1929 BMW 735cc R11 Frame no. P1002 Engine no. 65861

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Lot 203
1929 BMW 735cc R11
Frame no. P1002 Engine no. 65861

Sold for CHF 26,450 (US$ 29,234) inc. premium
1929 BMW 735cc R11
Frame no. P1002
Engine no. 65861
•Landmark model with pressed steel frame
•Purchased un-restored 17 years ago
•Only four kilometres since restoration

Footnotes

  • Following the collapse of its aero engine business after WWI, BMW turned to other areas of manufacture, motorcycles among them. Its first two models, marketed as the Frink and Helios respectively, were failures but a successful proprietary engine was supplied to other manufacturers. Launched in 1923, 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, the first BMW motorcycle was relatively expensive but superbly engineered and constructed, while the quality of finish was of the highest order.

    Shortly after venturing into car manufacture for the first time by acquiring the Dixi works at Eisenach, BMW introduced a major innovation to its motorcycle range in 1929. The transversely mounted 'flat-twin' engine was already a BMW trademark but for the first time it was installed in a pressed-steel frame, the first models to incorporate this landmark of motorcycle design being the 735cc R11 and R16. BMW's relatively vibration-free engine was already a byword for smoothness and refinement, and this, coupled to a three-speed shaft-drive transmission, made the R11 sidevalve one of the finest touring motorcycles of its day. Progressively improved, the R11 was built in five series up to 1934. Early examples, such as that offered here, featured a distinctive Bosch headlamp (nicknamed 'Camembert' on account of its shape) and a BMW carburettor. The R11 engine remained essentially unchanged in the successor R12 model of 1935, which differed mainly by virtue of its telescopic forks and four-speed gearbox.

    Dating from 1929, this R11 was purchased in un-restored condition in the former East Germany 17 years ago. The machine displays a total of only four kilometres on the odometer, which, presumably, is the distance covered since its restoration. However, careful re-commissioning is advised before returning it to the road. The owner is of the opinion that a change to twin carburettors (as fitted to the 1935 R12) would bring about a useful improvement in performance. The machine comes with a taillight (not shown in the photographs) and a pattern fuel tap. Accompanying documentation consists of original French registration papers and Swiss form 13/20.

    BMW R11 735 cm3 1929
    Cadre n° P1002

    A la suite de l'arrêt forcé des fabrications aéronautiques après 1918, BMW dut envisager d'autres types de production dont les motocyclettes. Ses deux premiers modèles, commercialisés sous les noms de Frink et Helios respectivement, furent des échecs, mais l'excellent moteur maison fut livré à d'autres constructeurs. Lancée en 1923, la première moto vendue sous la marque BMW – la R32 – était dotée d'un moteur de 494 cm3 à soupapes latérales et à deux cylindres à plat opposés dont l'architecture « flat twin » allait être désormais associée à la marque. Établissant un modèle qui perdure de nos jours, la première moto BMW était relativement coûteuse, mais excellente du point de vue de la conception technique et de la fabrication, tandis que le niveau des finitions était exemplaire.

    Peu après ses débuts comme constructeur automobile avec le rachat de la marque Dixi d'Eisenach, BMW introduisit une importante innovation dans sa gamme de motos en 1929. Le moteur flat-twin était déjà la marque de fabrique de BMW, mais il fut installé pour la première fois dans un cadre en tôle emboutie. Les premiers modèles adoptant cette solution technique radicale qui fit date furent les R11 et R16 de 735 cm3. Le moteur BMW relativement exempt de vibrations était déjà synonyme de douceur et de raffinement et cette qualité, associée à une transmission à trois rapports et arbre final, allait faire de la R11 latérale une des plus séduisantes machines de tourisme de son temps. Progressivement améliorée, la R11 fit l'objet de cinq séries jusqu'en 1934. Les premiers exemplaires, comme celle qui est mise en vente ici, se caractérisent par un phare Bosch spécial (surnommé « en camembert » en raison de sa forme) et un carburateur BMW. Le modèle R11 demeura pratiquement inchangé sous la forme de son successeur, la R12 de 1935, qui ne différait que par l'adoption d'une fourche télescopique et d'une boîte à quatre rapports.

    Datant de 1929, cette R11 a été acquise non restaurée dans l'ancienne Allemagne de l'est il y a 17 ans. Elle affiche seulement 4 km au compteur qui doivent correspondre à la distance parcourue depuis sa restauration. Il faut donc prévoir une remise en marche précautionneuse avant de reprendre la route. Le vendeur estime que le montage de deux carburateurs (comme sur la R12 de 1935) apporterait un appréciable gain de performance. La machine est dotée d'une lampe arrière (non visible sur les photos) et d'un bouchon de réservoir spécial. La documentation jointe comprend les papiers d'immatriculation français originaux et le document suisse 13/20.
Contacts
1929 BMW 735cc R11 Frame no. P1002 Engine no. 65861
1929 BMW 735cc R11 Frame no. P1002 Engine no. 65861
1929 BMW 735cc R11 Frame no. P1002 Engine no. 65861
1929 BMW 735cc R11 Frame no. P1002 Engine no. 65861
1929 BMW 735cc R11 Frame no. P1002 Engine no. 65861
1929 BMW 735cc R11 Frame no. P1002 Engine no. 65861
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