Based on the more sedate 35bhp R69 that was produced from 1955 to 1960, the R69S benefited from BMW’s extensive racing experience by that time and shared some of that race technology. The R69S featured a vibration damper at the end of the crankshaft and the main bearings were designed to withstand whip and flex in the crank.
It was BMW’s flagship sportsbike throughout the 1960s and although it wasn’t the fastest machine on the roads (top speed was still a very respectable 110mph), it was renowned for its superbly smooth handling, reliability, build quality and finish – as well as its classic clean looks. In fact, BMW got the package so close to perfection that 11,317 units of the bike were produced from 1960 to 1969 with hardly any changes or updates.
Based around a 594cc air-cooled boxer motor making 42bhp, the S model was BMW’s top-of-the-range machine when it was launched and, as such, also featured added luxuries like plush Earles fork and a steering damper as standard. The R69S was, and remains, a prestige motorcycle and has been described as a ‘work of mechanical art.’ It’s s still considered by many to be the ultimate BMW production motorcycle and this matching numbers example would boost any collection.