The 1930s saw BMW produce some truly beautiful motorcycles thanks to the brand’s move to pressed-steel frames. This was a byproduct of BMW’s shift to in-house automotive production in 1932, which gave us gems like the 750 cc side-valve R62—which became the R11—and this 1939 750 cc side-valve R12. The R12 model is noted for having the world’s first hydraulically damped telescopic forks as well as being a workhorse for the German army in WWII.
This particular example was imported into the U.S. in 2006 after a full restoration in Germany and has spent several years on display at BMW of San Diego.
“The R12 model was BMW’s mainstay of its motorcycle offerings throughout war production years,” says Christenson.