BMW R32 (1923 to 1926)


The R32 also had a flat-twin two-cylinder side-valve 'boxer' engine design. The 494cc R32 had an exposed 'cardan' driveshaft final drive, and a three-speed transmission. The chassis had a rigid tubular-frame with sprung seat, and twin-cantilever front suspension.

1923 BMW R32 494 cc Horizontally-Opposed Twin

The flat-twin engine's longitudinal crankshaft enabled the final drive-shaft to be driven directly from the gearbox. There was no front brake on the original R32, and the rear brake was a large friction-type ring mounted to the rear wheel, that was slowed by wooden blocks.

The R32's two-cylinder four-stroke 'boxer' engine produced 8.5 hp at 3,200 rpm, generating a top speed of 60 mph (96 km/h). A total of 3,090 units were produced in the R32's 3 year production cycle.

In 1925, BMW introduced the 250cc R39, using its first proprietary single-cylinder engine. All BMW motorcycles were manufactured at the BMW Motorradwerke's factory in M√ľnchen (Munich), where over 440,000 motorcycles were built between 1922 and 1969, when the motorcycle factory was moved to Berlin.