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This German Hodge-Podge Motorcycle Is The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

Illustration for article titled This German Hodge-Podge Motorcycle Is The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
Screenshot: Chris Runge

There have been a number of bike-engined cars to grace these fair pages from time to time, but what if you wanted a car-engined bike? Back in the 1960s and 70s it wasn’t all that uncommon to power a BMW R-series motorcycle with an aircooled Volkswagen engine, which is exactly what happened with Chris Runge’s R60/2 ‘VMW’.


There were a few different companies offering conversion kits for this exact conversion, and it appears that the one for this motorcycle was particularly well executed. BMW R series bikes aren’t exactly falling out of the sky, and VMW conversions are rarer still. This is a difficult to find collector piece, and for reasons unknown, other than it’s badass as all hell, I’ve been obsessed with them for years.

The frame of the R60/2 had to be cut and extended a few inches to replace the stock flat twin with a flat four, but as Chris chronicles, the conversion was very well done, retaining as much of the original paint as possible. The engine is mated to the stock transmission with an adapter plate and a few components are shortened to get the VW engine to slot in under the stock fuel tank. It looks totally legit from stem to stern.


You may recognize Chris Runge as the metal shaper behind the ‘most beautiful homemade car on earth’. He’s been hammering out his own VW-based specials from his home barn for quite a while now, and this VW-powered bike was his own personal ride. Chris recently sold the motorcycle, and I was genuinely interested in picking it up for myself, though couldn’t pull the strings to quite make it work. In any case, I was super excited to see him upload this video of the bike to his YouTube channel, and now I’m sharing it with you. It’s glorious, I’m sure you must agree. Right?

Check it out, you might learn a thing or two.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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Once more allow me to sing the praises of more MC content on Jalopnik, thank you Bradley for keeping the flame alive.

IIRC didn’t the goobers from American Pickers “find” one of these owned by Von Dutch?  Aside from the lower cost of the VW engine, I remember thinking when I watched that show what a dumb idea this appeared to be.