‘57 R50 Question

Arlo
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2022 8:15 am

‘57 R50 Question

Post by Arlo »

Hey guys, first time post and looking for some advice. This local bike came up for sale and I’m looking for some advice on costs to get it running solid, and later restoration. The specs on the bike is that the owners dad bought it new. Ran it hard, did endurance runs including extra snorkel exhaust kit. He changed front fork on to increase clearance, original front fork comes with bike. The last time it ran down the road was 5+ years ago. Son puts gas in now, but he says it’ll disappear, no puddle. Most likely needs gaskets and full road-ready maintenance. No issues last time it ran though. Kicks over no problem now. Son needs it out of his garage, $4500 negotiable.

I want a bike from this decade, extremely bad. My goal would be to make it a solid rider, then eventually move it towards a restored condition. Honestly, I just want to ride it, now.

(I used to be a Harley guy, but sold them and now ride an ‘05 RT1200, which I love. I’m extremely green in the vintage BMW bike world, other than the fact that I think they’re the pinnacle of what a bike should look like.)

Any thoughts, advice or experience very appreciated.
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Last edited by Arlo on Sun May 15, 2022 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jwonder
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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by jwonder »

Not seeing pictures it is hard to tell how much work it needs. The other factor is how little h you can do yourself. A $4500 bike turns into. A $20000 bike quickly if you do not do the work.

Pics and abilities would help.
James Wonder
Long Island, New York

Arlo
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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by Arlo »

Sorry, photos attached again.
Thanks for the immediate input already. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m not a bike mechanic, but I’m able to do a lot. Videos, manuals carry the rest. I’m wondering what it’ll take to get on the road first. (ex: “ I had a bike like that and I spent $_____. my first 12 mo just getting it road ready. Then $____ making it pretty.”)

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San Arthur
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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by San Arthur »

Arlo wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 9:44 pm
I’m wondering what it’ll take to get on the road first. (ex: “ I had a bike like that and I spent $_____. my first 12 mo just getting it road ready. Then $____ making it pretty.”)
Arlo, without knowing exactly what is wrong with the bike and what parts you would need to replace, what you are asking about this motorcycle in particular is extremely challenging to answer and even more difficult to put a Dollar sign.
Even among exact same models, all restoration projects are different.
Son puts gas in now, but he says it’ll disappear, no puddle.
If the petcocks are not working, it is possible that the fuel is going through the valves into the engine.
Ethanol in gasoline is a hygroscopic material and attracts water and moisture and could contribute to the corrosion of some parts.

I wish I could be more helpful and good luck with your project.
San Arthur in San Antonio, Texas
'58 R26 '76 R90S '88 R100RS '94 R100GS/PD

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malmac
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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by malmac »

Well maybe someone could set up a betting ring and the guy closest to the dollars actually spent in the first two years, wins a prize.

My guess is that you will spend another $10,000 in the next two years.
After that we can draw the prize and then set up a new gamble for the following two years.

I hope for your sake I am the highest figure and have estimated a much worse result than what you end up spending.

Cheers

Mal
mal - R69s
Toowoomba- Australia

FL54
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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by FL54 »

The most worrisome aspect is the disappearing fuel. Aside from the fact that the bike is far from stock, I wouldn’t be afraid to take on the project if you had a modicum of mechanical skills. I would negotiate the price pretty aggressively given the condition and the fact that the son wants it gone. Just my $.02.
Central Oregon

Arlo
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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by Arlo »

Yikes, I don’t think I’m ready for a potential “$10k in two years” project. Thanks for the replies, that’s what I’m looking to hear. I’d have to buy the bike first before getting to know exactly what’s wrong or what parts she’ll need.

Im sure many of you have found bikes like this and can generalize that “they will cost you a lot of money regardless.” Dropping a few thousand to get it to run is one thing. Spending thousands every year to keep it going isn’t what I want.

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schrader7032
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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by schrader7032 »

I doubt it will cost thousands each year to keep running. The bigger expense is up front which then tapers off. Of course a lot depends on your starting point and your end goal. Costs have been thrown around in the past but it seems that with a little bit of work on your part getting things taken apart and then having a professional to the engine internals and likely the heads, you're looking at around $2K. I initially started keeping track of my R69S restoration but have laxed a bit lately...but generally I've spent double the price of the purchase. Some of that, though, is my costs to fetch the bike and bring it home.
Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2
Fast. Neat. Average. Friendly. Good. Good.

Arlo
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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by Arlo »

Thanks Kurt. I’d have no trouble disassembling and seeking expertise for the internals. I’ve seen unrestored “riders” from $8500 to restored bikes around $13k. Just here to gather some expert opinions while trying to decide the potential of saving money by taking on a mystery project (Vegas odds?!), vs buying a solid rider. For me, anything pre ‘69 is the look I’m after.

weh8127
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Re: ‘57 R50 Question

Post by weh8127 »

What is that front end? If its from an earlier BMW, depending on condition, it could be worth quite a lot to someone who would be happy to get it.
Bill Husted
Barre, MA USA
1963 R60/2 w/ 1955 Steib S500
1973 R75/5

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