1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294
Lot 216
1941 BMW 745cc R12
Registration no. WXG 382 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294
Sold for £19,550 (US$ 25,178) inc. premium

Lot Details
1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294 1941 BMW 745cc R12 Frame no. 36795 Engine no. 1294
1941 BMW 745cc R12
Registration no. WXG 382
Frame no. 36795
Engine no. 1294
• Landmark BMW model
• Restored while in previous ownership
• Formerly registered in the Netherlands

Following the collapse of its aero engine business after WWI, BMW turned to other areas of manufacture, motorcycles among them. BMW's first model, a two-stroke ultra-lightweight marketed as the Flink, was a failure but its next venture was more successful. BMW's General Director Franz Josef Popp had asked designer Martin Stolle to come up with a proprietary power unit and the result was the M2B15, a engine that would be supplied to other manufacturers, such as Victoria, as well as being used to power the BMW-made Helios.
Victoria having switched to another supplier, BMW's Chief Designer Max Friz set about producing a motorcycle superior to the Helios and one that would be worthy of carrying the BMW name. Warming to the task of designing motorcycles, a mode of transport he hitherto had despised, Friz and his colleagues Rudolf Schleicher and Franz Bieber drew up the R32, the first really outstanding motorcycle design to emerge after WWI.

Launched at the Paris Show in 1923, and the first motorcycle to be sold as a BMW, the R32 featured a 494cc, twin-cylinder, sidevalve engine having horizontally opposed cylinders, and this 'flat twin' layout would forever be associated with the marque. Setting a pattern that endures to this day, BMW's first motorcycle was relatively expensive but superbly engineered and constructed, while the quality of finish was of the highest order. It was an immediate success.

In 1930 BMW broke fresh ground with the launch of the pressed-steel-framed R11, and followed that up in 1935 with the introduction of an hydraulically-damped telescopic front fork on the R12, the first time such a device had been seen on a mass-produced motorcycle. Also notable as the first BMW motorcycle to have a four-speed gearbox, the R12 was a huge success with approximately 36,000 produced up to 1938, and was used by the Wehrmacht in the war's early years before the introduction of the purpose-built military R75.

This R12 was manufactured in October 1941 and may have been intended for military use (it is said to have been purchased by a German officer). Previously registered in the Netherlands, this machine has been fully restored, is beautifully presented, and is said to ride superbly. First registered in the UK (to the current vendor) on 9th November 2015, it is offered with a BMW dating letter, previous Dutch registration documents, and a current V5C Registration Certificate. The adoption of 12-volt electrics is the only notified deviation from factory specification.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.
Activities
Auction information

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Collection Notices

Collection and Storage Information

Motorcycles
Vehicles must be collected from the sale venue by 7pm on the day of the sale. Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, documents and keys relating to their Lot(s) at time of collection. Otherwise Lots shall be removed to local store in Stoke-on-Trent at the Buyer's expense (see below). Lots are at the Buyer's risk from the fall of the hammer. It is strongly advisable that overseas purchasers and absentee bidders make arrangements regarding collection with Bonhams in advance of Sale.

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Polygon Transport
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Purchases can only be collected once full settlement (inclusive of all charges) of all invoices issued to the buyer is received in cleared funds. Lots will be available for collection from local store in Stoke-on-Trent from 12pm Tuesday 25 April, by appointment with Polygon Transport.

Vehicle Removal charges to local store
£85 + VAT per motorcycle
£130 + VAT per motorcycle combination

Storage charges
£10.00 + VAT per day per motorcycle
£16.00 + VAT per day per motorcycle combination

Limited transport is available to the South of England, Marchwood (Southampton) by request with Polygon Transport at
£110 + VAT per motorcycle
£160 + VAT per motorcycle combination

Storage charges
£10.00 + VAT per day per motorcycle
£16.00 + VAT per day per motorcycle combination

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Payment Notices

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