This page is about the various BMW motorcycle passenger seats for models R26,
R27, R50, R60, R69, R50/2, R60/2, R50S, R69S, R50/US, R60/US, R69US. email
posts that provide more seat information
Bench (dual) seats for the /2 BMW motorcycle
The /2 BMW (55-69) came with a variety of seats. The basic price included
only the rider's solo seat. Any seat for the pillion position was an accessory. All of the dual seats were an accessory
in the early years. The bench seats are normally divided
into three sizes, wide, medium and narrow.
Photo by Joel Rapose, thanks.
The wide seat
The seat on the left is the "extra wide" one. It was often referred to as the
US seat. It was an accessory and cost an extra $25 in the mid 60s.
Many bikes were delivered with it as stock, but the invoice added on the extra
charge. More and more bikes came with the wide seat and by the late 60s,
more than half seemed to be supplied with the wide seat.
It is the
only /2 seat with grab handles, or vertical supports. The vertical supports
are just a long bar going from the rear of the seat directly down to the bolt at
the fender hinge. These vertical supports are necessary, as the side
brackets are not strong enough to hold the seat. They are part of the seat
and are not listed separately in the parts book.
The grab handles are of two
varieties. The early ones were cast aluminum and the later ones were chromed
steel. The aluminum polished up fairly well, but could corrode easily if
left out in the weather. The chrome steel looked good until they started
to rust. They were cheaper to make and looked cheaper too.
Warning. Never allow a passenger to grab them for safety. In any sudden shift or
take off, the passenger will be holding on too far back and fall off the rear of
the motorcycle. Don't ask how I know that.
This seat has the strap going through the grommet. It also has the later
chrome hand rails. The wide seat was so wide at the rear that it required a
vertical support on each side. A photo wanted of the rear of the seat
Wide seat info from Jeff, thanks
I've been following the "Seat" thread on the /2 chat group which led me once
again to your wonderful web site. As I was looking at your /2 "bench seats"
page, I noticed your request for the dimensions of the "wide" seat.
I dug out the example I have and made the following measurements:.
--Width of seat at widest point is 13" (33cm) which tapers to 12" (30.5cm)
for the pillion.
--Width from piping to piping while following the contour of the seat is
14.5" (36.9cm) at the widest point, tapering to 14" (35.6cm) for the pillion.
The seat is from an Earles fork R50 that left the factory on Feb 28, 1967. It
has the aluminum trim along the bottom, chrome grab handles and a strap that
extends completely around the seat and fastens underneath. The rear displays a
metal tag imprinted with "Original Schorsch Meier, Made by Denfeld, West
Germany". It has not been recovered and I am almost 100% certain that
this dual seat is the one that came with the bike..
Your site has saved me much anguish as I have worked to restore my R50/2.
I appreciate all of the time and effort you've put into assembling the web pages
and look forward to your contributions to the chat group..
The medium (middle) seat
The middle seat is what was provided as standard on US delivery bikes. Photo
from Mark Coholan, thanks. It measures about 11" between the piping at the
widest point, which is about mid way, front to back. The distance between the
piping at the pillion part is 9 1/4" and the length between piping is 27 1/2". This seat can come with a few varieties of springs and rubber..
The narrow BMW dual, or bench seat
The seat on the right is the narrowest one and seems to be little known in
the USA. The cover on this example isn't correct at all and should look exactly
like the middle one. This one is only about 9" or so at the widest part. I seem
to remember that the emblem was Denfeld, not Schorsch Meier. Does anyone have
proof, either way? That seat was on all BMWs imported privately by a "pirate"
BMW dealer in Mountain View, California in the late 60s named Siraky Motors.
Mr. Siraky was a recent immigrant from Hungary and brought in many BMW's "under the
table" which infuriated Butler and Smith. I also saw some of these seats on /2
bikes that were imported privately by military personnel that had been stationed
in Europe. The main thing about this seat is that it is not only narrow, but the
sides are more parallel. It just doesn't have the wider part midway.
BMW bench seat characteristics
All came with a strap for the passenger to hold. The early ones had the
strap going through a metal grommet in the side. The later ones had the strap
going all of the way down to the bottom of the seat and wrapping back up to its
mounting point. Other minor variations exist.
The early strap and grommet. The seat is the medium sized one. Photo from Mark Coholan,
The later strap.
The suspension on the bench (dual) BMW seat
A variety of manufacturers made seats for BMW and they varied
over the years. One variation is what is under the bench seat for
suspension. Some had a hard rubber pad and two coil springs to hold it up.
I have only seen the rubber pad on the middle sized seat. Some had a
variety of many coiled springs running from front to back. The coils were
"smashed" down so that they would not be so thick.
This is a shot of a bench seat with the flat "smashed" springs. The
spring is wound and then "smashed" flat. I hope that you can see that in
the photo. The seat is mounted up on a bike, so I just jammed the camera
up under it as best as I could. That is the fender on the lower right.
This was probably the best suspension for the bench seat. The other type
was a hard rubber padding. It worked well, but after some 30 years would
start to crack and break up. I would like a better picture of this
seat showing this view.
This one is typical of the hard rubber pad and two coil springs, one on each
side. Photo from Mark Coholan, thanks. Some seats have many springs
running the length and they are flattened out.
An email from Pierre Michaud talking about his seats.
Well, I finished restoring my SM narrow bench seat and it is a beauty! One
thing I discovered doing it is that the Denfeld felt padding and the SM molded
foam have the exact same padding contour even though when reupholstered the SM
is 12 inches at the widest and the Denfeld is (I forget) 11 inches.
The frames for the Denfeld and the SM are identical in every respect and are
therefore interchangeable (An SM with a molded rubber seat base however is
The Denfeld has coil springs while the SM has crushed springs front to back.
What makes the SM wider at mid section and wider all around is the fact that SM
has 2 metal strips on which the flat springs clip on and cause them to spread
wider to the exterior.
Both Model SM's I have share the same foam padding and have the same vinyl
uphostering...everything else is differeny except maybe the 2 suspension coil
springs on each side.
Both Model SM's I have, have a rear tag mentioning only Schorsch Meier.
However they were made by Denfeld.
The problems with all these seats is the deterioration of the molded foam
padding and or the rubber seat pad. All foam that is exposed just dries
up/oxidizes/crumbles. Any foam not exposed but in contact with metal spings also
deteriorates big time. Even if you were lucky enough to find an NOS I am sure
the foam and rubber would be in poor shape. On the Schorsh Meier with rubber
padding, the foam is almost all under cover....in this case the foam is
remarkedly in great shape but the rubber is cracked and dry..
Trade mark plates for the BMW dual seats
All of the dual, or bench, seats on the BMW
motorcycles that we call the /2 were made by Denfeld..
From a 1965 medium seat.
Another example of a plate. Photo by Lawrie Bradly
Two or three bench seats??
Our best source of info (usually) on these matters is Mark Hugget from BMW
Mobile Tradition at http://www.bmwbike.com/.
Here is his unedited quote, in red, on this issue
as a response to my inquiry on the /2 Yahoo list. I have posted this to be
fair to Mark, as his information is of very high quality and his view should be
You are confusing people even more regarding how many
types of bench seats were available. BMW had two bench seats namely narrow and
wide.. Check in your old BMW parts catalogues and you will find three part
52 53 9 034 021 Narrow bench seat R26; R27; R50 - R69S
52 53 9 034 020 Wide bench seat (US) R50 - R69S
52 51 7 002 160 Narrow bench seat with attachment parts
R50 - R69S.
This is the same 52 53 9 034 021 plus additional
BMW had two suppliers namely Denfeld and Schorsch
BMW used the same part number for corresponding
products from both suppliers.
During the life span of these saddles, the production
also underwent changes. Originally Denfeld used crushed spring for their bench
seats.. They then went to a rubber moulded support instead of the
crushed spring probably due to cost reasons which was, as you rightly mentioned,
supported by two coil compression springs on either side.
Schorsh Meier only used crushed springs in their bench
The company Denfeld filed for bankruptcy in the late
1970's and what was left over as well as the name Denfeld was bought by the
company "Schwartz". The original toolings, drawings and moulds for the Denfeld
bench were no longer around and so "Schwartz" had to start from scratch. Due to
the investment costs, Schwartz went back to the crushed spring concept. He also
made new jigs for the frame which are not perfect, and that is why the
replacement Denfeld bench seat does not fit the original contours of the BMW, eg. the space between the rear fender and the rear of the saddle is about 4,5 to 5cm
whereas the original Denfeld and Schorsch Meier bench had an all around snug
Here is a later post by Mark on this same issue.
According to the BMW internal production lists both
Denfeld and Schorsch Meier were parallel suppliers. SM seats were made by Denfeld.. Similarly BMW had three parallel rubber seat cover suppliers
namely PAGUSA, Denfeld and SFS Franke. Like with contact breaker points, Bosch, Beru and now Noris from Mark Huggett
All the changes and slight differences that you mention
are no more than subtle changes over the years of a product being improved and
further development during it's life. If you guys knew how many changes that a
product goes through e.g. material spec, surface spec, hardness, tolerance etc.
Fact is. There are officially only two Bench seats made
for the Earles fork BMW models namely the narrow and the wide US version.
The differences that you are on about or the mysterious "third" type is simple
evolution and changes from one batch to the next.
My old parts books all are in the 7 digit part system, so I can't check these
numbers. Since I have seen dozens of these very narrow seats, I know that
they exist. I asked for input from others. I received several
replies from current owners of the very narrow seat. We still don't know
the full story about them. I was never able to find new original covers
for this very narrow bench seat.
BMW motorcycle solo seats for the /2
The very rare solo seat on the first year of the Earles fork
This is a close up of the seat spring mounted in place. In
the lower right you can see the battery strap. Photo by Richard Sheckler,
This BMW motorcycle passenger seat was made by Pagusa. It has two long
parallel springs for suspension. Denfeld made them too
and they were nearly identical. Depending upon the year, other companies made
them too. It is a rear solo seat mounted on the rear fender rack. Photo by Steve Sawtelle,
The seat on my restored R25/3. The coil spring is
The stamped steel fender rack
Side view of the fender rack that was made to mount at least
two types of pillion seat.
Rear view of the same rack. This R69S was
The rear rack should be stamped steel, it has 3 holes in it. the
original racks had nuts welded under the rack for bolt mounting of the solo
seat. The repro racks do not have the nuts welded under them, but they can be
Photos of the leather covered BMW motorcycle swinging pillion seat.
Photos by Scott Williams
This seat is attached to the back of the front solo saddle. As the solo
saddle goes up and down, the front of this one rises and falls. I owned a 1962
R69S that was supplied with this configuration from BMW. Passengers reported
that it wasn't comfortable for more than 1/2 hour. The white piping is identical
to that found on the bench seats. The leather was rather thick and of high
quality. The stitching was usually the first thing to go on a well taken
care of bike.
Photos wanted. I will give credit/blame unless you request to stay
anonymous. Sometimes I lose the name, so remind me.
1. Each of the two pads: one that mount on the luggage rack, the one
that mounts directly on the fender.
2. Trim bolt and nut. What size nut?
3. Anything else that I have forgotten about.
As more photos and info become available, I will update.
email posts that provide more seat information
The restorer may want to see other early
aspects of the /2 and more details.