The BMW R26 Motorcycle - 1955
Photo: BMW R26 Instruction Manual (1955); CLICK IMAGE to magnify
The R26 was the followon to the R24 (1949), BMW's
first postwar motorcycle. R26 Specifications: Single cylinder,
245cc, 15 horsepower, 4-stroke, overhead valves. Bing 1/25/46 throttle
slide curburetor. 4-speed gear box, positive-stop foot control. Front and
rear internal shoe brakes. Drive shaft (not chain) on the port side.
Curb weight: 158 Kg. Maximum load: 167 Kg. Maximum
speed, single passenger: about 128 Km/h. Fuel consumption: 3.5 liters / 100
Km at 90 Km/h (70 mpg at 55 mph). Acceleration: 0-60 in about an hour.
- Ignition and lighting switch.
- Ignition warning light.
- Neutral indicator.
- Front brake lever.
- Twist grip throttle.
- Steering damper.
- Clutch lever.
- Headlight dip switch.
- Horn button.
- Steering lock.
*The battery served no discernable
- Petrol tap.
- Kickstarter pedal.
- Battery box lock (*).
- Gear shift pedal.
- Air filter.
- Rear brake pedal.
purpose; I didn't have one.
Gear shift pedal operation.|
Neutral is between 1st and 2nd.
Me on my 1955 R26 in 1967, when I lived 170 West 109th Street*, NYC (but I
think this picture was taken on 114th Street). Note the bent front-brake
lever, a hazard of parking on the street, sideways between two cars —
cars getting into or out of spaces always knock the bike over and break the
levers, headlight, etc. Parking lengthwise, on the other hand, is a
provocation to space-crazed car owners, and likely to get your bike turned
around sideways and/or pushed over anyway. In the winter, I just drove it
up the steps into my apartment to avoid parking headaches. Prior to the
R26, I had owned a 1949 Volkswagen (small
divided rear window, flapping turn signals, and non-synchromesh manual
transmission requiring double-clutching to downshift; I paid $50 for it and
drove it all over Europe while in the Army until it died one day on the
Photo: Tim Lee (CLICK to enlarge).
President-to-be Obama lived 2 doors down from my place on 109th Street
fourteen years later at 142 West 109th Street; see
story. More about the neighborhood HERE
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5 May 2004, updated 20 Jan 2009, 5 Oct 2016.