1927 BMW R42
BMW R32 was the company’s first complete motorcycle when it came out in 1923. This R42 offered up now on eBay is the follow up to the iconic first ride, and could not really be considered a Classic Sports Bike. But being the fan that I am could not let it go without sharing it with everyone here.
The side valve/flat head engine powering this BMW is just short of 500cc at 494cc. It generated 12hp at 3400rpm with its single carburetor feeding both sides of the boxer layout. The 3 speed transmission with solo gearing would get you cruising at 59mph, but was also offered in a sidecar gearing to pull any nice art deco chair along side.
From the seller
Restored antique BMW R42. Has been on display like a museum piece but still runs. Completely restored inside and out in 2006. Repop headlight, taillight, battery, seat and tire pump. Everything else is original, including speedometer, engine, frame and gas tank. Motor rebuilt in 2006 including modern piston and rings with oil ring. Also in 2006, rebuilt transmission. See photos for complete details of Restoration.
BMW did offer a sportier 500cc bike at the same time. The R47 had and OHV engine and produced 18hp at a screaming 4000rpm and would get the rider up to 68mph. (Funny that the 1953 that the R68 pushed a BMW rider to 100mph.) But the difference in speed did not drive production and the 6502 R42 made far exceeded the 1720 R47. You can tell which one would be more desirable, but looking at the number of bids and the price that the auction currently sits at, this pedestrian R42 still has enough people interested. BB