Race, Cafe & Custom
BMW R90W water-cooled
Type 247 Motor
I met Daniel recently at the Chicago Norton
Owners sponsored Classic & Vintage Show
at the College of Dupage.
He'd flown in from his home in Munich,
Germany on business and friends from the
Norton list (he has one of those also)
recommended the show to him as something
to do while in Chicago.
We were talking around Craig Chawla's R65
and the topic of this motor came up.
Daniel said that the impetus for this project
was the noise and heat the came up at the
rider. Especially on a fully faired BMW like
As you can see he removed all the fins from
the head and cylinder except the first and
last ones. He used these to secure the
aluminium sheeting that forms the water
jacket. He then drilled holes to cross
connect the cylinder jacket to the head
jacket. The out to the radiator exits from on
top of the head above the area where the
exhaust valve is which should be the hottest
point on the head.
There is no water pump. The system
depends on convection to move the coolant
through the system.
There is one radiator for each cylinder and
they are not cross connected. The radiators
are mounted on top of the crash bars.
There are no fans for the radiators and
Daniel says that occasionally on very
hot days in stop and go city traffic the
radiators sometimes lose a little coolant
to boil over. He says that this not a big
The report is that the noise and heat
coming off the cylinders and heads is
Daniel has also had this watercooled
motor in a RT faired bike and said there
is a huge improvement especially in the
amount of heat that gets trapped in the
fairing and directed at the rider.
You'll notice a few other mods in the
I really like the Norton Mufflers and the
matte chrome tank.
Some time during our conversation I asked Daniel if he was an engineer or a machinist. He said no, that he wanted to be an
engineer but his test scores weren't good enough so he could not study engineering in university. Interesting.
I had not seen these photos when we had our conversation. I had to pull questions out of my head as I visualized what Daniel
was describing. I can't answer any other tech questions but here is Daniels email firstname.lastname@example.org He
graciously offered to answer any question about the bike.
Thanks Daniel. Nice Work.
Click here to go to Daniel's Photo site. There is a link there to photos of a throttle linkage system he has designed which is partly
visible in the starter cover in the photo of the motor above.
Hope you liked it.
copyright john branstrom and/or daniel branchadell
all rights reserved
More info on this machine from an email Daniel sent.
The bike started up as a 1976 R60/6 bought in Belgium and I have owned the bike since 1985. It was converted to
the watercooling in 1986 and brought up to 750cc. Since then it has gotten through constant modifications, from a
touring bike to this cafe version. It is running now on 900cc, 44/42 valves, 40mm Bings, std. cam but lightened
flywheel & electronic ignition from Kallenbach. Gearbox is a 1992 R100R, final drive is 34/11. Throttle
linkage is home made, one of the best improvements I have made on the bike. I have not seen any other 2v BMW
running so smooth & picking up rev's the way this bike does. Other things are Koni's of course, Wuedo
front springs, Norton Manx single seat, Norton Commando exhaust, KnoScher rearsets, KnoScher clip-on's added
recently, Moto Spezial speedo/tach unit (see their homepage - really nice stuff for BMW's & Guzzi:
The bike has now a little over 390.000 km on the clock but has obviously been rebored & rebuilt several times (a
few crashed here & there as well, this is why it now has a 1980 R80/7 frame).
Photo Jo Soppa
Photo Jo Soppa
Photo Jo Soppa