BMW R12 (1935-42)

The BMW R12 was a popular motorcycle produced by BMW between 1935 and 1942. It was designed as a rugged and reliable machine that could handle the rough terrain of rural Germany, as well as the high speeds required for long-distance touring. The R12 was powered by a 745cc flat-twin engine, which delivered 18 horsepower and a top speed of around 70 miles per hour. The engine was mounted on a rigid frame, and the suspension was provided by a telescopic fork at the front and a swingarm with twin shocks at the rear. The brakes were drum-type, with both front and rear wheels featuring a single drum.

Despite its relative simplicity, the BMW R12 was a highly advanced machine for its time, and it quickly gained a reputation as one of the most dependable and durable motorcycles of the era. It was used extensively by German military forces during World War II, and many surviving examples are still in use today as classic motorcycles.

One of the most notable features of the BMW R12 was its unique “girder” front end, which consisted of a telescopic fork with a caster angle of 53 degrees. This design was intended to provide greater stability at high speeds, and it was also more resistant to lateral forces than traditional forks. Additionally, the R12 featured a shaft-driven final drive, which provided smooth and reliable power transfer to the rear wheel.

Overall, the BMW R12 is a classic motorcycle that represents a significant milestone in the history of the German motorcycle industry. With its rugged durability, advanced engineering, and classic styling, it remains a popular choice for motorcycle enthusiasts and collectors alike.

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