this? I'll stay with the motor oil in the /2 trans, no idea if it has ever been rebuilt or resealed.

Finally, I have posted a photo of the sidecar. This combo was built at Ozzie's BMW in Chico California probably 30 years ago. I don't know who manufactured the sidecar but it has a brake drum and no brake (spare tire is the same). I would like to fit a brake, is the wheel or hub recognizable to anyone?

Thanks for all the help.

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schrader7032
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VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
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Shifting

PZ wrote:

I tried your shifting technique today (on the sidecar rig, 4 speed) and it works great! No adverse wear or anything by doing this?

I'm not that familiar with exactly how things work inside the transmission, but just about all of the more knowledgeable people I've read suggest doing this, especially the pre-load on the lever. I've been post-loading my /7 foot lever as I shift up in gears for about 100K miles with no problems...I was having an issue with finding false neutrals between 4th and 5th. Holding the foot lever up as I let out the hand lever has cured that problem...just as long as I don't try and shift too quickly.

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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

skychs
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chrome

miller6997 wrote:

As far as I know, the air cleaners were never chrome originally, but after-purchase chroming was a popular modification. Same with the hubcaps. And on the related topic, my air cleaner and hubcaps were originally glossy, not dull, so I kept that look when I repainted them.

I think you are correct. Even in the Barrington Motor Works manual (page 266) it says "There were no original chrome plated air cleaners R50-69US". On the same page it also addresses the dull vs glossy paint. Mr Betjemann recommends the dull. Im getting ready to de-chrome my pitted air cleaner and repaint it. Im still undecided.

Carott
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Sidecar Brake

PZ,
The sidecar is a Russian Ural.
The style of the wheel is commonly known as the bottlecap wheel.
I have a similar rig with an R90/6 and the same vintage sidecar.
My long term plan includes adding a brake for the sidecar but I have not found a simple solution.
The Dnepr and the Chang Jiang have a cable operated version which looks like the simplest setup.
Then you need to decide if you want two brake pedals or to hook it into your existing rear brake.
The Soviet Steeds forum is a great place for information.
Let me know if you figure something out.
Brett

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ScottA
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San Diego
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same wheel, I believe

I have that same era Ural chair (M63?) and your wheel/hub/spoke-pattern looks like mine.

Keep us posted on sourcing a chair brake system. Could be later Ural drum brake wheels make an easy upgrade, assuming they retained interchangeability.

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'61 R27, '63 R60/2 etc.

PZ
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Hey thanks for the replies on

Hey thanks for the replies on the sidecar, I thought I was getting email notifications but I guess not. I'll check into the Ural brake system.

Rode the new R50 today, came home and drained the oil. No filter like the later engines, screen in the oil pan it says, to be cleaned every 16k miles by the book. Everyone wait that long?

One other thing, is there no adjustment of the shift lever?

Daves79x
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No Adjustment

No adjustment of the shift lever except if the fixing bolt is in wrong. It has to go in from the bottom, or the shifter will hit the frame/exhaust. And you can't change the bolt unless you scoot the engine a little bit.

Dave

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Dave

PZ
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My bolt is in from the top,

My bolt is in from the top, and the lever hits my exhaust! You mean they really made the bike such that the shift lever cannot be removed without moving the engine?

Thanks.

Grrr..

Next thing: /2s have a magneto ignition I gather. So does the ignition switch ground and unground the mag? Is it an electrical switch, in other words do you need a charged battery to start the bike, or to turn it off?

Oh, and shifter preload method; helps a lot more on my /6 4 speed than the /2 for some reason, but it still helps.

ScottA
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San Diego
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relax

PZ wrote:

You mean they really made the bike such that the shift lever cannot be removed without moving the engine?
Grrr..

It's only a problem because the wasn't oriented correctly when assembled; if it had been done right there'd be no issue/nothing to learn.
'course - I had to correct mine after doing it wrong so you're in good company?

You can start and run the bike with the battery dead flat, no problem. I've been doing it for years but finally today installed a nice AGM Blitz.

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'61 R27, '63 R60/2 etc.

Daves79x
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You Can

You can get the bolt out if it is in from the top, but to get it back in correctly from the bottom, you have to remove at least the rear engine mount bolt (maybe the front too) and lift the engine just a bit. Not as big a job as it sounds. It has to be done. This is just how BMW is. Once done, you'll find no need for adjustment.

Dave

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Dave

PZ
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I got the shift lever bolt in

I got the shift lever bolt in the correct way, lever no longer hits the exhaust, thanks for that.

When I got home from my last ride, I went inside to get my gear off and came back out to adjust the idle. Wouldn't start. I pulled the plugs and didn't see any spark. Came back an hour later and it had spark. Condenser or Coil? The condenser looks like a common item, is there a common one I can get at the auto parts store?

312Icarus
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Condensor are common, at

Condensor are common, at least for a test, Anya auto parts condensor should work. in my experience, condensor fail, in a way that allows the engine to start for a few moments, then quit. Coils are prone to intermittent especially when potentially damp and or warm. I would replace an original coil with a new modern one as a matter of course simply for reliability. Same with a condensor, as they are cheap!

Icarus

PZ
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Thanks Icarus. I agree with

Thanks Icarus. I agree with your assessment on failing condensers and coils. From what I've found, new /2 coils run about $150. On the other hand, I have several Harley coils laying around, if the impedance was the same I suppose they could work. I still need to verify the problem again, and maybe try a condenser.

My gearbox to swingarm boot has a split. I have glued it up but will most likely have to change that out. A friend says it can be done by just removing the final drive and sliding the drive shaft back? Hoping the glue holds until I need to replace the tire.

I have something to contribute to reciprocate for all the help I've received: I wear an electric vest in the winter on my sidecar rig, which is 12 volt. Won't work on the new bike being 6v, and I also have an old 6v Yamaha. So, I bought one of those new Lion jump start battery packs, smaller than a brick and weighs almost nothing. It has many uses, jump starting, USB charging, flashlight etc. but also a 12v 6a outlet port. I put it in my tank bag and it powers my 3a vest for at least 20 minutes, long enough for my commute. Plugs into the wall for fresh charge coming home. $60.

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