Post Sale Update: This R52 sold for $31,600 after 45 bids on eBay.
Designed to be a tourer, the BMW R52 featured a 486cc boxer twin that generated 12 horsepower. The three-speed transmission had just been redesigned for this model, during a time frame when BMW was constantly making changes. Due to this, BMW switched to pressed-steel frames by the end of 1929, meaning the rare R52 was produced for just two years.
I love old motorcycle literature, so I was pleased to discover this scan of a BMW owners manual for the R52 with a foreword from BMW dated May 1929. It begins: “We have always endeavoured to obtain not only efficiency and reliability for our machines, but also absolutely simplicity, and the result is that any child can learn to ride a BMW.”
This BMW R52 is claimed to be a numbers-matching bike that runs very well and comes with the original documentation from Germany. The seller says it’s all original but that it had a ‘perfect restoration in Germany.’ No matter what, it’s a beautiful example of a very rare bike. Find it for sale in Albiano d’Ivrea, Italy with bidding up to $12,300 and the reserve not yet met