1939 BMW R12

Reader Contribution by Mc Staff
article image

Editor’s note: Welcome to National Treasures, where we’ll be featuring many of the amazing vintage motorcycles on display at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa. Of course, nothing beats viewing the museum’s amazing vintage motorcycle collection with your own eyes, so be sure to visit the National Motorcycle Museum website and plan your trip today.

This 1939 BMW R12 is one of several classic BMW motorcycles on display
at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa.

This 1939 BMW R12 featured a new 750cc engine that was the largest and most powerful engine produced by BMW up to that time. Two versions of the engine were built: a 16 HP side valve and a 28 HP overhead valve.

The front suspension on the R12 was a trailing link unit with stamped metal forward-sweeping forks and linkage rods to a leaf spring, which extended over the front fender.

The R12 went on to be BMW’s most produced model until the R75/5 of the early 1970s. Nearly 20,000 were made for civilian use with another 10,000 specifically built for the Wermacht.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine Featuring the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!