1939 BMW Motorcycles R12



  • Year of manufacture 
  • Motorcycle type 
  • Lot number 
  • Condition 
  • Colour  
  • Location


Italian title
Frame No: 36578

- Iconic model
- Beautiful presentation
- Elegant pressed steel frame
- No reserve

On 14 February 1935, BMW unveiled two new models at the Berlin Motor Show, the R12 and R17 which succeeded the BMW R11. These two 750 cc machines were characterised by their hydraulic telescopic forks which made BMW the first manufacturer to come up with this type of suspension (but the R12 and R17 kept their rigid double cradle frame in pressed sheet metal, that means deprived of rear suspension!)
The R12 was fitted with a 750cc air-cooled flat-twin engine with side valves, available in two versions: a model with a single Sum carburetor developing 18hp at 3,400 rpm and another one with two Amal carburetors producing 20hp at 4,000 rpm. The twin-carburetor version had an ignition with battery and coil while the single-carburetor R12 version used a magneto ignition capable of operating independently from the battery. From 1938, the entire R12 production was solely destined for the German army. As for the sidecar version, the single-carburetor R12 was extremely reliable and even if it lacked a bit of performance, it was able to go everywhere thanks to its two-wheel drive. The R12 became the reference when it comes to military vehicle until the appearance of the R75 in 1942. This specific example was restored in the late 1990s and was imported to Italy in the early 2000s. It was registered with the Italian ASI in 2003 as vehicle with historic interest. The Italian papers accurately correspond to a motorcycle fitted with a single-seater sidecar.

For more information and photos: https://www.artcurial.com/fr/lot-1939-bmw-r12-side-car-no-reserve-3980-2