1965 BMW R69S Big Sur


We also call this bike the ‘Buried Beemer’ because it was once buried in the ground to shield it from an encroaching fire.
— Robb Talbott

This 1965 BMW R69S is about to complete its third “Moto Melee,” an 850-mile, three-day California backroad adventure for pre-1971 motorcycles. Museum owner Robb Talbott says that over three years, the bike hasn’t given him one bit of trouble besides a flat tire. And that’s amazing, since the BMW was buried in the ground to escape harm from an encroaching fire in Big Sur, then dug out and internally (but not externally) reworked. Including the ride to the start point in

San Francisco, Robb will enjoy an 1,100-mile weekend on his old friend. “The ride is done at full pin,” he says. “I love it because you get to make new friends and ride over beautiful Northern California roads—including some dirt. We see the best of California—on old bikes!” It also won the “Spirit of the Quail” award at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering.




Engine: Four-stroke two cylinder flat twin
Displacement: 594 cc
Power: 42 hp at 7000 rpm    
Front suspension: Earles fork

Rear suspension: Long swing arm with oil shock absorbers
Brakes: Drum
Weight: 445 pounds
Top speed: 109 mph