1952 BMW R51/3
Lot 132
1952 BMW R51/3 Frame no. 524826 Engine no. 524826
US$ 18,000 - 24,000
£11,000 - 14,000
amended
Lot Details
1952 BMW R51/3
Frame no. 524826
Engine no. 524826
In 1948, BMW's postwar motorcycle production recommenced with the R24 single but it would be another 12 months before a twin-cylinder model became available again. This was the R51/2 based, as its designation suggests, on the pre-war R51. Improvements incorporated into the R51/2 included a two-way damped front fork, gearbox mainshaft damper and strengthened frame. In truth, the R51/2 was only a stopgap model to get production under way while BMW worked on something more modern. Its replacement, the R51/3, arrived in February 1951 and despite the similarity in designation had an entirely new and much neater looking engine incorporating a single, gear-driven camshaft and crankshaft-mounted generator among a host of other advances.

This R51/3 was discovered in the 1980's tucked away for years in an outbuilding in South Carolina with most of its original parts, including matching engine case and frame numbers. In 2002 it underwent a complete restoration that included an engine, and rear end rebuild by marque expert, Ozzie's BMW. The paint was meticulously redone with hand painted pinstripes. The original drop-centre safety rims were trued and re-spoked with stainless steel and were correctly painted. The motorbike has been regularly maintained to be in operating condition by Rick Monahan a BMW marquis specialist at Black Kat Motorwerks in Los Angeles, CA. BMW records were attained from BMW Group Mobile Tradition Archives and verify it to have been manufactured on August 2nd 1951 and delivered to BMW dealer Auto-Maurer, in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. The bike has also been certified by BMW Group Archives by the group heads, Johann Raiger and Fred Jakobs. This BMW has covered less than 250 miles since restoration and has show accolades from The Legends of Motorcycle in Half Moon Bay, CA, The Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel Valley, CA and the Palos Verdes Concours de Elegance.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the engine and frame numbers listed in the catalog are incorrect. The correct frame number is 524836. The engine number is also 524836.
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  1. David Swig
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  3. Mark Osborne
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
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  4. Nick Smith
    Specialist - Motorcycles
    Bonhams
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