BMW R26 250cc – 1958


  • Engine: 247cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke
  • Bore x Stroke: 68mm x 68mm
  • Compression Ratio: 7.5:1
  • Power Output: 15 horsepower at 6,400 rpm
  • Top Speed: Approximately 78 mph (125 km/h)
  • Transmission: 4-speed manual gearbox
  • Frame: Steel tubular frame
  • Suspension:
    • Front: Telescopic forks
    • Rear: Swingarm with dual shock absorbers
  • Brakes:
    • Front: Drum brakes
    • Rear: Drum brakes
  • Wheelbase: 54.3 inches (1380 mm)
  • Dry Weight: 319 pounds (145 kg)
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons (17 liters)

Manufacturer Design:

  • Manufacturer: Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)
  • Design Philosophy: The BMW R26 was designed as a reliable and robust motorcycle for both urban and rural use. It featured a simple yet effective design, focusing on durability and ease of maintenance. The bike was aimed at being a practical, everyday motorcycle with a focus on quality engineering and solid construction.


  • The BMW R26 holds a significant place in BMW’s motorcycle history as it was a successor to the R25 series and a predecessor to the R27. It represented BMW’s commitment to producing high-quality motorcycles that were not only reliable but also offered excellent performance for their class.
  • The R26 was well-regarded for its smooth ride, thanks to its well-balanced engine and effective suspension system. It was a popular choice among both civilian riders and law enforcement agencies in several countries.
  • This model contributed to BMW’s reputation for building motorcycles that could endure harsh conditions while providing a comfortable ride.

Interesting and Important Facts:

  • Single-Cylinder Engine: The R26 was powered by a single-cylinder engine, which was a common design choice for BMW’s smaller displacement motorcycles of that era. The engine was known for its robustness and ease of maintenance.
  • Shaft Drive: One of the distinguishing features of the BMW R26 was its shaft drive, which was more durable and required less maintenance compared to the chain drives commonly used in motorcycles of that time.
  • Rubber Mounted Engine: To reduce vibrations, the R26’s engine was rubber mounted, which contributed to a smoother and more comfortable ride.
  • Production Numbers: Approximately 30,236 units of the R26 were produced between 1956 and 1960, making it one of the more successful models in BMW’s lineup during that period.
  • Military Use: The R26 was also used by various military and police forces due to its reliability and ease of maintenance, further cementing its legacy as a durable and dependable motorcycle.

The BMW R26 remains a classic and highly sought-after motorcycle among collectors and enthusiasts. Its blend of historical significance, engineering excellence, and practical design make it a notable model in the history of BMW motorcycles.

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