Articles including road, comparison and long distance tests, new model introductions, specifications, technical and performance data, touring. Models - R50/5, R60/6, R75/6, R90/6, R90S.
BMW has a wealth of experience in producing motorcycles with a horizontally-opposed twin cylinder engine and shaft final drive. Indeed, it is these features that characterise the BMW, allied with the high quality of their product and the exceptionally low level of mechanical noise. Never cheap in comparison with their contemporaries, they attracted the more discerning motorcyclist to whom price was a secondary consideration. The /5 series represented a determined attempt by BMW to have an entirely up-to-date model range in capacities ranging from 498 to 898cc's. Now the motorcycles were being made in Spandau as car manufacture had taken up all the production space in Munich. The /5 series duplex tube frame was reminiscent in some respects of the Norton ?featherbed? design, having a heavily braced steering head but only a single larger diameter top tube with a secondary lower tank rail. The rear sub-frame was a bolted-on assembly, its right-hand tube enclosing the shaft final drive. A conventional telescopic front fork now replaced the earlier Earles design and the new engine unit was massive, virtually filling the frame. Tilted slightly upwards at the front, it provided better angular travel for the universal joint of the shaft final drive. It also now contained an electric starter, regarded as an essential part of every modern motorcycle. For the first time BMW had available alternative colour schemes in addition to the traditional all black finish with white lining. The /6 series that followed had further refinements which included a five-speed gearbox and an hydraulic disc front brake. New long, tapered silencers ensured noise levels were kept to a minimum with increasing concern being shown about the environment. BMW were very much back in the running and were being used by many police forces for law enforcement on account of their reliability. This book on BMW bikes, deals with the twin cylinder range manufactured from 1971 on. Articles including road, comparison and long distance tests, new model intros & touring. Models covered: R50/5, R60/6, R75/6, R90/6 & R90S.