Auctions and Brokerage
Considered by many to be the ultimate BMW production motorcycle, the R69S is the epitome of the sport-touring bike. Introduced in 1960, the R69S encompasses all of the qualities and characteristics that have sustained BMW as one of the world’s leading brands. Based on the 594 cc R60 “slash-2,” the R69S boasted a significant increase in horsepower and outright performance,capable of a top speed of 109 mph.
The R69S received immediate praise, with Cycle World extolling, “Actually, the BMW motorcycle is more like the Mercedes than a Rolls-Royce: conservative in many respects, but quite advanced nonetheless. In any case, the BMW has attributes that make it unique, and it has acquired a reputation that makes it a ‘prestige’ motorcycle. Whatever the BMW’s merits in a contest of speed, it is still the smoothest, best finished, quietest and cleanest motorcycle it has ever been our pleasure to ride. The R69S is fast enough to handle any encounter, and it has attributes that are, in touring, infinitely more valuable than mere speed.”
This particular example, a desirable European- specification R69S, was sold new to Granfield Lawrence of Swansea, Wales, delivered in the quintessentially appropriate black. The original registration logbook documents the BMW’s ownership until the motorcycle passed to Bryan Harries of Aldershot, England. In his care, the R69S was entrusted to Bob Porecha for restoration, a noted BMW specialist in London known for his impeccable work. Once complete, the R69S was featured on the cover of Classic Bike magazine in April 1987, accompanied by an article boasting of the model and this particular example’s exceptional restoration.
The R69S was eventually imported to the US, where it is said to have been a feature in a private East Coast motorcycle museum. In 2012, the BMW was acquired by Gooding & Company specialist Paul Hageman. Having grown up with significant motorcycles including his father’s own R69S, Paul had spent a number of years searching for the best example. Outfitted with aluminum rims, the aluminum oil sump, a Pagusa solo seat, and the low handle bars, this R69S further matched the strict requirements in its overall presentation, with a clean rear fender and minimal chrome accessories.
Accompanying the sale of this motorcycle are an original owner’s manual, a tool roll, and substantial documentation, including the original English logbook, restoration invoices, and a copy of Classic Bike magazine. Ridden sparingly in its most recent ownership, the BMW remains well cared for and is wonderfully presented, showcasing the quality of the now 26-year-old restoration.
The R69S here is surely one of the finest restored, best documented, and ideally specified examples of the landmark BMW motorcycle. Perfectly suited for the well-heeled collector or first-time classic motorcycle buyer alike, this R69S is a quality, matching-numbers example rarely seen. As BMW then advertised, “If you want to be happy for a day, drink. If you want to be happy for a year, marry. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a BMW.”