Of course the production road models before the war used metal shrouds or housings to conceal the inner workings. This practice continued in the early post war years on the twins including the R51/2 and R68. In late 1952 after the production of the first 300 or so R68's had rolled off the assembly line, a modification was made when the use of rubber gaiters on the front forks became standard. This was the practice until 1955 when the R50 and R60 were introduced with the Earles fork front end.
The front gaiter was reintroduced by BMW on the R60US and R69US just prior to the major redesign and introduction of the /5 series.
Of historical note, and particular interest to people like me who dwell in minutia, is the clever use of rubber gaiters on an Earles fork equipped bike as show here, piloted by Anke-Eve Goldmann. (Photo from thevintagent)
For those interested there is a fantastic article on the history of BMW forks in
BMW Motorcycle Magazine, issue No. 5. Unfortunately they are sold out of back issues, so borrow a copy from a friend!
|Rear view demonstrating the aluminum rings at the top and bottom of the left rear suspension spring. On the right, the "faltenbalge" in in place.|