1953 BMW 494cc R51/3 & Steib Sidecar Frame no. 533780 Engine no. 540006
Lot 123
1953 BMW 494cc R51/3 & Steib Sidecar
Frame no. 533780 Engine no. 540006
Sold for € 16,100 (US$ 18,357) inc. premium

Lot Details
1953 BMW 494cc R51/3 & Steib Sidecar Frame no. 533780 Engine no. 540006 1953 BMW 494cc R51/3 & Steib Sidecar Frame no. 533780 Engine no. 540006 1953 BMW 494cc R51/3 & Steib Sidecar Frame no. 533780 Engine no. 540006 1953 BMW 494cc R51/3 & Steib Sidecar Frame no. 533780 Engine no. 540006
1953 BMW 494cc R51/3 & Steib Sidecar
Frame no. 533780
Engine no. 540006
BMW recommenced motorcycle production in December 1948 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 is attached to a Steib S250 single-seat sports sidecar. Delivered new to Block in Braunschweig, Germany, the machine displays a total of only 3 kilometres on the odometer which, presumably, is the distance covered since restoration. The machine was purchased by the current owner at Bonhams' sale of the Willy Neutkens Collection at the BMW Museum, Munich in November 2009 (Lot 83). The machine has formed part of the vendor's private collection since acquisition and while in his care the sidecar has been fitted with a new seat.

Nach dem Krieg begann BMW, im Dezember 1948, zunächst mit der Produktion der R24 Einzylinder-Maschine, bevor ein Jahr später auch die Herstellung eines Zweizylinder-Modells wieder aufgenommen wurde. Diese R51/2 basierte auf der 'Vorkriegs-R51' und verfügte über eine ‘zweiweg-gedämpfte' Vorderradgabel, einen Dämpfer für die Getriebe-Hauptwelle, sowie einen verstärkten Rahmen. Trotz der Namens-Ähnlichkeit, erhielt die R51/3 jedoch einen völlig überarbeiteten, neu entworfenen Motor, mit einer zahnradgetriebenen Nockenwelle, einer mit der Kurbelwelle verbundenen Lichtmaschine, sowie zahlreichen anderen Verbesserungen. Die hier offerierte R51/3 ist mit einem Steib-Seitenwagen verbunden. Als Neufahrzeug an die Firma Block in Braunschweig ausgeliefert, zeigt der Tachometer lediglich 3 km. Es wird angenommen, dass es sich hierbei um die zurückgelegte Fahrstrecke seit der Restauration handelt. Der gegenwärtige Besitzer erwarb das Gespann auf der Bonhams Versteigerung der ‘Willy Neutkens Collection’, im BMW Museum in München, im November 2009 (Lot 83). Seither wurde der Seitenwagen mit einem neuen Sitz versehen.
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