Thursday, February 25, 2010

FB Mòndial Motorcycles

FB Mòndial History

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The FB-Mòndial Casa Motociclistica (Mondial Motorcycle House) was founded by Count Giuseppe Boselli of FB (Fratelli Boselli) in 1948 in Arcore (Milan), Italy. Prior to WWII, Fratelli Boseli was a manufacturer of motorized tricycles and delivery vans in Drusiani south of Bologna, Italy.
Mòndial's motto was that it had "the mind in Milan, and the heart in Bologna." FB's Count Giuseppe Boselli became enamored with motorcycles in the late 1940s, so after purchasing the design of a small-displacement engine, he started FB Mòndial.

1951 Mondial Bilabero Grand Prix
1951 Mòndial Bilabero Grand Prix

By 1948, Mòndial began building small motorcycles designed Alfonso Drusiani and Lino Tonti. These first Mòndial's had both two-stroke, and four-stroke overhead-cam engines, and throughout the 1950s, Mòndial was able to garner several World Championships with its Grand Prix road racing machines, significantly elevating the prestige of the Mòndial marque.

Mòndial 175 Monoalbero
1954 Mòndial 175 Monoalbero

Mòndial's success in the Grand Prix arena was partially due to employing riders like Mike Hailwood, Tarquinio Provini and Carlo Ubbiali. With five World Championships to its name, Mòndial withdrew form the racing circuit in the late 1950s, along with other Italian manufacturers like Moto Guzzi and MV Agusta.

Mòndial 175 Turismo Veloce
1955 Mòndial 175 Turismo Veloce

1955 Mondial Sogno 160
1955 Mòndial Sogno 160

Vintage Mondial's Models (1949 to 1979)

Mòndial Turismo Veloce 175cc - 1949
Mòndial OHV Sport (touring/street) 125cc - 1950
Mòndial Bilabero Grand Prix 125cc - 1951
Mòndial Monoalbero 175cc - 1954
Mòndial Lusso 125cc - 1956
Mòndial TV Sport 175cc - 1956
Mòndial Sperimentale 175cc - 1957
Mòndial Sprint (touring/street) 175cc - 1959
Mòndial Super Sport Grand Prix 200cc - 1960
Mòndial SS V4 48cc - 1960
Mòndial Nova 125cc - 1961
Mòndial Super Sportiva 50cc - 1964

It is rumored that in the late 1950s, Soichiro Honda visited Europe, trying to glean knowledge of Italian and German race technology, which was so dominant at the time. It has been said that Honda actually used a 125 cc Mòndial GP as one of the starting-points for the design of his 1959 RC142 125cc GP.

Mòndial Sprint
1958 Mòndial 175cc Sprint

Mòndial flourished through the 1950s, but as many small-displacement manufacturers in Italy found out, consumers were now demanding larger, more powerful motorcycles.

Mòndial 175cc Ex-Works
1958 Mòndial 175cc Ex-Works

Mòndial's sales steadily declined from 1960 through the late 1970s, and by 1979 the company ceased operations. The Mòndial mark was briefly resuscitated in 1987, only to close again in 1989. The International Mondial Club was found in 1988.

The Mòndial Name is Reborn

The Mondial marque was resurrected in 1999, when newspaper printing and lithography magnate Roberto Ziletti, of Lastra Group SpA, purchased the trademark and manufacturing rights from Count Giuseppe Boselli's heirs.

2004 Mondial Piega EVO
2004 Mondial Piega EVO - Mondial Moto

Mondial Piega, Piega EVO & SBK Superbikes

In 2003 Mondial introduced its Mondial Piega sportbike, with a modified Honda 999cc, liquid cooled 4 valve per cylinder DOHC v-twin engine, that produces 136 hp at 9800 rpm (140 hp for EVO). The Piega has a 6 speed gearbox. The RZ Starfighter and Nuda were designed and built by the French manufacturer 'Boxer.'

Ferrari Motorcycles 1952 Ferrari 150 Sport

Manufactured by Fratelli Ferrari Motorcycles of Milano, Italy, from 1951 to 1960

Ferrari Motorcycles 1952 Ferrari 150 Sport

Ferrari 150 Sport - Rear Suspension

150cc Ferrari Motorcycle Engine

150cc Ferrari Motorcycle Engine

Ferrari Motorcycles were designed by Fratelli Ferrari, brother to Enzo Ferrari, beginning in 1952. Ferrari Motorcycles were produced in 125cc to 160cc 2-stroke models, and later in a 248cc 4-stroke DOHC twin model.

Ducati Motor Holding, SpA

Ducati Singles (1950 to 1973)

With the success of the Cucciolo engine, Ducati decided to partner with SIATA to produce its first small-displacement motorcycle in 1950. The first Ducati was called the was 55M (65TL), and featured a 60cc pushrod engine that produced a top speed of 40 mph.

The Ducati 100 Gran Sport

The limited production 1954 100 Gran Sport was designed by Fabio Taglioni ("Dr. T"), founder of the now-defunct Ceccato Motorcycles. The Gran Sport had a 98cc single-cylinder engine with a OHC overhead-cam driven by a vertical shaft with conical gears, and a 10º forward tilt to the nearly vertical cylinder head. The Gran Sport's single-cylinder OHC engine design was the precursor for two decades of engine production at Ducati.

1955 Ducati 100 Gran Sport
1955 Ducati 100 Gran Sport

In 1953, 'Societa Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati' was broken into two separate companies: Ducati Elettronica SpA, and the motorcycle division of Ducati Meccanica SpA. Fabio Taglioni was elevated to chief designer of Ducati Meccanica in 1954, and his Gran Sport was upgraded to a 125cc double overhead cam (DOHC) engine in 1956.

100cc Gran Sport Engine
100cc Gran Sport Engine

As the popularity and performance of Ducati motorcycles grew with Italian enthusiasts, they set out to position itself as a race-worthy marque.

The Ducati Desmo (Desmodromic) Engine

To develop higher horsepower race-capable engines with such small displacement, it was necessary to significantly increase the rpm range of their racing motors. The 125cc Gran Sport engine was capable of safely hitting the 11,500 rpm range, without producing enough valve-float to collide piston with valve.
The principle of mechanically 'forcing' the valve to close, and not relying totally on a valve-spring, was first conceived in the late 1800s, but was not put into practical use until the 1930s. This mechanical valve system became known as "desmodromics," which is Greek for desmos, meaning 'controlled,' and dromos, meaning 'course.'

1959 Ducati 175cc Formula 3 Production Racer
1959 Ducati 175cc Formula 3 Production Racer

Milan-based motorcycle company Mòndial toyed with the idea of a desmodromic engine in the early 1950s, but soon abandoned the idea. Ducati first developed their own version of a desmodromic, or "Desmo" valve system in 1956, using the design on their 125cc Grand Prix race bike. The 125cc Desmo was capable of reaching a maximum 14,000 to 15,000 rpm range, thereby creating higher horespower.

1959 Ducati 200 Super Sport
1959 Ducati 200 Super Sport

The 125cc Ducati Desmo proved to be a race-worthy competitor to the MV Agusta, which had previously dominated the 125cc GP class.
During the 1950s, America's newfound interest in Italian marques such as Ducati had prompted two brothers named Joseph and Michael Berliner to open the first Ducati franchise in the United States - the Berliner Motor Corporation of New Jersey. Berliner was soon able to exert a great deal of influence in the design of new models that were destined for the American consumer.

Ducati 200cc Super Sport Engine
Ducati 200cc Super Sport Engine

In the late 1950s, Ducati introduced the 125 Monza and Monza 'Super,' and Ducati was now trying to squeeze as much horsepower as possible out of their 125cc engine, with their retail competitors moving to higher displacement engines.

Ducati 125cc Sport
1962 Ducati 125 Sport

Fabio Taglioni steadily increased the reliability, displacement, and power of Ducati's single-cylinder engine using faster cams, high-compression pistons, and Dell'Orto SS racing carburetors, helping Ducati to win several Grand Prix championships over the next decade.

The Ducati 250cc Mach 3 Diana

Ducati moved into the 250cc displacement category in the early 1960s, with the introduction of the 'Ducati 250' and Mark 3 (Mach 3) 'Diana' Super Sport.

1965 Ducati Mark 3 Diana
1965 Ducati Mark 3 Diana

Moving up the displacement ladder, Ducati introduced its first 350cc production motorcycle in the mid 1960s, which was called the '350 Sebring.' By this point, US Ducati importer Berliner was pushing for the reluctant company to start producing larger displacement twins that could compete with Indian and Harley Davidson.

1965 Ducati Mark 3 Diana 250cc Engine
Ducati 250cc Mark 3 Diana OHC Engine

In 1967, the Italian government took over the day-to-day operations of Ducati through the holding company known as EFIM (Ente Partecipazioni e Finanziamento Industria Manifatturiera), which now controlled over 114 industrial companies within Italy.

1969 Ducati 350 GP Racer
1969 Ducati 350 SCR Racer

By 1967, Ducati Meccanica SpA produced its first "production" desmodromic (Desmo) consumer model, the Mark 3D. The Ducati 450 cc motor was the company's largest displacement model to date. Unfortunately for Ducati, the non-Italian buying public was looking for 2-cylinder larger-displacement motorcycles, and Ducati would need to change with the times to survive.

The Ducati Apollo

By the mid 1960s, the Berliner brothers helped to underwrite the development of Ducati's first multi-cylinder engine. The bike, having a launch date of late 1965, was to be named the Ducati 'Apollo,' featuring a 1256cc 90º V-four engine, with two valves per cylinder. With over 100 bhp, it would have been one of the most powerful motorcycles of the time.
Unfortunately for the Berliner brothers, the Italian government's EFIM management nixed the project, however the development of the Apollo's engine did lead to the development of smaller displacement 90º V-Twin engines in 1970. Ducati's unusual positioning of the V-Twin lead to it being referred to as the "L-Twin."

Ducati Twins (1970 to Present) - V-Twin 750GT

In 1970, Ducati's first v-twin engines were designed primarily for use in Grand Prix racing. Working with Italjet founder Leopoldo Tartarini, Fabio Taglioni designed and built several 500cc V-Twin racing Ducatis.

The Ducati 750GT & 860GT

The first production v-twin was the Ducati 750GT, with bevel-gear driven two-valve cylinder heads, fibreglass gastank, and painted silver frame. The 750GT evolved over the next decade to be sold as the 750 Sport, 750SS, 860GT & GTS, 900SS and Mike Hailwood Replica.

1977 Ducati 860cc Engine
1977 Ducati 860GT

Ducati engineers moved to a belt-driven double overhead camshaft (DOHC) system for their GP bikes in 1973. The belt-drive engines were distinguished by their a radial-finned forward cylinder head.

The Ducati 'Pantah' Series

Ducati's first use of the belt-driven camshaft in a production motorcycle came in 1980, with the 500cc "Pantah 500SL." The Pantah engine's belt-drive would be the precursor for all Ducati v-twin engines to come. The Pantah also featured the first use of the now signature "trellis frame," which incorporated the engine/transmission as a stress member, and swingarm pivot point.

1988 Ducati 750F1
1988 Ducati 750 F1

The Pantah engined series lasted for six years under the model names: 500SL, 600SL, 600TL, 650SL and the 750 F1 series which was the last of the Pantah line in 1986. The F1 was one of the premier "superbikes" of the 1980s, which were followed by the 4-valve 851 series.
The 750 F1, first released in 1985, was designed by Taglioni, and was the first production Ducati to use the Verlicchi-style trellis frame with mono-shock rear suspension. The F1 used fully-floating front and rear disc brakes.

Cagiva's Purchase of Ducati

In 1985, Ducati Meccanica SpA was purchased by Cagiva, who also purchased MV Agusta in 1987.

1993 Ducati Supermono
Rare 1993 Ducati Supermono

The Ducati 851 Desmoquattro

In late 1987, the Ducati 851 went into production with a desmodromic four-valve per cylinder engine, dubbed as the "Desmoquattro," or Quattrovalvole. The Ducati 851 with its fuel injected, and liquid cooled design was the precursor to the 888, 916 (designed by Massimo Tamburini), 996S, 996 Biposto, and 996SPS with Öhlins suspension.

1955 Devil Vintage Italian Motorcycle

Devil Super Sport 160 Italian Motorcycle from Bergamo, Italy

Owner: Stewart Ingram, California

1955 Devil Super Sport Italian Motorcycle

160cc Devil Super Sport Engine

Devil Super Sport Italian Motorcycle 160cc Engine

Benelli Motorcycles

Benelli Racing Heritage

Beginning in the early 1920s, Antonio Benelli, aka " Tonino the terrible" helped launch Benelli into the racing history books, ultimately winning four Italian championship titles, and dying as the result of a crash in 1937. By 1939, Benelli won the Isle of Man TT in the 250cc class, ridden by an English rider named Edward (Ted) Ambrose Mellors.

Benelli Leoncino
1956 Benelli Leoncino 4T

As was the case with many of Italy's motorcycle companies, WWII halted production at Benelli, resuming shortly after the war's conclusion in 1949. It was at this point that brother Giuseppe Benelli decided to start his own company, Motobi of Pesaro.
Benelli initially focused on lightweight motorcycle production, beginning with the Leoncino, or "lion cub," which was produced in 98cc to 125cc two-stroke and four-stroke models.
In 1950, Benelli once-again cemented its Grand Prix motorcycle racing heritage, winning the Isle of Man TT with Italian rider Dario Ambrosini at the helm. In another setback for Benelli, Ambrosini was killed during a practice session at the 1951 French Grand Prix at Albi.
Benelli acquired Giuseppe Benelli's company Motobi, in 1962, incorporating its designs into the Benelli marque. Throughout the 1960s, Benelli won several Italian Championships in the 250cc and 350cc classes, with riders Tarquinio Provini, and Renzo Pasolini who also rode for Aermacchi.

Benelli 750 Sei
1974 Benelli 750 Sei

By the early 1970s, European manufacturers were facing stiff competition from the multi-cylinder Japanese bikes, so Benelli, along with its Italian counterpart Moto Guzzi, was acquired by De Tomaso Inc., resulting in a series of multi-cylinder Italian bikes.
In 1972, Benelli introduced the 750 Sei, a 747cc air-cooled SOHC inline-six whose engine bore a striking resemblance to the Honda 750. The Benelli 750 Sei was produced from 1972 to 1978, which was the same year that Honda introduced their DOHC six-cylinder CBX-6 1000.

1976 Benelli 750 Sei
1976 Benelli 750 Sei

Throughout the 1970s, Benelli was also marketing lower-cost motorcycles, scooters and mopeds through the American chain department store Montgomery Ward. Benelli also sold a 180cc mini-bike called the Benelli 'Volcano Mini' through J.C. Penney Co.
High price, and low reliability throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s led to the consolidation of Benelli and Moto Guzzi into Guzzi Benelli Moto S.p.A., which was shut down in 1988.

Benelli's Resurrection

In a nostalgic wave that has led to the rebirth of several defunct Italian marques, the Benelli name was reborn by Andrea Merloni in 1995. In its modern incarnation, Benelli focused on its racing heritage, producing the Tornado 900 Tre Super Sport superbike.

2008 Benelli Sport Evo Naked & Tornado 900 Tre (Photos:

In 2002, Benelli was sold to the Chinese company Group Qianjiang, based in t Wenling, China, and the factory was kept in Pesaro e Urbino, Italy.

Aermacchi Motorcycles

Aeronautica Macchi continued to produce small-displacement motorcycles at their new facility in Schiranna, Varese VA, Italy, throughout the 1950s. In 1960, the company name was shortened to 'Aermacchi' ('Aer-Macchi').

Aermacchi Chimera 250
1960 Aermacchi Chimera 250 Scooter

Paying homage to its aviation roots, Aermacchi appropriately named its motorcycles using the prefix of 'Ala,' or "wing" in the 'Ala Blu' (Blue Wing), 'Ala d'Oro' (Gold Wing), and 'Ala Verde' (Green Wing) models. During this period, Aermacchi gained a reputation on the GP circuit.

The Aermacchi / Harley-Davidson Connection

During the late 1950s, Harley Davidson was aggressively attempting to diversify its portfolio by building Harley 2-Stroke scooters, and in 1960 the American company purchased a 49% stake in Aermacchi for $260,000 US.
The first Aermacchi/HD collaboration produced the 250cc Sprint H and ERS Sprint (CR/CRTT), which used an Aermacchi 'undersquare' (long-rod) 4-stroke engine, or an 'oversquare' (short-rod) 2-stroke engine.

Aermacchi HD SS350
1974 Aermacchi AMF Harley Davidson SS-350 Sprint

In the late 1960s, Harley Davidson gained full control of Aermacchi Motorcycles, and one of the few successes of the collaboration produced the Aermacchi SS350 (photo below).
Harley Davidson was itself acquired by AMF (American Machine and Foundry Co.) in 1969, and under the direction of AMF, Aermacchi continued to produce slow-selling models such as the 65cc AMF Harley-Davidson Leggero 'Mini Cycle' (photo below).

1971 AMF Harley-Davidson Leggero Two-Stroke
1971 AMF Harley-Davidson Leggero 'Mini Cycle' 65cc Two-Stroke

The small-displacement Aermacchis were not well accepted by the Harley-Davidson demographic, and sales continued to decline throughout the early 1970s. In 1974, Aermacchi production was discontinued, and the company was later sold to the Castiglioni brothers of Cagiva. Aermacchi continued to produce motorcycles under the name 'HD Cagiva' until they suspended operations in 1980.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

1953 Riedel R100 Imme Scooter

Manufactured by Riedel-Motoren AG, Immenstadt im Allgäu, Deutschland (Germany) from 1948 to 1956

1953 Riedel R100 Imme Scooter

Riedel R100 Scooter

Riedel R100 Scooter 99cc Engine

Riedel R100 Scooter 99cc Engine

Riedel R100 Swingarm Pivot

Riedel R100 Scooter Swingarm

The cantilever framed Riedel "Imme" ("German light motorcycle," or "scooter") was designed by Norbert Riedel, and used the exhaust as a pivoting, single-sided swing-arm. The Riedel scooter used a single-sided parallelogram front fork. The R100's 99cc engine produced 4.5 HP. There were approximately 12,000 units produced, and the original standard color was oxide-red. Between 1953 and 1956 Große Riedel AG built a 175cc Imme version called the "Große," or "Large One."

Maicoletta & Maico Motorcycles

Maico Maicoletta Scooter
1957 Maico Maicoletta Scooter

1969 Maico X4 MX 360 Dirt Bike
1969 Maico X4 MX 360

1972 Maico 501 MX
1972 Maico 501 MX

Hildebrand & Wolfmüller

The World's First Motorcycle

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The Hildebrand & Wolfmüller was the world's first mass-production two-wheeled motor vehicle to be dubbed a "motorcycle," or "motorrad" in German. After dabbling with steam power Henry and Wilhelm Hildebrand, along with partner Alois Wolfmüller, designed their revolutionary 1488cc Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, which was patented in 1894.
Although Gottlieb Daimler is credited with being the "Father of the Motorcycle," his Einspur "boneshaker" motor bike was actually a "hybrid" motor-driven bicycle with a wooden bicycle frame, and wooden wheels. Following on the neels of Daimler was the de Dion-Bouton, the Orient Aster, and the E. R. Thomas, all using a bicycle chassis.

The Hildebrand & Wolfmüller Motorcycle

Wolfmüller's patented design (Patent No. 78553, January, 20 1894) utilized an all metal hollow tube-frame that was revolutionary for the period. The power-plant was a horizontal (parallel) two-cylinder four-stroke 1488cc engine that was water-cooled.

1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller Reproduction
Reproduction of a 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller

The H&W had no clutch, and power was delivered to the rear wheel via locomotive-style pushrods which were linked directly to the engine's pistons. The solid rear wheel as a flywhell. The pushrods were returned by the force generated from two large rubber straps - one on each side of the motorcycle.

Hildebrand & Wolfmüller Drive System
Hildebrand & Wolfmüller's rubber-band drive system - Zoom

The H&W produced 2.5bhp at 240rpm, with an incredible top speed of close to 30mph! In total, several hundred Hildebrand & Wolfmüller motorcycles were sold, but fierce competition drove the company under in 1919.
The 'Motocyclette,' designed by Felix Millet, was introduced one year prior to the Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, that used an aviation-style radial five-cylinder engine, but Millet's Motocyclette never went into mass-production.


BMW 'Bavarian Motor Works' History

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BMW began as Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH, an engine manufacturing company founded by by Karl Friedrich Rapp in 1913. Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH built V12 airplane engines for Austro-Daimler through 1916, when Karl Friedrich Rapp (1882—1962) merged with Nikolaus August (Gustav) Otto (1883—1926) of Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (aka: BFW or "Bavarian Aircraft Works"). The merged company was renamed Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH, which is commonly known as the "Bavarian Motor Works," or "BMW."
In 1917, Austrian industrialist Franz Josef Popp took over the company along with fellow Austrians Max Friz (1883—1966) and Italian financier Camillo Castiglioni (1879—1957), renaming it 'BMW AG' (BMW Aktiengesellschaft). Throughout 1917 and 1918 BMW AG manufactured the six-cylinder Type IIIa aircraft engine.
By 1918, Germany was loosing WWI, and an armistice was declared, leading to the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Under the terms of the treaty, Germany was to abandon its Air Force, leaving manufacturers like BMW AG to build civilian, non-aviation products. BMW AG began by manufacturing agricultural machinery, office furniture and toolboxes.
The Chief Design Engineer at BMW during this period was Max Friz, who started out as a mechanical engineer specializing in engine design for the Kuhn Steam Engine company in Cannstatt. By 1922, Friz convinced BMW to turn its attention to motorcycle engines, built for Victoria Motorcycles in Nürnberg. The Victoria/BMW engine was a 6.5hp 494cc two-cylinder, side-valve horizontally-opposed 'flat-twin' engine that was to be a model for future BMW 'boxer' engines.
BMW's first complete motorcycle was the 1920 'Flink' which had a 148cc Kurier two-stroke engine. In 1921 BMW built the 'Helios' using an in-house M2B15 engine. Neither were great sellers, and the improved 'BMW R32' began production in 1923.

BMW R32 (1923 to 1926)

The R32 also had a flat-twin two-cylinder side-valve 'boxer' engine design. The 494cc R32 had an exposed 'cardan' driveshaft final drive, and a three-speed transmission. The chassis had a rigid tubular-frame with sprung seat, and twin-cantilever front suspension.

1924 BMW R32 494 cc Horizontal Twin
1923 BMW R32 494 cc Horizontally-Opposed Twin

The flat-twin engine's longitudinal crankshaft enabled the final drive-shaft to be driven directly from the gearbox. There was no front brake on the original R32, and the rear brake was a large friction-type ring mounted to the rear wheel, that was slowed by wooden blocks.
The R32's two-cylinder four-stroke 'boxer' engine produced 8.5 hp at 3,200 rpm, generating a top speed of 60 mph (96 km/h). A total of 3,090 units were produced in the R32's 3 year production cycle.
In 1925, BMW introduced the 250cc R39, using its first proprietary single-cylinder engine. All BMW motorcycles were manufactured at the BMW Motorradwerke's factory in München (Munich), where over 440,000 motorcycles were built between 1922 and 1969, when the motorcycle factory was moved to Berlin.

BMW R63 (1928 to 1929)

The BMW R63 series began in 1928, with a 735 cc flat twin M60 boxer engine, exposed driveshaft, and three-speed gearbox. The chassis had a rigid tubular-frame with 'sprung-seat' rear suspension, and six laminae plate-spring (trailing link) front suspension.

1929 BMW R63 750 Motorcycle
Zoom: 1929 BMW R63 750

The R63's two-cylinder four-stroke 'boxer' engine produced 24 hp at 4,000 rpm, generating a top speed of 74 mph (120 km/h). Only 794 units were produced in the R68's 2 year production cycle.

BMW R63 750cc Horizontal Twin Motor
Zoom: BMW R63 750cc Horizontal Twin Boxer Motor

1932 was the first year that BMW used dual carburetors. By 1935, all BMW motorcycles were equipped with a rear drum brake, and by 1937, BMW introduced its first foot-controlled gearbox.
In 1939, BMW acquired the BRAMO Brandenburg Motor Works factory in Berlin, and began building military aircraft engines for the Junkers JU52 at the facility.

BMW R51, R51/2, R51/3, R6 (1938 to 1954)

The BMW R51 series began in 1938, with a 494 cc flat twin 'boxer' engine, exposed driveshaft, plunger rear suspension, and their newly-invented telescopic oil-damped front fork suspension.

1937 BMW R6
Zoom: 1937 BMW R6

The R51's 500cc two-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine produced 24 hp at 5,800 rpm, generating a top speed of 84 mph (135 km/h).

1954 BMW R51/3 Restoration
1954 500cc BMW R51/3 Restoration

At the close of WWII, factories that produced German aircraft and aircraft parts were systematically dismantled, and BMW used the factory for menial civilian products or spare parts.

BMW R60/2 (1956 to 1969)

The BMW R60/2 (aka "Slash-2") had an enclosed driveshaft, plunger rear suspension, and 'Earles' front fork suspension. The triangular Earles fork design is a type of leading-link suspension that was designed to work well when used in conjunction with a side-car.

1929 BMW R63 750 Motorcycle
1967 BMW R60/2 600 594cc OHV Horizontal Twin

The Earles fork helped to prevent front-end dive during braking, and was the precursor to BMW's Saxon-Motodd 'telelever' fork assembly.

1968 BMW R60/2 with Steib Sidecar
1968 BMW R60/2 with Steib Sidecar

The R60/2's two-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine produced 30 hp at 5,800 rpm, generating a top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h). The original North American retail price for the R60/2 between $1,131 to $1,364.

BMW R69S (1960 to 1969)

The R69S began production in 1960. The R69S's 594cc OHV boxer engine produced 42 hp at 7,000 rpm, generating a top speed of 108 mph (175 km/h). The R69S had a 4-speed transmission with an enclosed driveshaft, 'Earles' front fork suspension, and plunger rear suspension.

BMW R69S Restoration Photos

The 1969 model R69S was one of the last motorcycles to be produced at the Munich factory. Starting in 1966, motorcycle production was incrementally moved from Munich to the 'Am Juliusturm' facility in Berlin, and by 1969 all motorcycle production - with the exception of BMW's GETRAG transmission, which is built in Ludwigsburg - was located in Berlin.

1973 BMW R75/5 SS LSR Motorcycle
1973 BMW R75/5 SS - LSR Racer

1906 Peugeot 660cc Motorcycle

1906 Peugeot 660cc Motorcycle