1960 BMW r69s
Photos by Azariah Aker
This bike was restored and built by owners Josh Steele and Chris John of Vintage Steele. Vintage Steele is a Motorcycle building and repair shop located in Brattleboro Vermont.
Josh and Chris were looking for a 1960 BMW r69s for a potential project when they discovered that a friend and fellow motorcycle enthusiast, Christopher Myott, owned an r69s in a condition that would make a great candidate for a restoration project. Christopher got in touch with V.S. to inform them that he was considering letting the bike go. After a bit of negotiation, Christopher and V.S. made a deal, trading Josh’s personal 1970 BMW r75/5 for the r69s. In the early fall of 2014, Chris and Josh drove out to Jaffrey, NH to see the culprit for the first time in person and to seal the deal. Let’s just say, it was a classic example of pictures making bikes look way better then they do in real life—this bike was rusty. But being able to see the true beauty and potential under the windjammer fairing and the dirt, they loaded it up in the truck and drove it back to the shop in Brattleboro Vermont. It sat in the shop untouched for a few months, while V.S. decided what to do with this diamond in the rough.
In December 2014, Caleb Matthiesen of Seavts, a long time friend, came in from Seattle to participate in the building and restoration of a few motorcycles as winter projects. Together they decided to take the BMW r69s on knowing this opportunity may never come along again and wanting to show what their motorcycle restoration and modification capabilities are.
While the days got cold and the snow started to fly in Southern Vermont, the guys tore the bike apart, and replaced everything that needing replacing. Leaving no stone unturned, they powder coated the frame, painted the tins, and cleaned the hell out of it—several times. They stuck with the Earls front forks for the beautiful look, but updated the suspension. Caleb took on the ugly rubber seat to make an original, one of a kind, meticulously crafted upholstered piece.
For all the details: V.S. called on Khameleon Koatings to do the powder coating with a semi-gloss black finish; Pat Desalvo took on the paint job, a color in which was Josh’s brain-child. In bringing this bike together, Vintage Steele envisioned a bike that you could not take your eyes off, a bike you would go to bed dreaming about, a bike that took the breath away from everyone that laid eyes on it.
Thanks Vintage Steele for sending over the images !
-Scotch & Iron
1960 BMW R69s restored by Vintage Steele