Vintage BMW Motorcycles Auction: Bonhams at Barber

Bonhams’ third annual Collectors’ Motorcycle at the Barber Museum auction on October 10 will be featuring five impressive vintage BMW Motorcycles. The BMWs range from 1928 to 1957, with two of them featuring sidecars. Impressively, all five motorcycles are in running condition, and are being offered for auction by Bonhams with no reserve. Here’s a rundown of the five BMWs on offer:

Vintage BMW Motorcycles Auction - Bonhams
1928 BMW R 57

1928 BMW R 57. Featuring a 484cc boxer motor with one overhead valve and a single side valve, put out 18 horsepower at 4000 rpm. With shaft drive and a three-speed transmission, the R 57 weighed in at 331 pounds. It’s a rare model, as it was produced for just three years. Check out the leaf-spring front suspension. Bonhams sold an R 57 at the 2016 Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction for $100,050.

Vintage BMW Motorcycles Auction - For Sale
1933 BMW R 4

1933 BMW R 4. This vertical single was an attractively priced motorcycle when it was released, and prices for this BMW have remained approachable. The R 4 has a 14-horsepower 398cc motor that has an overhead-valve architecture. A passenger can be accommodated, with floorboards for the feet. In 2010, at Bonhams’ Important European Collection of Pioneer, Vintage and Collectors’ Motorcycle auction at the RAF Museum in Hendon, UK, a 1933 R 4 sold for £4370.

Vintage BMW Motorcycles Auction - Bonhams at Barber
1938 BMW R 35

1938 BMW R 35. Here’s another vertical single from BMW. Displacing 340cc, this OHV engine produces 14 horsepower. Weighing in at 347 pounds, it was capable of hitting 100 km/h. This 1938 BMW R 35 has a telescopic fork, though it’s all-spring with no damping. Bonhams estimates a four-figure sales price.

Vintage BMW Motorcycles Auction - Barber Motorsports Museum
1940 BMW R 12 with sidecar

1940 BMW R 12. Very much a wartime design, the R 12 was the first motorcycle with hydraulic damping for the telescopic fork. The side-valve 745cc boxer motor put out 18 horsepower, and was a utility-focused motorcycle with a sidecar and plenty of cargo storage. According to Bonhams, the 1940 BMW R 12 with the sidecar is expected to go for $30,000, at the high end.

BMW Sidecar motorcycle
1957 BMW R 26 with sidecar

1957 BMW R 26. This is another motorcycle with sidecar, but quite a different design from the R 12. This is set up for travel, with a sidecar getting a windscreen and an aerodynamic shape. The R 26 would need the help, as it’s a 250cc overhead valve single-cylinder powerplant that cranked out just 15 horsepower. It has twin-shock swingarm rear suspension and Earles fork front end. Bonhams doesn’t expect the R 26 to go for more than $10,000.

Bonhams is also welcoming consignments for the Collectors’ Motorcycle at the Barber Museum auction. Contact Mathieu Sionnest at Bonhams for more information on consignments at this auction.

Photography by Pawel Litwinski