The BMW R27’s solidity, durability and bulletproof construction, together with simple maintenance and a low-stressed drivetrain. A curiosity on the R27 was the Ernest Earles-designed leading-link front fork. The Earles design offered adjustable trail and also provided excellent lateral load resistance, both important for sidecar applications. Cycle World also praised the R27’s finish, component quality and potential durability. It handled well at moderate speeds, but was inclined to wallow in the corners if pushed. Also raising an eyebrow was the “anti-dive” effect created by the Earles fork, which actually imparts a feeling of the front end lifting up on hard braking. Braking from the big alloy single-leading-shoe drums was excellent. But where the thumper really scored was in long-distance comfort. The testers noted that “the R27 will take a beating without complaint, although it is not really intended for that,” suggesting that the best way to ride the baby Beemer was to relax, slow down and enjoy the scenery.  In an age of desert sleds, bobbers and café racers, the R27 looked just plain dated and dull by 1966, the year it slipped into oblivion. But its solidity, durability and bulletproof construction, together with simple maintenance and a low-stressed drivetrain, make it a highly underrated and under appreciated classic. As current owners will tell you, they’re great bikes. Grab one while you can! This example is owned by a retired motorbike dealer in Ottawa ON.


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