Motorworld’s newspaper №69
The genealogy of this motorcycle can be traced up to R 62 in 1928, but its non-standard perimetric steel frame makes it closer to the similarly outfitted models R 11 and R 16 that were produced in 1929. The one-of-a-kind perimetric frame signified a huge step away from the bicycle design heritage in the structure of this motorcycle, and it was created with the aim of getting rid of cracks in the welding seams. The BMW R 12 was outfitted with a telescopic front fork using hydraulic shock absorbers to augment maneuverability (such a design was used for the first time ever, anywhere), and it strayed far away from its predecessors due to its 4-speed transmission and interchangeable wheels.
Early problems with riveted seams led to the introduction of electric arc welding in 1936, and so the R 12 became the most mass-produced BMW motorcycle until the R 75/5 model emerged in the 1970s.
Despite a formidable weight (over 180 kg), the combination of a powerful 746cc motor, 4-speed transmission and axle drive made this vehicle a rather fast and dependable machine, and the rigid suspension of the rear wheel was not really a problem for comfortable motorcycle rides. A rather small distance between the wheel and the fender (inherited from the original, civilian, use of the motorcycle) was, however, a problem hampering the movement over mud or snow which gave rise to much frustration for German motorcycle riders on the Eastern front.
BMW R 12 was used both solo and with the sidecar, but unlike R75, a new BMW model of the period, the side-car wheel was idle which had a negative effect during the off-road rides.
BMW R61, “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov” collection”
BMW R75, “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov” collection
By May 1941 around 36 thousand motorcycles were produced, and in the first year of production, the output was 10 thousand units. Around 10 thousand more units were made specially for the Wehrmacht, but many civilian vehicles were also requisitioned for the front.
Despite continued production of this model until 1941, the R 61 and R 71 models practically superseded the BMW R 12 by 1938.
|Manufacturer||Bayerische Motoren Werke, AG, Munich (Germany)|
|Years of manufacture||1935 – 1942|
|Quantity produced, units||36 000|
|Price||1 630 RМ|
|Today’s value||11 111, 0 $|
|ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION|
|Engine capacity, cc||745|
|Bore and stroke, mm||78 х 78|
|Power||18bhp @ 3400rpm|
|Sparking||Magneto or battery type|
|Carburetor||1 x Sum CK, 25 mm|
|FRAME AND WHEELBASE|
|Frame type||Steel, stamped, perimetric|
|Wheel size||3,50 х 19|
|Ground clearance, mm||
|Seat height, mm||
|Gas tank size, l||
|Maximum speed, km/h||