R 50 & Steib 350S: Lothar Schuettler
1959 BMW R 50 & Steib 350S #560911
494cc M252/2 Boxer Twin
429 lbs. (704 lbs. w/ sidecar)
In 1955, BMW replaced the “plunger-style” rear suspension with a twin-shock swingarm, and the telescopic forks with Earles forks to give R 50 and R 69 uncommon stability and incomparable ride quality. The bikes were popular for sidecar duty, using a BMW sidecar or a Steib like that on the R 50 seen here. “An R 50 was the first BMW I owned as a teenager in Germany, and I put a Steib 350S sidecar on it so I could ride in winter through snow and ice,” says Lothar Schuettler, who owns and restored the identical outfit seen here.
For more pictures and information on this or any other vehicle in the Motorcycles exhibit, check out the exhibition book in our store!