Original WW2 1943 BMW R75 with sidecar auctions for €41,720 ($68,000AUD).
The Artcurial Auction that took place in Paris, France on February 7 featured this very specific piece of motorcycling history.
The BMW R75 from 1943 was knocked down for the very healthy figure of €41,720 ($68,000AUD).
While absolute details are sketchy, the outfit was doubtless used by the German military given the fact they employed 100 per cent of the production numbers in their war effort.
The bike was very likely used on the Eastern Front, evidenced by the factory fitment of the sidecar and handlebar heaters designed to keep armed motorcycle troops from freezing to death in temperatures that could get as low as –30 °C.
Interestingly the bikes also needed to be able to maintain a marching speed of 3.5 to 4km/h without overheating so they could accompany infantry who were underway on foot.
This R75’s twin gearboxes give it the equivalent of high and low range. Gears are shifted using a traditional foot lever and there’s a hand lever on the side of the fuel tank to switch between road (strabe) and off-road (gelande) gearboxes.
The road gearbox has four forward gears and one reverse, and the off-road box as three forward gears and one reverse. This is said to have provided the BMW R75 with remarkable off road ability.
Although a lot of the history this bike lived through has been lost we do know that it likely lived in Italy for a time, and it has undergone an older restoration. The bike is a matching numbers unit, with #765545 showing on both the engine and frame.
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.