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Friday, December 28, 2012

R51/75 Racebike

Some time ago I posted some pictures and info about the curious post-war BMW's sometimes refered to as R51/75.  These are plunger frame chassis fitted with a war-time 750 cc motor.  Most often these are seen with a sidecar attached, but solo forms exist.

I have in my collection such a bike, built in Germany in 1950.  It somehow found its way to the states, though the circumstances remain a mystery.   The history of my bike is known back to 1972 when a friend and former BMW dealer owned it.  There have been five owners since.  Below are some pictures of the bike over the years.

The R51/75 circa 1972 as seen from the left. (Photos from Duane Ausherman)

The R51/75 circa 1972 as seen from the right.

Art Pels astride the R51/75 at an AMF race at the Presidio (San Francisco) 1972. (Photo courtesy of Art Pels)

The bike as it exists today.  The rear fender was changed to a racing style, courtesy of Brian Hilton in the early 1980's.  The sidecar style Amal Fischer carbs have been exchanged for Dell'Orto's.  An R5 transmission case has been utilized.  (The original racing gear set was transferred from the old housing.)


I was recently contacted by the son of a former owner of my motorcycle who has shared some interesting history and photos.  I am awaiting more details, but will attach one of the photos that has been shared with me.

The bike as it appeared in August of 1960.  It was registered in Michigan and being ridden by a Mr. Hummel and his wife.

Nearly identical bike, with sidecar, being raced in Ingolstadt, Germany 1952.  Notice the drilled hubs.



  1. I can help fill in the blanks in the 60's. See my Blog.
    I also emailed you.

  2. Thanks so much for the photos. Once compiled I'll add the info to my blog.