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The BMW R 12 1939: A Classic Icon of German Engineering

The BMW R 12 1939: A Classic Icon of German Engineering

The BMW R 12 could be a vintage bike that was fabricated by BMW Motorrad from 1935 to 1941. It was the successor to the well known R 11 demonstrate and was considered to be one of the foremost progressed and solid cruisers of its time. With its smooth plan and effective motor, the BMW R 12 rapidly got to be an symbol of German designing and a image of the country’s mechanical ability.

The Plan of the BMW R 12

The BMW R 12 was outlined with both frame and work in intellect. Its streamlined plan decreased wind resistance, permitting for more noteworthy speed and nimbleness on the street. The bike’s suspension framework was moreover well-designed, giving a smooth ride indeed on harsh territory. The BMW R 12 was accessible in a extend of colors, counting dark, blue, green, and ruddy, and included a particular circular headlamp and an encased drive shaft.

The BMW R12 at the side the afterward R75 epitomize the World War II military bike celebrated by Hollywood and the well known press. Overwhelming but intense, quick sufficient, and basically bullet verification.

From its starting in 1935 to the R-12’s death in 1942, BMW built about 30,000 R12s. The larger part were civilian models recruited in 1939 with another 10,000 units extraordinarily built for the Wehrmacht police and combat units. As an early adopter of electric bend welding,

BMW was able to speed up significantly the fabricating prepare – particularly welding outlines – and the company never looked back. Because it happens, the R12 was their most productive BMW model until the R75/5 of the 1970s. Numerous accept the R-12 to be the primary cruiser with genuine powerfully damped adaptive forks.

From the heat-soaked forsake of North Africa to the solidified steppes of Russia, the R12, both as a solo and sidecar fix, performed the part of delivery person carrier, field scout and indeed carried at high-speed infantrymen beneath fire on the front line. It might indeed plow through 10 inches of water. In the long run, the R12 was overshadowed by the purpose-built R75, or “war elephant” military machine propelled in 1942.

The R12, with “R” BMW-speak for “roadster,” utilized a to some degree ordinary air-cooled, 745 cc side-valve boxer engine in a squeezed steel outline, with Cardan shaft drive and utilized numerous tall quality components. It was solid and dependable beneath all conditions. Since of this it was replicated around the world once the battling had come to an conclusion.

This BMW is one of numerous military bikes from America, Britain and Germany on show at the National Cruiser Gallery. It is on advance from the Jill and John Parham Collection.


  • Engine: Boxer Twin, Side-Valve
  • Sort: Air-cooled, Four Stroke
  • Bore & Stroke: 78mm x 78mm
  • Uprooting: 745cc
  • Compression Proportion:5.2:1
  • Carburetor: Amal
  • Start: Battery, Focuses
  • Oil: Pressurized, Damp Sump
  • Drive: 18HP
  • Transmission: 4-Speed, Hand-shift
  • Essential Drive: Adapt Driven
  • Last Drive: Shaft Drive
  • Outline:Squeezed Steel, Twofold Circle
  • Wheels / Tires: 3.50” x 19 / 3.50” x 19
  • Suspension:Adaptive / Sprung Situate, Inflexible
  • Wheelbase: 54.5 Inches
  • Weight: 410 Pounds
  • Best Speed: 62MPH

The Motor of the BMW R 12

The BMW R 12 was fueled by a four-stroke, two-cylinder motor that created 18 drive at 4,500 insurgencies per miniature. The motor was air-cooled and highlighted a magneto start framework, which disposed of the require for a battery. The bike’s transmission system was also progressed for its time, highlighting a four-speed gearbox with a foot-operated shifter.

The Execution of the BMW R 12

The BMW R 12 was able of reaching a best speed of 75 miles per hour, making it one of the speediest bikes of its time. It was moreover inconceivably dependable, with numerous BMW R 12 proprietors detailing that their bicycles kept going for decades with appropriate support. The BMW R 12 was outlined for both solo riding and two-up visiting, and it was known for its comfortable seating and smooth ride.

The Bequest of the BMW R 12

Nowadays, the BMW R 12 may be a exceedingly sought-after collectible for cruiser devotees and vintage bicycle collectors. Its famous plan and dependable execution have made it a classic image of German designing and craftsmanship. Whereas the BMW R 12 was as it were in generation for a couple of a long time, its affect on the cruiser industry cannot be exaggerated.

Reestablishing the BMW R 12

In case you’re fortunate sufficient to come over a BMW R 12 in require of reclamation, it’s critical to discover a gifted workman who has encounter working on vintage bikes. Restoring a BMW R 12 can be a time-consuming and costly handle, but the conclusion result is well worth the exertion. Once reestablished, a BMW R 12 can be a stunning addition to any collection and a delight to ride on the open street.


The BMW R 12 may be a genuine symbol of German designing and a confirmation to the innovative ability of BMW Motorrad. Its smooth plan, effective motor, and solid execution make it a immortal classic that proceeds to be loved by motorcycle enthusiasts around the world. Whether you are a collector, a rider, or simply an admirer of classic bikes, the BMW R 12 may be a bicycle that merits your consideration and regard.





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