BMW 1927 R 42 494cc side valve transverse twin frame # 11506 engine # 41552
The first BMW, the 500cc side valve R 32, was marketed in 1923 and 3100 machines were built. Two years later an OHV version was brought out, the R 37. This type had the smallest production run of all commercially produced models in the company’s motorcycling history: only 175 were produced. In 1926 the R 42 saw the light of day; it was based on the R 32 but some modifications had made it faster and more practical. For instance, the brakes were improved and the engine got light alloy removable cylinder heads. Power was still modest at 12 hp @ 3400 rpm. The R42 was relatively light with 126 kg and the maximum speed was about 95 km/h.
Petrol consumption, claimed the makers, was about 3.5 litres per 100 km. The company marketed the R 42 as a touring machine, its OHV brother the R 47 that was produced in 1927/1928 was the sports version. Specifications were, as could be expected from BMW, top of the range. Ignition and lighting were taken care of by Bosch, a Veigel speedometer was a standard fitting and the finish was first class overall. The R 42 had a production run of three years and some 6900 machines were built. According to BMW factory information the machine we present here was produced on February, 22 1927. She was despatched the same day to dealer F. Jacobi in Nurnberg. This rare flat tank BMW is a running older restoration in excellent condition.