A Very Special 1958 BMW R50

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Bill Costello's 1958 BMW R50, fully restored in memory of its previous owner, Bill's father, Richard.
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From father to son: Richard Costello’s note to Bill.
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The BMW R50 sat quietly for 40 years, never ridden, but never quite forgotten, either.
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The late Richard Costello and his wife, Trini, proudly posing with Richard’s prized R50.
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From son to father: Bill’s tribute to his father, attached to the BMW’s rear fender.
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Originally equipped with a dual saddle, the R50 now wears a Denfeld solo seat for a more sporting look.
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1958 BMW R50
Claimed power:
26hp @ 5,800rpm
Top speed: 87mph
Engine type: 494cc OHV horizontally-opposed twin
Weight (dry): 429lb (195kg)
Price then/now: $730 (est.)/$4,000-$7,500

Leaning against a wall in a crowded five car garage, surrounded by tools and tool chests, lawn mowers and bits of scrap wood, sat the prized possession of the late Richard Costello, a 1958 BMW R50. A pair of black rubber truck mud flaps placed under the crankcase revealed a dribble of fluid — likely oil slowly weeping past a shrunken seal.

The headlight-mounted odometer showed 60,561 miles, the numbers barely visible through the dusty, grimy glass. It had been 40 years since the old Beemer had been on the road, and more than 35 years since it had last run. Attached to the handlebar of the tired looking R50 was a note, jotted in pencil on a yellowed piece of paper torn from a coil-bound notebook.

“Note: Spare parts are tucked away inside Headlamp, tail lamp. Extra tools are in tool kit. I want the bike fixed as well as I know you can do it. R. Costello.”

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