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Thread: BMW Sidecar Outfit?

  1. #1
    Clay
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    BMW Sidecar Outfit?

    When was the last time that BMW designed and produced a complete sidecar outfit for the general public ?

    Regards,

    Clay
    Kimberton,Pa.

  2. #2
    John D'oh
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    Clay...I'm not actually sure that BMW ever produced a complete sidecar outfit for public consumption. I say this because all of the literature regarding production through the years shows solo motorcycles to which sidecars made by others were often attached. The only factory built rig I can think of is the BMW R75 military.

    The last frame with sidecar lugs from the factory was made through 1968. By 1969, the /5 was a few months away and the /2 frames no longer had the sidecar mounts at least here in the USA. My experience in this regard is having purchased a derelict 1969 R69US once that had the same front end as a /5 and no sidecar lugs. I have since seen other 1969 /2 series with no lugs as well. If the factory offered a sidecar equipped motorcycle already set up for sale to the public - that ended in 1968 more than likely.

  3. #3
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    I don't believe BMW ever offered a motorcycle/sidecar combination to the public. The German military did order several versions of motorcycle/sidecar combos. BMW produced the R12 from 1935 to 1941, equipped with a sidecar mounting an 8mm machine gun. The "new" R75 had foot shifting, dual range 4 speed transmission, and reverse, with power to the sidecar wheel. The other sidecar machine was by Zundapp--also an OHV transverse flat twin, model KS750. BMW deliverd around 17,000 R75 machines, Zundapp delivered 18,000 KS750s.

    The civilian practice before and after WWII by most motorcycle manufacturers was to provide lugs on the frame for sidecar use, and sometimes adjustable steering trail, so that the owner could fit the sidecar of his choice. For BMWs, that usually meant Steib. I believe that motorcycle dealerships would sell sidecars as accessories. In those days no one worried much about vehicles being approved by federal agencies. Some manufacturers offered their own factory sidecars.

    With the advent of smoother paved roads, sidecar use dropped off. It was cheaper and easier post-WWII to buy a car for the family. And sidecars hadn't achieved the "vintage" or "novelty" status that has fueled today's interest in hacks and trikes.

    In the late 1960's, BMW started producing models with a "USA" front end, a telescopic rather than the "Earles" leading link. With the change to the USA front end, sidecar lugs were eliminated from the frames. And the telescopic fork didn't have any provision for reducing trail.

    Curiously, when the German army abandoned Russia, they left behind more than a few motorcycle/sidecar outfits. Both the Chinese and the Russians reverse-engineered some good samples, the result being the beginning of the "Chang Jiang", "Ural" and "Dnepr" outfits. I have been told that the USSR had a vehicle design bureau that did the actual designs, which were then assigned to different factories to produce.

    pmdave

  4. #4
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    The WWII BMW R75 military sidecar rig had a four speed transmission, plus a two-speed "brownie", reverse gear, and a shaft driven sidecar wheel.

    Note the roundish shaped valve covers.

    pmdave
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  5. #5
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    The Zundapp KS750 had very similar features to the BMW R75.

    Note the squarish-shaped valve covers.

    pmdave
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  6. #6
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    This is a site about the R75.
    http://www.wehrmachtsgespann.de/

  7. #7
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    They did make this. Not really a rig, but it filled the need for cheap transportation better. Sort of an enclosed Scorpion.
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    1987 K75S
    Original litter
    Original owner
    2012 Ural Gear Up

  8. #8
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    Actually, the Isetta "bubble car" had four wheels, the two rear wheels positioned close together. So, technically it doesn't meet the definition of "motorcycle" in the USA.

    For Isetta info and specs, cut and paste this into your browser:
    http://www.microcarmuseum.com/tour/bmwisetta250.html

    pmdave

  9. #9
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    Or, take a look at some three-wheeled "cars" dreamed up over the years, including some that are nothing more than photoshop images.

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...+wheeled+cars#

    pmdave

  10. #10
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    Apparently there are a number of three-wheeled "cars" being produced these days, primarily as cheap transportation. Remember Craig Vetter's little bubble car? There are others, many trying to fit within the definition of "motorcycle."

    This is no joke. http://xingcolumbus.wordpress.com/20...eled-vehicles/

    pmdave

  11. #11
    CellarRat
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    Not reverse engineered, maybe licenced

    PM Dave wrote:
    "Curiously, when the German army abandoned Russia, they left behind more than a few motorcycle/sidecar outfits. Both the Chinese and the Russians reverse-engineered some good samples, the result being the beginning of the "Chang Jiang", "Ural" and "Dnepr" outfits. I have been told that the USSR had a vehicle design bureau that did the actual designs, which were then assigned to different factories to produce."

    Actually, BMW licensed their product for production in the Soviet Union as part of the 1939 Molotov - Ribbentrop agreement which preceded the German invasion of Poland. The Soviet M-72 was based on the BMW R71, and built by Iskra Zavod in Moscow in 1940. In 1941 the plant was moved to the Urals, presumably the start of the make still in production. The Soviets also produced variants of German DKW two - strokes. See "Military Motorcycles of WWII" by Roy Bacon.

    I owned a Dnepr MT-10; the motorcycle was utter crap. The sidecar was somewhat better, especially when bolted up to an R69s/R90 conversion.

  12. #12
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmdave View Post
    Actually, the Isetta "bubble car" had four wheels, the two rear wheels positioned close together. So, technically it doesn't meet the definition of "motorcycle" in the USA.
    True, but just for the sake of picking nits, there was a 3 wheeled version produced in GB to qualify for the lower taxes on motorcycles.
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    1987 K75S
    Original litter
    Original owner
    2012 Ural Gear Up

  13. #13
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    Did the UK version have the 250cc motor?

    pmdave

  14. #14
    Registered User grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Here are a few Isetta's to look at.

    Don't hurt yourself!

  15. #15
    Registered User grafikfeat's Avatar
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    There may even be a new one on the horizon.






    Cool.

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