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Restoration BMW R 68

BMW R68 restoration by Theo Terwel

Between 1952 and 1954, BMW 1452 produced BMW R 68. In the meantime, the R 68 is the most 'counterfeit BMW'. Just pay attention to the numbers so if you are going to score one day ... Yet a very special profession: professional top restoration.


It is therefore quite fortunate that AMK found such a boxer. Or in fact a Theo Terwel, almost waggling with joy, came to report what kind of job he was allowed to do.

Theo Terwel is a man for whom 'Perfection' is the norm. For 'Perfection' there is only bubbling. After 'Perfection' there is only angel singing and trumpet blast. For example, the lower steering head plate on BMW's famous R 90 S is anodised ex works and then painted. Why nobody knows. When Theo prepares an R 90 S, the lower headset plate is also anodized first. And it was only after the third attempt that the local paint specialist was able to find the right shade of green that Theo needed to provide the currently tightened bolts of some R 90 S with the correct color of the paint dot.

Fortunately Theo is not a boring perfectionist, but he is such a rare specimen with a smile in his eyes.

But for BMW restorations, the look is serious. Because there is no kind of motorcyclists that is as rigid on originality as the hardcore classic BMW drivers. The least is that the engine, gearbox and frame must have the same numbers. "Otherwise you might as well throw away such a thing," said a somber fanaticly angry ...
Then you are not just talking about the right color paint, then you are talking about the Right Color Paint from The Right Brand. Not about those damn handy AMP plugs, but about BMW Original Teile. And tie wraps are of course completely out of the question, because only the Genuine Aluminum Straps such as Das Haus used in the fifties can, after testing, on such a reborn Boxer ... The use of the correctly serrated bite rings under bolt heads and nuts is then of course naturally.

When restoring a truly classic BMW you naturally go for completely original. This means that sheet metal is cleaned down to bare steel, it is made taut by traditional methods and then, with at most a scraper of filler and a mist filler, it is brought back to new condition in accordance with the old paint system. The piping must of course still be on that fresh varnish. And just as natural that should not be sticky tape. We repeat: THAT SHOULD NOT BE STRAIN PIPES! Because a restored, BMW-adorned classic BMW is at best good for reinforcing a minor piece in a concrete floor. The part under the toilets for example ...
Become wise from experience, a professional like Theo also buys BMW Originalteile for practical reasons: they fit better and the surface finish is better. And since BMW cherishes its historical heritage, the parts are also readily available for the truly experienced Boxers. It costs something, but then you also have something! And so it's original ...

The Bing carburetors are just new. But old. Also original: the cable harness, brand and type of tires, the outlets and the seats. All internal bearings, pistons, valves and other greases. The handle rubbers ... you name it. It is new or in new condition. And then there are still three exciting moments:
Are the warning lights on when the ignition key is turned for the first time? Does the engine start and run exemplary? Does the owner / client pay with a steel face or does he make a bump of pleasure, completely against the nature of the Real BMW Classic Lover?
The BMW R68 was a beast with no less than 35 horsepower on board. For the bicycle part, there were a few too many. The suspension and damping simply did not swallow the enormous speeds on the bad road surfaces. Very classic on the R 68: the (front) ignition was adjustable by hand. Connoisseurs of that system know by adjusting the ignition while driving the most beautiful explosions from the exhaust system.

Cost that?
Pfahh. You don't want to know ... Of course, an R 68 has an impressive value. But purchasing a project - if you know where to find one - and restoring it ... That is not comparable with market value. Look, and that again argues for those Calvinist BMW fundamentalists: they make the investment anyway. Out of passion. Not from calculation. And you can never blame a person for having enough money to make his dream come true.
Oh yes, this copy cost around 35.000 euros. Of these, the approximately three hundred hours of work involved are an important part of that. You get a ready-made R 68 in from around 25.000 euros. At least if you find one. A real ... because machines of this caliber are usually not found under the Investigators or at Marketplace ...

Often the almost future owner knows the possible seller of his motorcycle for years. He just waits. Because one day ...

Thanks to Theo Terwel.


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