1935 BMW R17

Vendor supplied images


  • One of just a few hundred ever built
  • Fully restored in the last few years
  • Perfect for any BMW Motorrad collector

The Appeal

In the early 1930s, BMW launched a concept dubbed the R7 presenting hydraulic front forks to the world. It wasn’t long until this radical design swept the industry as in 1934, the German manufacturer unveiled its production R12 and R17 bikes. Whilst several thousand R12s were sold, the R17’s larger capacity, twin carburettor engine only left the factory a little over 400 times. 

A rare model, this particular example has spent over 40 years of its existence locked away in a garage. That is until its current owner purchased it in 2020 and took on an extensive restoration project. With work a lot of work done by German BMW specialists Dreher and BMW Restaurierung, the model now boasts a stunning condition visually and mechanically.

Including a comprehensive BMW Classic authentication, this bike is perfect for any bike collector interested in the more elusive and attention grabbing models of history.

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History and Paperwork

  • First manufactured in 1935
  • Original sold with a sidecar
  • Very little history
  • Garaged for over 40 years
  • Purchased as a barn find by the current owner in 2020
  • Fully restored by the current owner
  • Currently presents as a solo bike without a sidecar
  • Many documents with the bike
  • Authenticated by BMW Classic
  • Dozens of invoices from the restoration
  • The road tests, ignition settings, carburation and running-in still need to be done to be perfect
  • 1960s French registration documents

The Condition

  • Full restoration
  • Paintwork looks fantastic
  • Visually very pleasant ergonomics

Having emerged from its barn residence of over 40 years in 2020, this bike has since undergone a full restoration. Indeed, as one can tell from the pre-restoration pictures, this model has seen almost everything receive attention.

Every external surface presents in a fantastic condition with the wheel guards, fuel tank and fairing pieces all looking straight. Indeed, the bike was clearly resprayed during this recent overhaul process meaning it looks absolutely stunning in black with white pinstripes throughout.

In addition, the speedometer, handlebars and saddle all look to be new pieces, presenting in great shape. The low-slung riding position harks back to a café racer age of the past whilst the naked design of the model certainly suits it well, allowing those in the know to peak at the early telescopic front forks. 

Whilst the majority of this 1937 BMW R17 presents in near spotless condition, it does still retain some of its character with many badges and fixtures showing patina. Indeed, it seems the team behind the restoration put effort into preserving as many original parts as it could.

Having originally sold as a bike and sidecar combination, the vendor decided to restore it as a solo, which gives the bike a likeable lightweight and simplistic essence.

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The Mechanics

  • 745cc flat twin M60 engine, 33hp
  • Fully overhauled
  • Runs brilliantly

Upon purchase by the current owner, the bike’s 745cc flat twin M60 engine was seized. As a result, it has been through a great deal of work to get it running again. Indeed, we have no reason to believe that it currently presents any faults. 

Whilst many parts were replaced internally, the block appears to be the original engine matching the chassis. 

The main attraction of this bike is certainly the telescopic front forks which present in fabulous condition. Indeed, the arms themselves show no signs of wear and there appear to be no leaks or signs of hydraulic fluid. The same can be said for the area surrounding the engine. Everything looks very clean with no fluid glaringly visible.

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An important bike in the history of motorcycles, this BMW R17 is certainly a rare breed today with just 434 ever produced worldwide. Having spent 40 years locked away, it has more recently received the love it deserves following a full restoration. 

The bike now presents in fantastic condition and is mechanically very healthy. It will certainly look right at home in a collection and is sure to provide its new owner with plenty of enjoyable cruising.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
All bidding, buying and offers are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1935
  • Make BMW
  • Model R17 Not Listed
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 9 Kilometres
  • Engine size 745
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Le Cannet
  • Country France
Bidding history
77 bids
  • BM•••• €42,250 24/09/23
  • mo•••• €42,000 24/09/23
  • BM•••• €41,750 24/09/23
  • mo•••• €41,500 24/09/23
  • BM•••• €41,250 24/09/23
  • mo•••• €41,000 24/09/23
  • BM•••• €40,750 24/09/23
  • mo•••• €40,500 24/09/23
  • mo•••• €40,250 24/09/23
  • BM•••• €40,000 24/09/23

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