The late 1940s were a difficult time for Germany, and many of the country’s auto and motorcycle manufacturers shared in the post-war fallout surrounding the design and manufacture of new vehicles. In the early ‘50s, BMW’s hands were tied when it came to the production of their newest R24 and R25 models, which were essentially redesigns of their pre-war R23 motorcycle, but in 1956 the company introduced its drastically redesigned R26.
The R26 houses a 250cc single-cylinder engine capable of around 15 horsepower, and retains an all-original patina that plays host to a menagerie of scrapes, cuts, and dents — to say that it’s full of character would be an understatement. While the motorcycle’s engine was bolted directly to the frame, it was accompanied by an enclosed drive shaft, rear swing arm, and Earles front forks that brought the bike into modernity. A replaced taillight nacelle is the only non-original aspect of the bike, which comes as a surprise since the Bosch branded chrome headlight, spoked wheels, and Pagusa solo seat all remain in excellent condition.