Post Sale Update: this R26 sold for $9,050 after 73 bids on eBay in Peer, Belgium.
Introduced in 1956 (and out of the market in 1960), the R26 was a significant revision of the R25, with upgrades that included a rear swing arm, Earles forks, and an enclosed drive shaft. There were some cosmetic upgrades, too, but the key numbers are 15 horsepower out of the 247cc single cylinder, 79 mile per hour top speed, and 348 pounds of weight.
For more on the R26, check out this period review (April 1956) from Motor Cycling magazine on the bike hosted by Bench Mark Works, where the bike is summed up as having “excellent riding comfort, superb steering, smooth, powerful braking, a remarkably high level of exhaust and mechanical quietness, good fuel economy and a fine standard of engineering, detail design and finish.”
This triple numbers matching example (VIN: 351692) is ready to ride, though the seller notes that the chrome and paint aren’t perfect. I’m a big fan of this seller, who offers many interesting motorcycles and is somehow able to ship them to several US ports for no cost to the buyer. It was recently refurbished in January with a “renewed” wiring harness, clutch, points, and condenser. It also got a NOS Bing carb and ignition coil. Just a few days ago it got an oil change, new spark plug, and new battery.
Per BMW’s historical records, “The BMW R 26 VIN 351692 was manufactured on November 08th, 1956 and delivered on March 15th, 1957 to the French BMW importer Latscha. It was a black solo bike. A bench seat was not mentioned explicitly which makes it more likely that the bike had a single seat.”
The seller notes that it has a rare BMW-Kienzle hand wound clock on that is still working condition.
Find this R26 for sale in Peer, Belgium with bidding up to $4,510 (and the seller offers free shipping to the US) here on eBay.