BMW R 32

The Bayerische Motoren Werke AG were founded during WWI and, at first, produced airplane-engines for the German Army. Since the Versailles Treaty prohibited Germany from building airplanes after the end of the war, BMW had to switch to other fields of business. In the early 1920s, therefore, a decision was made to build motorcycles. The R32 was the first in-house design of the firm and is, therefore, justly described as the first true BMWmotorcycle.

This first model already has two design features that were to remain characteristic for all BMW motorbikes - the cardan drive and the two cylinder transverse boxer engine. Altogether 3,100 units of the R32 were manufactured, all entirely handmade. The boxer engine, the cardan drive and the rigid tubular frame all contributed to the great hit accomplished by the designer Max Friz.

The specimen on display in the museum is the very first R32 built by BMW. Like the Mars bikes it was also restored by Mike Kron and is in a perfect condition. The bike is exceptionally valuable and, therefore, is shown in a closed glass showcase.

Technical Data:
Year of Construction: 1923; Engine: 486 ccm, 2-cylinder boxer engine with 8.5 hp, three-speed gear, and cardan drive; Net Weight: 122 kg; Maximum Speed: 90 km/h; Price: 2,200 Goldmarks