2014 Shannons Melbourne Late Summer Classic Auction
Lot
36

c1939 BMW R12 750cc Motorcycle & Sidecar

PASSED IN

Passed In

Specifications

Engine Twin-cylinder, 750cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Colour Black
Trim Black

Description

This lot is no longer available

Following the ban on aircraft production in 1919, the Bayerische Motoren Werke concern turned its attention to motorcycles and under the guiding hand of General Manager Franz-Josef Popp began building high quality, beautifully engineered and expensive two-wheeled machines. Designed by Max Friz, the innovative BMW R32 was presented at the 1923 German Motor Show and boasted a horizontally-opposed boxer motor and a gearbox driven by a friction clutch connected to a driveshaft linking the gearbox and rear wheel. The new BMW was was beautifully turned out in black with white pinstripes, a colour combination that became synonymous with their products over the next decade. A major advance took place with the R11 of 1929, becoming the first BMW to feature a pressed steel frame in place of the earlier tubular frame technology. The R12 and R17 (Touring and Sport models respectively) grew out of the R11 in 1935, becoming the first production motorcycles to be equipped with hydraulically damped telescopic forks. The R12 was also BMW's first motorcycle to come with a four-speed gearbox and the large capacity boxer motor proved ideal for sidecar work. The R12 proved a great commercial success, with 38,000 were made in the years 1935 to 1938 and it also did service with the German military before the purpose-built R75 was introduced.

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