BMW Motorcycles

1934 BMW R2

The Bayerische Flugzeug Werke was established in Munich during 1916, as its name suggests to build aero engines, following the end of hostilities in 1918 and the sanctions imposed on Germany by the victors precluding the production of aircraft the company sought new commercial enterprises. Under the Bayerische Motoeren Werks banner the firm introduced its first motorcycle using a proprietary engine that was also supplied to Helios and Victoria among others, however the firm were not impressed with the quality of the engine and employed their skills to develop an engine of their own. When displayed at the 1923 Paris show, the new model, typed the R32, introduced features that would characterise all of the companies large capacity machines for the next six decades, including unit construction, shaft final drive and horizontally opposed cylinders.

For the remainder of the decade BMW concentrated on refining the flat twin concept, however by the beginning of the thirties the economic situation dictated the need for a more affordable alternative which arrived int he form of the 198cc R2. This was the first BMW to feature a single cylinder engine, establishing a tradition that would last until 1967 of there being at least one overhead valve single in the BMW range.
The new model incorporated features found on the twins, including unit construction for the engine and three speed gearbox and shaft drive. A pressed steel duplex frame equipped with pressed steel forks was employed again reflecting the larger machines. Developing 6 bhp the new model would remain in production until 1936 and formed the basis for later, larger displacement singles.

This 1934 example is described by the vendor as running well and is offered with a Swansea V5 and an expired Mot certificate.

Courtesy H&H Classic Auctions

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