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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Barn Find (Well, kind of sort of) I picked up this weekend. (updated with the backstory)

First of all let start by thanking everyone for the "congratulations", well wishes, etc. I had a great friend who passed away after a surgery due to a blood clot to the lungs app. eight days after the procedure. He was a great guy all the way around (Christian, Conservative, husband, Patriot, outdoorsman, hunter, lover of all types of history, gun collector and shooter, etc.). He retired twenty some odd years ago as a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy. He had another job as a Senior Security Officer at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. He formally retired Nov. 25th and passed away Dec. 4th. He also was a reenactor (Civil War, War of 1812, WW2, etc.). He owned this bike. He and I had haggled back and forth for close to 10 years, but we never formally traded. Though I had met his wife a couple of times, I didn't want to just bust in and try to buy the bike. I called a mutual friend to ask him how to approach her and he informed me that another reenactor and mutual friend in Memphis had made the widow an offer on this bike and another vehicle. I thought to myself that the saying of "if you snooze, you lose" was true. Long story short I contacted that buyer to congratulate him, etc. and he told me if I wanted the bike I could have it for what he gave for it (he owns three just like it). He then called the widow of our friend and told her what we had agreed too. I picked it Saturday and paid her for the bike. 

For those asking, it is CJ 750 flathead engine 24 h.p. The bike is Chinese. It is a copy of a 1937-38 R-71 BMW. These bikes have been coming into the U.S. for at least three decades. Usually there is a frame in one box and the engine in another. They will have dates on the Bill of Sale going back to the 1950's. This is probably done to bypass emission laws in certain states. I bought one just like this in 1998. The Bill of Sale stated 1946 DDR (east German). Everything on the bike was Nam Chang and brand new except for a Bosch WW2 period taillight. I kept it for four years and good luck with it. It was a real pleasure to ride on country backroads. While the one I got on Saturday needs quite a bit of work, I can get it going. The bike hasn't ran for 2.5 years, but still turns over freely. The carbs will probably have to be rebuilt or replaced and the tires are dry rotted. I'll try to post some photos from time to time to show the progress.


                                                                       





           


                                                                                         




















                                                                                   

33 comments:

  1. don't let the guys at oldafsarge see that. They will be calling arty in on it, or outright shooting at it, hollering for Gammel and his spotter!!

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  2. SWEET! That should keep you busy until retirement age rolls around. Nice score though!

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  3. OMG - That is a lusty find. Something like that would bring over $8,000 here. I hope you got a great deal on that Bavarian Meat Wagon scooter...

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  4. Nice find, barn or not. You'll have to give us the story sometime.

    TN Patriot

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  5. Say, that's a nice WWII-era BMW. What are your plans for that?

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  6. I had to wipe the drool off the keyboard and screen!

    You lucky bastard! Does it run? Sure looks in almost mint condition!!

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  7. My jealousy, literally, knows no bounds. It's beautiful, and the find of a lifetime.

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  8. So where did you find a BMW ss side car war bike?

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  9. Damn … is that a WW2 German BMW? Sure looks like it … assuming it's authentic and not just a prop from a movie (The Great Escape, anyone?) …

    I had a buddy of mine in LA about 40 years ago who had more than 40 bikes … all in working order … and one of his pride and joy bikes was a BMW from the '20s -- 100 years old …

    Great find … wish you the best with it -- should keep you busy for months … and be a real labor of love.

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  10. Reminds me of 'Where Eagles Dare'. Good health to enjoy it :)

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  11. That looks like a very satisfying project. Happy for you! Ohio Guy

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  12. Damn, Jeff - THAT is cool as hell!
    I'm not typically the type that goes for the clear-coated rust look, but this looks awesome just the way she sits. Keep us updated on the build, it should prove to be quite interesting.

    Leigh
    Whitehall, NY

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  13. SSimple J. MalarkeyFebruary 22, 2021 at 9:27 AM

    As an owner of 2 airheads (73 R75 and 92 R100RT) I can attest to the simplicity and durability of the Beemer MC. They still make 30s-40s BMWs in Russia and China with updated brakes and electronics and they still sell. The reason I have them is they are easy to work on and I can do almost everything myself, outside of machine work. And the more you ride them the more you appreciate the workmanship, especially with the 73. I always have a big grin and more appreciation for it when I get off after a good ride.

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    1. Exactly. It is like a fellow told me after I bought my first one, "they aren't Greyhounds, but they have thick hairy legs". As I said earlier, I had good luck with my first and regretted selling it. When I sold it, I asked my friend who bought it to give me first shot at if he ever decided to sell. He added many accessories and upgrades including a BMW engine and tranny. When he got ready to sell it he called, but I wasn't really in a position to buy it and passed. I did see the bike again near St. Louis, MO a few years back.
      Originally, I had ordered that bike from an importer from New Jersey. It was delivered on a Mayflower moving truck. The guy I bought it from didn't give me any instructions, but told me to bring a couple of gallons of gasoline. I got it unloaded, gassed it, fired it up, and headed towards my house app. 4 miles away. About half way there, the engine began to cease. I called a buddy who had just purchased one from the same guy. He informed me there was a "break in" schedule (so many km in each gear). He told me let it cool and it should crank. It did and I got it home. After following the "break in" schedule, I kept the oil changed in the crankcase, transmission, and differential (5W 20 Syntec in all three). I kept the plugs gapped, air filter clean, and points properly set, etc. I never had any trouble with it. My friend on the other hand was constantly tinkering with his and he did have some issues. The attention they draw reminds me of a "RatRod" at a car show. There can be 100 $50k custom bikes around and people flock to the "old German motorcycle". LOL.

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  14. Did any of those who posted comments read that back story? Its a knockoff. Still cool but in no way authentic.

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    1. Jeffery added the updated story after the post of the pictures went up.

      Irish

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  15. If'n you're going to keep the sidecar, it wants an MG-34 on a pintle mount.
    If you take the sidecar off, you'll probably be tempted to wear your torn up sweatshirt and chinos, and go jumping barbed wire border fences like Steve McQueen.
    Either way, enjoy your new toy.

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    1. Thanks Aseop. I watched "The Great Escape" the other night. Who is not a fan of the "Cooler King"?

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  16. The first post was like, well having the hottest wife in the neighborhood II DO).

    But, then the second post is like a new neighbor moved in and she is the hottest.

    Freak'n bummer.

    Congrats none the less.

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    1. That is exactly what I was thinking too. He retired November 25th and die December 4th.

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    2. that part is bothersome. don't wait too long to retire.

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  17. My condolences on the loss of your friend.

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  18. Agree with Igor - I had to wipe the drool off the keyboard and screen - all the best - when you get road worthy pop over, or I will head west. A friend had a Russian of the era that he restored (wish I kept the picture) and he worked on here once or twice - many happy miles!

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