Two real survivors…

Posted: November 24, 2017 in Just Me
Tags: , , , , , ,

Two totally different bikes, both from the same era, both unrestored survivors, both are bikes I would dearly love to own. And both owned by different people.

First up is a Velocette Venom 500, in clubman trim with period John Tickle accessories.


Velocette Venom 500


John Tickle Brake


Velo clubman

Next up is one of my top dream bikes, a wonderful BMW R69s with Heinrich long range touring tank, owned by a fine old gentleman down in the south east corner of England, what a classy bike.


R69s Earles forks


Craven luggage


Riders view


Perfect, BMW R69s

And as it happens both are for sale right now, and I would love them both.

  1. Peter Beeson says:

    I was the second owner of BMW 539TPL and carried out the mods – indicators, 5gal fuel tank (not Heinrich) and the pannier forward fitting, and electrical mods, not mentioned. There was once a fairing by the same small company that made the tank for me, Photo available. Please pass on my email address.

    • englandkev says:

      Hi peter thanks for the comment, is it an R69S or is it just an R69? there are a couple of things that confuse me, no bulge on the front engine cover, and no R69S badge on the rear fender.


      • Peter beeson says:

        Definitely an R68S I bought it about I969 from the chairman of the BMW Club of GB Arthur Lewis, and there was no badge on the rear mudguard, as for the crankshaft damper – I’m fairly sure there was one fitted but I think it was a ‘pre-bulge model. I had the beast serviced by Dave Dickerson at Tintern ( Dave raced sidecar Rennsport in the TT races on the IOM) my other two BMs
        I serviced myself!
        It was an excellent bike and, in pre-speedlimited days, regularly returned 50mpg/100mph!
        Anything else you need to know – just remember it was 43 years ago!


      • englandkev says:

        Thank you.

  2. Peter Beeson says:

    You’re welcome. Do you happen to know who has it now and how much it sold for? Morbid interest really, I sold it in 1975 for £350 if I remember correctly, emmigration money for RSA!

    • englandkev says:

      It resides down in Whitstable, an old boy has it, and as far as I know it never sold at that time, I have tried to buy it but so far nothing is happening

      • Peter Beeson says:

        Do you have anything more precice than ‘an old boy near Whitstable’ perhaps? For the record I am ‘an old boy near Norwich’ (77 In fact) and am more than a little interested in the history of 539TPL.
        There’s a lot of ‘me’in that bike!

  3. englandkev says:

    I am afraid I don’t, I know his name is Henry, I know he is not very well at all, but that is all I know, I was sent the pictures through a friend of a friend. I have been trying to buy the bike, but due to the owners worsening illness, I am not sure it will ever happen.

    • Peter Beeson says:

      Hi. Don’t feel to bad about it. The bike is nowhere as ’original’ as you might think. From the top –
      1. The fuel tank is, as I said, a special made for me by a small company in hampshire somewhere who also produced the, now defunct, fairing which had shin supports to assist control and take breaking loads (I could send a photo if the blog would allow it).
      2, The mudguards are glassfibre, from a guy in the midlands (beautifully made), you can see that the front support, just behind the spring/damper units, is moulded into the glass, not riveted as on the original steel guards.
      3. The exhaust system is stainless steel. It was so pretty I had the silencers on my mantlepiece for a week before fitting them!
      4. The gearbox is a sidecar unit which, combined with ‘5’ below, gave me a wider ratio spread with lower first and higher fourth, to take advantage of the weight saving from the mudguards, fueltank and the decreased drag curtesy of the fairing ( on occassion I got 120+ on the motorway !)
      5. The rear drive is from an R50S, up a bit on the standard 69s unit which, with the sidecar box, would not have lifted the top speed.

      The overall effect was to produce a brilliant high speed tourer with acceptable consumption exceptional comfort.
      So you see, hardly an ‘original out of the box, R69S which, if I had the money (which I don’t) I would buy back in a flash!

      P.s. When I sold it the front brakedrum was cracking up, but I expect Ian Clark (friend and buyer) would have long rectified that!

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