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1956 BMW R26

Getting Back Together

Classic Velocity

the tank had not been on the machine for many months. The power sports battery was nearly dead, so it needed a full charge. The tank was positioned, and new fuel hose was cut to size. Aviation fuel was the first to inhabit the cleaned tank, and the rebuilt carburetor.

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Fuel Tank Follies Part Deux

Classic Velocity

It turns out that the issue around the petcock area of the tank was not solved with the last attempt. It needed to be properly ground down, and then properly brazed. This was beyond my stick welder and skill level, so off it went to a pro. A week later, it was returned with the great work that you see in the picture. Best of all, it no longer leaks !

Fuel Flow Follies

Classic Velocity

The 60 year old carburetor on the R26 seems to have finally lost its adjustment capability. It needs a rebuild, and this time I opt to send it off to the Bing Agency. There are no used or rebuilt ones around, and Bing knows their way around their own products. A pretty simple disassembly, and now we wait... 

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Fuel Fumes

Classic Velocity

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The reason the garage has a strong scent of gasoline sometimes turns out to be the R26. It leaks fuel from around the petcock. I ordered a new one. A quick switch proved that it is not the petcock, but a very small leak in the tank near the petcock flange. I just assumed....So off with the tank and off with the petcock.  Well at least the garage smells better.....

Forty Fine Miles

Classic Velocity

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Finally, the weather allowed a few miles of riding. It was cold and just warm enough to create rivulets of melting snow across the roads in select places. No matter, I was itching to get the R26 out, and so out I did go. A few first impressions. First gear is impossibly tall. It is difficult to know what it was intended to do. The steepest of mountains ? Beyond that, the machine dispels its initial vibrations and accelerates well. It seems happiest around 45-50mph. There is however, a stumble at wider throttle openings that will need to be investigated, and it is reluctant to start when hot. 

The Power of One

Classic Velocity

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There is something strangely appealing about the postwar singles from BMW. All singles sound great to me, but the R26 and R27 sound cool and have the classic good looks of the pre /2 machines. In this case, the machine was a fine example by my friend Jeff. It is beautiful just to look at and although it has arrived in the middle of the arctic freeze, I am looking forward to riding it come spring.