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All About The 1936 BMW R12 Motorcycle

All About The 1936 BMW R12 Motorcycle
Bavarian Motor Works or BMW was launched during WWI and initially had nothing to do with automobiles or motorcycles, but instead, made engines for aircraft. However, the German company would soon utilize the knowledge it gained from the aerospace industry in designing its motorcycles. Following the First World War, BMW crafted its debut bike in the early 1920s, and its engine shared something in common with the manufacturer’s previous aircraft powerplant: its positioning. BMW designers noted the cooling potential of arranging cylinders on aircraft engines so they could receive better airflow during operation. This concept of air-cooled cylinders translated well into motorcycles and was the start of great things to come, including the best BMW motorcycles ever made.
Around three years before the start of World War II, the 1936 BMW R12 motorcycle debuted and offered some unique and innovative features. The bike could generate 16 horsepower, hit a top speed of 68 mph, and weighed just over 400 pounds. At 745cc, the R12 had more performance capability than any bike BMW had created before. It also included a more robust frame to correct weak points in earlier designs that caused bonds between structures to separate. From 1935 through 1942, approximately 30,000 R12 units were made, according to the National Motorcycle Museum.

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