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spider rust
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VBMWMO #8708
Joined: 04/07/2014
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Is it feasible that during the war, a motor dated pre war might have been requistioned from stocks and fitted?

Darryl.Richman
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Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
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Anything is possible, but

Anything is possible, but that sounds unlikely. The German army had lots of spares available, but a spare engine would not have been stamped at the factory.

It's much more likely that after the war someone put together all the parts they had available to make a bike. There are lots of those around. Most R12s you see on the market seem to be that way, for example.

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spider rust
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Engine stampings

Hi Darryl,
Thanks for your reply, its nteresting, but it still doesn't prove that in the field this may not have happened. That a spare engine of earlier manufacture was ordered or supplied from stocks and fitted into a later frame. If you look at period photos of German Armed Forces, you will see sometimes uniforms mismatched. Unusual yes but it did happen. Or am I just doing too much wishful thinking regarding the R12!

Darryl.Richman
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VBMWMO #6285
Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
Joined: 10/27/2006
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I'm guessing that there's no

I'm guessing that there's no documented history that came along with your bike, so no proof one way or the other. I really doubt that an earlier engine would have come up through the supply chain, but undoubtedly damaged bikes were combined in the field to make a working unit. And BMWs are wonderfully easy to mix and match, because the company generally has such an evolutionary approach to development.

You can believe what you like, which hurts no one. But you need to convince someone else if you are trying to sell the bike.

My own R12 came to me indirectly from a collection in South Africa. I figured it was probably left in north Africa and migrated south, which was good, as most of the bikes that have come out of the eastern bloc were really run into the ground. This bike had lots of problems which I didn't want to face up to: the magneto barely produced a spark and no electricity from the generator, the forks were out of line and wobbly, it popped out of most of the gears, it wouldn't idle worth a damn and the driveshaft didn't really line up with the transmission. Eventually I did take it all apart. I found Polish bearings in the wheels and Russian bearings in the engine. So much for being left in north Africa...

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spider rust
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Provenance

Thanks for your interesting reply, and your R12 story. I have restored many things back to as close as possible to their original state. Its a well known one that most old things that have passed through time in private hands can get the treatment, not always in the best interests for future owners. Anything with a good market gets the fakers involved as everyone knows.
My R12 came from Poland, it was restored and painted there by an elderly ex BMW employee. So it probably was assembled adding the parts required to complete the work. This would not have been done to deceive anyone. Speaking to the Australian importer who believes its not a mismatched engine parts machine.
There are a number of features that suggest it could be a mix of military and civilian parts. My question is trying to discover
which percentage is the best indicator, but even that won't answer my questions. Maybe BMW will?

Darryl.Richman
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VBMWMO #6285
Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
Joined: 10/27/2006
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You should definitely write

You should definitely write to BMW with the engine and frame numbers; they will tell you what they know about it.

info.grouparchiv@bmwgroup.com

If the Australian importer stands to gain from the sale, then I would be wary of him creating a story to make the bike more valuable. Obviously, I don't know the people involved but in an ordinary transaction, without convincing supporting documentation, that's what I would think, and value the bike accordingly. And if you're thinking that this is in some way an investment, you should also be thinking about how you would convince the next buyer.

(For me, I have no intention of selling my bikes. They all get ridden. I am not running a museum, I thoroughly enjoy riding these different era bikes and appreciate what each has to offer. But my "investment" in the R12 is sunk, it will never be "worth" what I paid for it. Live and learn.)

In the eastern bloc after the war, there was little in the way of private transportation available. German vehicles left behind were valuable to whomever found them and could get them registered for traffic. There was no money and no parts available to get them running or repair them, but because it was important to keep them running, amazing repairs were done.

My R12 was clearly in a bad accident, the down "tubes" (front rails) have been crudely stick welded at the steering head and again where the rails turn down, with big pieces of steel inserted for support. With the bike disassembled, if you look over the frame from the back, the top rails have the shape of a Coke bottle. The bottom bushings on the fork legs were badly worn; on one side it was worn through. The list goes on. I am now certain that my bike spent 50 years with a sidecar attached, plowing fields in Poland and taking the family to market.

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spider rust
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R12 Military History

I have no intention of ever selling. I research to add that to be passed onto the next owner as we never own anything we are just custodians
and in my book its an obligation to look after these pieces of history, and gathering previous owner information while those people are still
alive to provide it. I have contacted BMW and they have confirmed the following.`
The engine no. 11319 belonged to a BMW R12 that was manufactured on Nov 14/1938 and delivered to the Flakregiment 9" in Furth Germany. The frame no. 35611 belonged to a BMW R12 that was delivered on Sept. 13/1941 to the Heereszeugamt, in Munich Germany.
Now I am going to ask the seller in Poland if he restored the bike complete or combined from parts.
I will follow the trail back. But the evidence is that it is a military machine, not a mix of civilian and military.
Where the eng and frame were combined and when is the next investigation.

mdunn
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VBMWMO #9044
Riverside, CA
Joined: 02/21/2008
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If you purchased the bike

If you purchased the bike from a Polish trader i can assure you its a parts bike and it wont be a good restoration at all. I have been doing this long enough to know that all the polish restorations are not good at all. Darryl is correct ....

Mike

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