1928 BMW R62 Motorcycle

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Before BMW was a car manufacturer, it had been a manufacturer of aircraft engines that arose from the Rapp Motorenworke in 1917, near the end of World War I. After the war, restrictions set by the Versailles Treaty barred BMW from aircraft production, and in 1923 the company moved to producing motorcycles.

1928 was the first year of the R62, BMW's first 750cc touring motorcycle, and also BMW's entry into automobile manufacture. The company had made considerable progress in manufacturing and design, and the new 18 hp R62 had over double the horsepower of their first foray into bikes, the R32.

The R62 had a bold and modern design for its day, no doubt influenced by Bauhaus and other art trends in Weimar Germany of the time.

This bike will be sold by Mecum Auctions in Monterey, California on August 18-20, 2016, right before Pebble Beach.

---- Specifications ----
Price -- Production --
Engine 750 cc Weight --
Aspiration natural Torque --
HP 18 hp @ 3400 rpm HP/Weight --
HP/Liter 22.5 hp per liter 1/4 mile --
0-62 mph -- Top Speed --

(from Mecum Auctions Press Release)

  • From the Dr. J. Craig Venter Collection
  • Restored in Germany
  • Imported to the USA in 2006
  • On display for several years at BMW of San Diego
  • Museum displayed by Dr. Venter
  • One of the last of the Wedge tanks
  • Steel double cradle frame
  • Trailing link fork
  • Shaft drive
  • Power output of 18 HP at 3400 rpm
  • Top speed of the R62 is some 115km/h
  • Some 4000 were built 1928-1929
  • Serial number 2970817
  • Always serviced and maintained in running condition by his resident mechanic
  • Sold on bill of sale

The R62 was BMW’s first 750cc touring motorcycle (engine type M56), introduced in 1928 and produced for only two years, with a total of 4,355 machines built. Its bent-tube, all-welded frame was light and strong enough to be used for BMW’s 750cc OHV roadsters, and even its supercharged racing and dominant land-speed-record machines through the mid-1930s. The front suspension is BMW’s distinctive trailing-link fork cushioned by a leaf spring, and features full electric Bosch lighting. BMW made habit of introducing innovative new models on an almost yearly basis. The R62 arrived only 5 years after motorcycle production began at the Munich factory, and was a huge improvement from their first model, the R32 of 1923. The R62 had more than twice the horsepower (18 HP at 3400 RPM), and a far more modern engine and gearbox than the original. These early ‘flat tank’ BMWs have a particular charm for collectors of vintage machinery, being the last with a clear visual link to that first BMW of 1923. Their design is spare and elegant, showing influence of German design by Bauhaus concepts of function free from excessive ornamentation. The R62 was replaced by the pressed-steel frame R11 in late 1929, and while their engine/gearbox were identical, the tube-frame machines appear lighter than the flat-metal frames which replaced them. These earlier models are robust enough to successfully tackle the Motorcycle Cannonball cross-country endurance run, and have a rabid global following, which includes excellent spare part availability. Flat-tank BMWs with 750cc engines are in the high demand, as they’re suitable for modern road conditions, with enough power to keep out of harm’s way, and terrific reliability. This 1928 BMW R62, from the Dr. J. Craig Venter collection, is a correct older restoration, and seems to be begging for a long ride to prove its mettle.