In addition to the McQueen Husqvarna, the Bonhams sale of Collectors’ Motorcycles and Related Memorabilia which took place May 14 in California, included a rare 1925 BMW R32. This early example of the first motorcycle model line sold by BMW—with it’s opposed boxer twin engine and shaft drive—become the blueprint for BMW for next 90 years. It sold for $139,000—which is believed to be a new world record for the model.
The 494cc BMW R32 was manufactured from 1923 to 1926 and produced 8.5 hp. Bonhams stated in their auction run up, “The 1925 version on auction is one of perhaps 60 R32s thought to exist. Paperwork from the factory documents it as a matching-numbers machine and denotes its build-date. Stampings on the engine case halves, transmission case halves and rear drive housing all match, and the components show no signs of repair. The carburetor and most other running gear appear original to the bike. It has the rare Norris speedometer option while most other R32s—if they have a speedo at all—wear the more common AVC unit. The bike is also equipped with the higher-output ‘laydown’ magneto, another rare factory option.”