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EuroIron
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Perhaps this could be an enlightening discussion.

I have several notions but it basically boils down to BMW owners and enthusiasts being their own worst enemies when it comes to truly establishing these fine bikes' actual worth.

jeff dean
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Re: Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's

"EuroIron" wrote:

Perhaps this could be an enlightening discussion.

I have several notions but it basically boils down to BMW owners and enthusiasts being their own worst enemies when it comes to truly establishing these fine bikes' actual worth.

Check out this:

http://tinyurl.com/6xmh94

And then this:

http://tinyurl.com/6m6rch

You ask why? Because of the "Harley mystique" and popularity, and the Motor Company's amazing marketing successes. I have other opinions, but I don't want to be insulting to Harley owners.

I think that the only BMW that might rival old Harleys for price would be a perfect, completely original R32.

BTW, a 1939 Crocker sold at the same auction for $230,000.

If you want to see a really high price that makes the Crocker look cheap, check out July 12, 2008 California MidAmerica Auction at the Monterey Conference Center on Portola Plaza. A 1915 Cyclone for $520,000 (not a typo - over half a million dollars); a 1915 Pope for $82,500; a 1910 Harley 6A for $61,500.

Personally I would prefer a perfect R32 or I might settle for an R63. A cherry R69 might be nice Smile

EuroIron
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

although most here would refer to me as a kid

I've made my living in the mc business for many years and have been around long enough to have purchased running original panheads for 2gs that would fetch 10 times or more than that today

human nature aside....... and believe me I'd rather deal with Kmart Hondachopper guys than many of the BMW guys I've met.......

the one huge thing that I see as "the happening" with all the American Iron that just hasn't happened with the Kraut stuff...... and probably never will

was the publication of many very useful and highly informative books which shared all the knowledge previously held by only a few

not to discredit anyone's work but

but if the Slabon restoration guide is the best thing out there for vintage BMW enthusiasts

folks can simply give up on these bikes ever being worth half a same vintage HD regardless which one is the better and more useful motorcycle

amazing that nobody has even documented the differences between orginal stuff and repop stuff from all the various suppliers, including mobile traditions

I can sell a whipped piece of original American tin for many times more than a comparable distinguishable repop from BMW will bring and in most cases...... there isn't enough discernment on the behalf of what seem like many uninformed lemmings to know the difference between original and repop

the supply of repop parts for the American stuff is wildly vast compared to the Kraut stuff

yet I am quite certain that in nearly all instances

beat up original always commands higher prices than repop....... regardless of the quality of the repop

same for the Brit stuff too

I can't say I've ever seen a R32 but I'll go hunting

schrader7032
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

"EuroIron" wrote:

the one huge thing that I see as "the happening" with all the American Iron that just hasn't happened with the Kraut stuff...... and probably never wil

was the publication of many very useful and highly informative books which shared all the knowledge previously held by only a few

There are a number of books available, I think, that provide an insight on how/what/who went into making these BMWs. Maybe you've heard of them...you only mention Slabon's book. No single person is going to know everything there is about everything that went down. Even Fred Jacobs at BMW wasn't there from the beginning; he can only interpret what he reads from the archives.

Other books that I've purchased have helped to give me a broader understanding of the BMW marque. There are others I'm sure...when I find something with a different slant, I usually buy it. Books like:

BMW Mobile Tradition, "Profiles, Motorcycles from Munich 1923-1969"

BMW Mobile Tradition, "Profiles, Motorcycles from Berlin 1969-1998"

Andy Schwietzer, "BMW Motorcycles from 1969 to 1985, Volume 1 Airheads with Twin Shocks"

Ian Falloon, "Original BMW Air-Cooled Boxer Twins 1950-1996"

Ian Falloon, "BMW Boxer Twins"

L.J.K. Setright, "Bahnstormer, The Story of BMW Motorcycles"

They each have a different take and perspective. Taken together, they begin to build some of the background of the thinking and details of BMW motorcycles.

Kurt in S.A.

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EuroIron
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

I have seen several of those books and there isn't one that I feel remotely compares with the better American iron publications much less being absolutely authoritative on even one single model of BMW motorcycle......

did I miss that when skimming thru a few of those?

I've taken thousands of very detailed photographs of the many items I've sold and there are so many minute and subtle variations it's almost beyond belief.

I also have to really wonder by an earls fork bike is valued more highly than the plunger framed bikes...... now that is beyond any rational ability to comprehend.

Heck, they are stone ugly.

Darryl.Richman
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

My take on it is that:

a) BMW didn't have an official importer to the US until 1955. Before that, there were only gray market imports, and even then they were very sporadic. Hence, the reason the /2s are so popular here, that's what was being imported when people here first saw a BMW motorcycle.

Cool Baby boomer nostalgia. The same thing that makes old Chevy sedans worth a ton of money makes old Panheads worth a ton of money. There aren't a lot of Jeff Deans around who needed to have a BMW motorcycle when they were in their formative years. Instead, they craved a Harley or Indian that their older brother or uncle or father had.

c) There's no replacement for displacement. BMWs were (and still are, there are many examples on current models) built for the riding environment in Europe and specifically in Germany. If there was a licensing or insurance break for a certain size or horsepower limit in Germany, BMW made a model to fit it. And with the compact size of Europe, were there are few open roads comparable to the midwest and west here, handling had a much higher emphasis than brute strength. So BMW didn't make a bike as big as the entry 883 Harley until 1974.

d) Utility vs. Sport. Henry Ford killed off the utility motorcycle market in the US very early on. By the 1920s, there were only a handful of producers left, and they knew that "what wins on Sunday sells on Monday". But in Europe and Germany, in that era, there were hundreds of producers with local followings. From Adler to Zuendapp, with DKW, D-Rad, Horex, Imperia, Neander, NSU, Opel, Puch, Triumph (TWN), Victoria, and Wanderer in between, there were tons of makers. BMW themselves survived the 50s by making police and ADAC bikes, but it was a narrow thing because what happened in the US in the 20s happened in Germnay in the late 50s -- the population could finally afford to buy a car and get out of the weather.

e) Sprechen Sie Deutsch? The language barrier is huge. BMW made up some translations of their owners manuals pretty early on, for bikes going to the UK. But the Ersatzteilelisten (parts books) were strictly auf deutsch. Americans are a pretty monolingual bunch, and I can tell you from personal experience that German is not a particularly easy language to pick up. Even today, if you want to buy prewar parts or get some service done, you need to have ein bischen deutsch. A related factor is that lots of the parts and services we want and need are really only available across the pond, which adds a hefty shipping bill to those items priced in Euros.

So, I think it's pretty much apples to oranges.

BTW, the R32 is not that uncommon. Pick up an R37 if you can. Wink

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Bruce Frey
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

I have been involved with old BMWs since 1999 when I lived in Barcelona and Germany has always been the most expensive place to buy a prewar or vintage BMW (or old MB, NSU, etc.), even without today's currency imbalance. The last 3 years or so have seen a BIG jump in the prices of most prewar BMW in Euros, which has been magnified by the Euro/USD exchange rate. If you are USD denominated, buying ANYTHING from abroad is tough. Today, there are a lot of cars and bikes making their way from the USA to Europe.

While I think the gap between BMW and HD (and Indian, Henderson, Excelsior, etc) is less in Europe than the USA, it still exists. When I went to my first Veterama, I was shocked to see the amount of prewar American iron that was there. Europe was a surprisingly large market for American bikes in the 20s and 30s and they still have a big, almost cult, following. Local products were considered as transportation or sport toys, but big V twin, American iron was considered rare and exotic.

I have not followed what books are available for old American bikes, but there is no published information that I have found that covers specific details of prewar BMWs. The best way I have found is getting copies of the different versions of the Ersatzteillistes and comparing them part by part, but there are mistakes in those, too. Unfortunately, not all parts are illustrated. Sometimes it gives the production numbers for when the changes were made. You can also tell by the part numbers if there was a previous version of the part. Unless you have an original part to compare it to, however, it is sometimes difficult or impossible to tell real from reproduction. For me, this is a hobby, not a business and I enjoy the historical aspects of these old bikes as much as the riding and wrenching.

I started riding a 90cc Honda in 1965 as transportation in high school. My classmates who were into motorcyles drove a variety of British bikes. I can't remember when I saw my first BMW, but it never made an impression. At that time, HDs were associated with gangs and the 2% group, so while nobody drove one, a lot of people WANTED one. I think that explains a lot of their popularity with those > 50 years old along with the fact that Dad probably drove one before the war.

/2 have never been of particular interest to me (EI is right, I think they are muy feo, too), but I think their value will continue to increase. They will, however, never take the place of big American made V twins in the hearts or wallets of most Americans.

That is my €.02.

ciao,

Bruce

jeff dean
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

Thank you Darryl and Bruce for your very thoughtful comments.

Trying to capture aspects of your youth is so true. I can still see in my mind's eye that slash-2 on campus that so affected me around 1959. It was so beautiful and so unlike the other motorcycles of the day. It drew me in. And, as Darryl notes, my experience then was apparently very rare if not unique.

Others, in droves, had similar experiences about Harleys, apparently, which likely helps drive their prices up today.

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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

Very interesting thread, Euro, particularly when viewed from this angle.

The obvious, trite, but nevertheless true answer to the question must be, 'because people are prepared to pay so much more', but of course what we are discussing is why that should be so.
I think it would be foolish to overlook the effect of millions of dollars worth of advertising spent by H-D to persuade people that their current products are part of a great tradition (most notably seen in their centenary year when they were claiming to be the worlds oldest motorcycle manufacturer!!), this has been immensely successful and has dragged the price of the old ones up alongside. Over here the Hinckley Triumphs have had the same effect on the Meriden ones so that now, ten-a-penny T120s and TR6s are worth more than KSSs and Rudge Ulsters or the real handbuilt quality 1960s machines like Venoms and, yes, Earles Fork BMWs, which are extremely rare here anyway, the R60 having been twice the price of the aforementioned TR6 in 1960.
Old Harleys and Indians apart from WLCs and 741Bs are very rarely seen
and when they are, are usually recent imports from the US so that may be another factor in the price of them over there.
I don't know about over there but here BMW have always had an image problem in that many motorcyclists consider BMWs as bikes for rich hoorays and, I'm sorry to say, many BMW riders consider themselves a cut above ordinary dirty-fingernailed riders. This image sells a lot of new bikes for them, but when you're an ordinary dirty-fingernailed rider on an old BMW it puts you a bit out in the cold sometimes.
It would be interesting to know what sort of people are paying these inflated prices? Riders or Investors?
By the way fellas, what price are you paying for fuel at the moment? Here 94 Octane unleaded is £1.17/litre ($8.79/US gallon).

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EuroIron
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

I paid 3.61 yesterday...........

when I had most of a R66 here, there was a certain very helpful gent that has restored a few of them.......

almost like magic

any part I needed ID, he had excellent pix of them and could readily note details from one year to the next

now I'm thinking that if such a person were to publish some model specfic books

prewar or otherwise

such publications and especially if the repop stuff was compared

would be a huge help in leveling the playing field

and maybe somebody should produce a big bore kit for the 50 and later boxers and without a doubt such a kit could be made available for under 750 USD

very simple castings and very simple machine work

but bigger displacement only means more shaking and no more speed without taller gearing

if some of you guys get bored

go take a look at just how many very very very informative and useful books are to be had for restoring American, British and even Italian stuff

none of which are transportation equals

I'd never dream of kidding myself into thinking my 47 knuck or 48 pan will sustain with any well prepped 50 and later boxer

my flatties.......... yeah they will and may even last longer since they don't have any goofiness going on inside the crank in the name of oil filtering

you guys sitting on or holding vasts collections need to get busy finding/helping somebody writing several good books with some useful photographic info of these bits and all their differences

again I have thousands of pix and after about the first thousand

I decided I never cared one bit about even attempting to work towards any level of expertise

since I've seen too many of the alleged experts strongly disagree with each other over details which truly should not remotely be esoteric

schrader7032
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

I understand that Vech started a restoration book...he's hip deep in actually working on bikes and his business so the book is on the back burner.

I also understand that Chris at Barrington Motor Works is working on a /2 restoration manual. He has info on his website:

http://www.barringtonmotorworks.com/gallery.php?sid=14&gid=94

Kurt in S.A.

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EuroIron
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

I bought a repop "bmw mobile traditions" throttle for a plunger bike from the same

oh wait....... maybe it was a clutch lever perch

having enough originals in my hand to be qualified to say.... guess if was 100% faithful or otherwise?

Bruce Frey
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

On my way to Veterama a couple of years ago, I stopped to see Mark Hugget in Holderbank, CH. Mark supples a lot of parts to Mobil Tradition and also has a large selection of parts for prewar machines. He also has original parts drawings, so when he has a part manufactured, it is as close to an original factory part as possible.

He showed several examples of original drawings, his parts and parts made by other (mostly eastern European) vendors. While the outward appearance is almost the same, there is definitely a difference in quality and usually (but not always) in price. Without having a factory drawing or an original part to compare it to, you cannot accurately judge the quality of a reproduction.

My R12 is almost 100% original and has given me the opportunity to compare original parts with the eastern European reproductions. Most of it is reverse engineered crap by comparison and usually requires a lot of fitting. Sometimes, however, there are no other sources and the Eastern Europeans often provide something that no on else offers.

Last year, I was installing a eastern Euro repop clutch lever that I purchased at Veterama 5 or so years ago on my R6. I dropped it and it cracked! I quickly trashed it and its brake lever mate as well as the perches and replaced it with Huggett parts. You usually get what you pay for.

With the CHF almost at parity with the USD, buying from Switzerland is painful, but when I buy reproduction parts today, my money goes to Mark (or Vech, who stocks Mark's parts) unless there are no other options.

EI and others who follow different marques, how faithful to original parts are the current reporduction parts for vintage and antique American and British iron? Where are the parts made?

Bruce

EuroIron
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

repop American parts are made everywhere including third world Asian countries........ and you are lucky if you get what you pay for

as in will that Asian repop hinged rear fender even bolt on?

just like buying a Polish repop fender for a BMW and on and on

but.......... the guys who have written books certainly point out the differences in original and repops

and have no conflicting financial interests

it's a shame those repoping parts seemingly seem to be unsuccessful in locating known good originals to reverse engineer/design their repops too

CMM's become much more affordable every day and plenty of highly capable tool & die shops sit idle as this is typed

within 25 miles of me, and I live in the middle of nowhere

there are no less than 35 shops that have exotic equipment like CMM's four and five axis machining centers, sinker EDM's and so on

even home type shops no less

the real shame is that so few people know the difference

upon what do I base this observation?

the sheer numbers of people to whom I've sold original stuff only after they've purchased repops and found them to be unfaithful and unsatisfactory

only then were they willing to pay for original stuff even if it was somewhat battered or showing it's age

I'll say I'd be a lot less jaded if those selling repop parts actually showed brutally honest pix of their products right next to known good originals

I wouldn't have bought the few pieces I have had I known they were different

the BMW folks seem much more gentlemenly and tight lipped about this than the HD crowd

when a bad repop that won't slide past a competent show judge or restorer becomes available

it doesn't take long before everyone into HD knows

wanna see some rusty stuff turn into money?

check out my up coming pan and knuckle head HD listings

I'd trade a whole semi load of pre69 BMW stuff for a couple pick up truck loads of old enough American iron Smile

EuroIron
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

and I have one more question

how many frame and engine stamp sets have left the factory and are in private hands?

and I know for sure there are people restamping both frame and engines

as in forging R68 and R69S bikes

who knows about the prewar stuff

I wouldn't even buy a R68 or R69S bike, for real money anyhow, that couldn't prove it's lineage all the way back to when it left the motherland without some serious scientific testing of the numbers

and I have some very excellent photo-documentation of why I am of this opinion

not to mention things that have jumped into my attentive ears

Bruce Frey
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

"EuroIron" wrote:

how many frame and engine stamp sets have left the factory and are in private hands?

I know for sure there are people restamping both frame and engines

While I have no absolute, conclusive proof, I would be willing to bet a LOT of money that prewar bikes are being restamped at that there are at least 2 or more original or very good copies of the stamps, including the BMW rondel in Europe. It would be nice to know how many sets the factory had and what happened to them.

I know my way around the bikes that I have (R12, R5, R6, R71) and their sisters (R17, R51, R61 and R66) and am somewhat conversant about most of the other prewar twins, but with the amount of reproduction parts available and the stamp issue, I would be afraid to buy a flat tank (R47-R63) bike without knowing its history for more than 10 years. You can almost build one of these bikes from repops Unfortunately, finding a prewar bike with provenance is rare.

Definitely, Caveat Emptor!

Bruce

EuroIron
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

now therein lies yet another very serious issue with the values of these machines.......

for years any reasonably competent LEO has been very well versed in HD stamps and would seize a HD that even had anything remotely looking like a sand mark anywhere around the number pad.........

so......... so very many astute investors are quite familiar with the myriad of fonts and belly pan numbers

the MoCo also has very good archives and can disclose all the numerical info for most any given bike including numbering flukes

the BMW's and many many many other Euro bikes are pretty much still under the radar but

I suspect that one or two more upwardly mobile and politically well connected person get their shorts put on when such a felony occurs.......

and that situation will change

sucks and nobody dislikes LEO much more than me but it will help bolster investor confidence and therefore increase the value of the legit desirable bikes as well as those further down the food chain

heck, I've never been pulled over by a officer that had a clue where the frame numbers on a feathebed are supposed to be much less what they should look like........ and I can name several many others but BMW's certainly are included

just the suggestion that a BMW is indeed titled by it's engine case would be enough to stop any further poking by an officer that had never owned one and knew better

seen it with my own eyes

Once a few more people really start looking and cry foul... many other bikes, including forged BMW's will be seen being hauled away from shows swinging from the back of a boom pole wrecker

I can't count how many HD's I've seen seized while watching blatantly and poorly forged euro bikes/parts sell at both swap meets and even on ebay in front of the whole world

anther interesting thing is.............. I have enough frames in one pile to substantiate the existence of several legit number fonts for the 48 and later stuff

Wallaman looked at one matching numbers bike I have and was instantly convinced it had been expertly re-stamped until we started digging thru and found the exact same font on another

not to mention me finding the original German papers sometime later which originated from the purchaser of the bike when new

and the differences just damned near require a linen loupe to distinguish

found both different numerical fonts and even different roundels....... I'd be willing to bet most BMW enthusiasts aren't aware such exists for the post war stuff

I've never seen it discussed and maybe I've missed that being pointed out in many of the books I skimmed thru

all the info for correct HD numbers stamping has been well documented and published

which is why a numbers side only case for even a lowly panhead, flathead, or knuck will fetch more than many BMW guys will give for a basket bmw

not uncommon to see a numbers side pan case fetch 2500 to 3500 and the same for a knuck fetch 4000 to 6000

crazy huh?

the pre-70 HD frames never carried stamped VIN numbers....... only tell tale date codes and various tab/mount/casting changes throughout the years

anyhow....... the HD guys are quite familiar with the numerous forms of numbers verification/scientific testing and acid testing is only a joke for detecting rookie greenhorn numbers jobs

I just wonder how many forged R90S bike exist........ and why are they often worth more than a supremely eclectic and rare plunger or prewar bike?

totally irrational

I'd be willing to bet there are many, I've seen a few that if they weren't number jobs......... somebody at the factory was having a really bad couple of weeks

niall4473
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

Had to chuckle to myself whilst reading the above about people going to great lengths to fraudulently restamp frame numbers and misrepresent bikes to the authorities, since I am at the moment currently in dispute with the UK Vehicle Licensing Agency about this exact issue, but in a mirror image. Here's the story:-

I'm trying to get papers for a 1958 R60 rebuilt from a basket case. I have an accredited dating letter from BMW and a copy of the original Stockport registration dated 5th December 1958. The problem is at some time in the past, the logbook (title) has got separated from the remains of the bike and some character has used the registration on another bike, (built from parts, stolen, illegally imported in the back of a lorry, who knows?), and at some point THAT bike has been written off (wrecked, scrapped, whatever), now the authorities refuse to accept that my bike exists, even though their inspector has examined it and accepted that the frame number is original and untampered with, (interestingly Euro, he brought a file with him containing instructions where to find the numbers, and what they should look like, this can only have come from BMW) and now they will only register the bike if I agree to GRIND OFF the original frame number and stamp in its place a 16 character VIN which they have issued. It would have to be registered as a 'composite' of 'indeterminate age'. They are unwilling to listen to my argument that this will make the bike worthless and unsaleable, and impossible for any future owner to order spares for. I am currently appealing, but will lose, and probably have to break the bike up and scrap the frame rather than sell the bike complete and running for less than it cost me to rebuild it. The joke is that I recently got papers for a 1964 R60/2 imported from Germany in 1975 purely on the strength of the Fahrzugbrief (German Logbook) and Customs Clearance, the authorities never even bothered to check that it existed!

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EuroIron
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

sounds like an uphhill battle to me and bummer........

possible to shuffle it out of the country?

saintclair2703
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

"although most here would refer to me as a kid "

If you'd stop sucking your thumb and wear pants when you answer a knock, that may improve.

The burning question I have is;
What genious made the sliders on the side and bottom the same colour as the background. ? Forums for old wads should be old wad friendly. Pretty soon I'm going to learn how to type while holding a magnifying glass.

Getting to the original question- the difference is culture. Americans go to a square dance sober. Germans have to get drunk to do that. Americans are boisterous and rowdy and (used to) jump in the car with a 6-pack.

Consequently, the advertising is all different. American bikes show pictures of boys and girls having fun. Dresses blowing in the wind, folks with rosy cheeks waving at the reader of the magazine, bright colours.
From Germany you got very serius guys bent over serious-looking bikes in races. They were were doing a job (which they were, in fact). No fun- work. Americans rowdy and fun / Germans intellectual and grim.

Secondly, BMW's pretty much got here before the japanes bikes did- and WWII was still VERY fresh in people's minds. I think the was a signifigant amount of anti-German sentiment. Even many years later, I've met people who thought BMW were against the law to own ( ! ).

Last- BMW's were expensive. So- by the mid-60's, only intellectuals without a clue bought a BMW. College professors and suburbanites who had local contests to see who could come up with the coolest stuff.
Being a dumb kid, I was taken for a ride on an R60 and knew instantly that I was going to own one ASAP. What a magnificent experience!
But- even Mr EuroIron will testy -uh- testify to, I'm a bitter and very lonely person.

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jeff dean
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

I learned some time ago that my knowledge base of old BMWs is far too limited to assess pre-war motorcycles. You have to know a lot more than I do to evaluate an allegedly "original" prewar BMW competently.

Therefore, for my own self-respect, I will not touch one.

I stick with 1951-1969 BMWs, thank you.

Darryl.Richman
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

"saintclair2703" wrote:

The burning question I have is;
What genious made the sliders on the side and bottom the same colour as the background. ? Forums for old wads should be old wad friendly.

Your wish is my command. The general theme adaptability built into the forum software is somewhat limited, and a change like this requires hacking into the actual code. (Sure hope I haven't broken anything.)

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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

HEY- Thanks for the new sliders! I can't wait to show off to my friends!

Mr Dean- I like to ride more than show, so some strangness isn't as important to me. I imagine if you made a reasonable fix, smoked it or buried it for a week, then very lightly sanded / burnished the high spots, you'd have a period correct fix.

?

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Darryl.Richman
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

"jeff dean" wrote:

I learned some time ago that my knowledge base of old BMWs is far too limited to assess pre-war motorcycles. You have to know a lot more than I do to evaluate an allegedly "original" prewar BMW competently.

Therefore, for my own self-respect, I will not touch one.

I stick with 1951-1969 BMWs, thank you.

Perhaps you saw the book review I did in the last Bulletin about BMW Fotoalbum. This is a really handy book, especially for prewar stuff.

You pretty much have to assume that you will get burned to some extent when you get into a prewar bike. They are very old, until recently parts have been very hard to come by, and there was a war and 50 years of Communism that together really made the survivors pretty awful.

Still, IMHO it's worth the effort when you do finally get to the point where you can ride it. At least I hope so, I've got a decade in my R12... so far.

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Allan.Atherton
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

"Darryl.Richman" wrote:

... You pretty much have to assume that you will get burned to some extent when you get into a prewar bike... Still, IMHO it's worth the effort when you do finally get to the point where you can ride it. At least I hope so, I've got a decade in my R12... so far.

My friend Jill here and I rode our R60/2 and R27 to the Bluegrass Beemers rally near Frankfort KY yesterday and saw this R12 (I think). The owner had trailered it and the teepee to the rally from Eastern KY:

I last saw the R12 at this rally a few years ago. I had been bought restored from Blue Moon, trailered to the rally, and the transmission locked up ten miles into the breakfast run. It was trailered back to the rally and then to Guenther Wuest who found the transmission and clutch had been butchered by previous repairs. Blue Moon apparently thought they worked OK, did not do anything with them, and did not ride the restored bike very far. Guenther fixed the transmission and clutch with the right parts, and Blue Moon did compensate the owner.

The bike has run fine ever since, and this year went with the pack on the rally's 70-mile Bluegrass Tour.

Darryl.Richman
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Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
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Why are same vintage HD's worth SO MUCH MORE than BMW's ?

Siiiggghhhh...

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