Buying a Pre 1945 BMW Motorcycle

The following paragraphs are my advice from personal experience for those who may want to by a pre-1945 BMW Motorcycle. I will tell you what you should know and what to look for.

My 1940 R12 was advertised as being 99% complete and all parts were present. The best person out there rebuilt the engine, gearbox, rear differential, and the magneto. It seemed like a very good deal as it was in my country and there was minimal risk in the purchase. I did not hesitate to buy, as I really wanted a R12 that was close to running shape. I took the bike to a reputable Pre-war BMW mechanic and parts supplier. I was shocked to find many parts were incorrect or missing. This bike was beginning to look like a nightmare and not a dream come true. I quickly found out what was needed to put it back together. I was able to source out all of the parts from Germany and Poland.

My 1939 BMW R12 looked like a good project. I paid very little for this bike as it was a hacked up Eastern Block mess. This was the first R12 that I had seen for sale in the US. I had not looked for very long though. I was negotiating a deal for this bike but the 1940 R12 above, came up for sale and I thought it was money better spent as I never dreamed of owning 2 R12's. I later decided to purchase this R12 for spare parts. It was missing many parts. Upon picking up this R12 I changed my mind that it was destined for the graveyard as I previously thought. When looking at the pictures you would have thought it was scrap worthy. I hope she sees the light of day again.

My advice to those interested in a Pre-war BMW Motorcycle.

1.Do your Research.
2.Know what model you want and know what you are in for.
3.Be cautious of what you buy.
4.Know your spending limits. A complete running, non-sidecar bike will most likely run more than $10,000 US depending on the model.
5.Be careful of purchasing a bike out of your country.