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BMW Monos. Even more relaxation

BMW Monos. Even more relaxation
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Funny, where BMW drivers are usually pretty strict and have a penchant for perfectionism, the Monoclub turns out to be a bunch of relaxed bon vivants. And we saw at a meeting what we usually do not expect from BMW drivers m/f, although the weather conditions certainly had something to do with it: BMW drivers in shorts and in T-shirt. On the bike. And somewhere in the course of the day, an uninhibited club member from Amsterdam told him that his key ring had a key with which he could unlock Amsterdammertjes for a while to be able to park his sidecar neatly. Much to the surprise of the local parking attendants, who kept wondering how he had gotten through the posts.

The BMW single-cylinder family comes from a time when owning a so-called 'automotive' had not yet become the scourge it is now. Many government officials, civil servants and the like did not have a service car, but a 'service bicycle'. The single-cylinder BMWs were therefore designed for that target group: they were 'Behörden Kräder'. And 'Krad' is the friendly compact afko for 'Kraft Rad'. But people like vets also rode proudly on a BMW mono. And the clothes? At the time, it was made of millimeters thick leather that had to be greased twice a year.


So the club

The reason for the founding of the club was mainly that at the end of the seventies the supply of parts and maintenance for classic BMW single-cylinders became more difficult. A way to share knowledge and experience was sought. Furthermore, the founders wanted to bring people together with love and feeling for these simple motorcycles. The single-cylinder engine may be technically less impressive than the boxer or other engine variants, but it's also cheaper and bravely endearing. The membership of the club is now about 400 men M/F. In any case, one man happily told me that it was because of his dating at the time, his current wife, that he had started riding a motorcycle.

And those brave brave BMW Monos?

Those are just time machines. Just like Doctor Who's Tardis, but slower. Blessed with perfect ergonomics, such a BMW bustles at a leisurely trot on the most beautiful roads. An R27 certainly drives 100, but actually prefers to run 80 kilometers per hour. An R26 runs better according to the enthusiasts. While just as many other enthusiasts graciously oppose that the block is made of an R27 rubber bearing, and is therefore much more comfortable. The owner of an – East German reference BMW single cylinder – an EMW with his red/white 'BMW' logo listens to it all with a smile and knows that with his illegitimate single cylinder he is also welcome within the BMW monoclub.

The BMW single-cylinders from after WWII were the R24 (1948), the various R25s, the BMW R26 (1955-1960) and the R27 (1960-1966). Until now, the R26s and R27s have simply been deployable classics. But their deployment is actually limited to secondary roads. An R26 has 15 an R27 has 18 hp 

The parts supply through the club and various specialists is exemplary. Prices are still reasonable, but rising. The reliability is fine.

Read more:
- Motorcycles for sale in our section Vintage cars for sale
- The sleeping BMW R25 / 2 on King's Day
- BMW single-cylinder motorcycles
- BMW is not an old-fashioned brand
- Single-cylinder BMWs: A good choice

8 Comments

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  1. If an R 27 with registration number ZL-87-51 and frame no. 377535 driving around, unfortunately that is my stolen R27 from 1954. What a wonderful motorcycle that was ☺️.

  2. the day after getting my driver's license, I bought an R25 that had been in the shed of a cousin of my father's for years. The Jawa from my probationary period was sold and that same afternoon I was already lying in a meadow because my driving experience was slightly less than Agostini's. With a new glass in the headlight and a handlebar that has always remained a bit crooked, I enjoyed it for almost a year until I wanted to buy a five hundred that was way too expensive for my wallet and ran into a very nice American which has made my motorcycle world much bigger. But in every motorcycle museum I look for an R25 in the collection.

  3. Perfect slow-down machines, such a strum-one-pitter.
    I myself have another East German, well-adopted of an R24…AWO/ Simson 425.
    Solo good for 100~110 km/h, with sidecar (and ditto cardan transmission) about 85.
    Somewhere between 50 and 75 is 'the sweet spot', in other words; on N-roads you have nothing to look for..

    BMW Monos. Even more relaxation

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