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Thread: R3: what's the story

  1. #1
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    R3: what's the story

    came across this. seems to be a bike that was made in low numbers for one year. is it a "big deal" vintage model or just an odd ball single?

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Yes.

    If you're into the singles, the R3 is pretty unusual. Jack Wells in Florida has one, but I'm sure his is fully restored.

    BMW fiddled with the singles to meet the varying laws about licensing, insurance and other opportunistic things. When the army started rearming seriously, they were making the R35, and so that was made in big numbers. After the war, the plant was in the Soviet zone and they pumped out R35s into the mid 50s.

    Technically, the singles usually trailed the twins by a "generation". So this R3 from 1937 still has the leaf sprung trailing link fork that BMW abandoned on the twins at the end of 1934 and the hard tail and pressed steel frame that BMW was only making at that time for the R12 twins that the army was ordering. For the civilians, BMW was bringing out the R51, a tube framed, telescopic fork and plunger rear suspension bike with a foot shifter.

    This particular bike does look very authentic, right down to the tires (except for that add-on brake light switch and accompanying taillight assembly).

    I'm sure the sale price is inspired by some of the amazing prices gained by last month's Bonham's auction at the BMW Museum of the Willy Neutkens collection, where an R32 went for $170k, more than double any price I've heard of for an R32 before that.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
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  3. #3
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Doesn't Jack Wells have one of everything, Darryl?
    His display at Gray was impressive, yours too!

  4. #4
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Here are a couple photos of Jack Wells' bikes from the '06 MOA Rally in VT. The R3 and R4 are sibling models, and what I read says that the R3 was developed for export markets where a 300cc bike was cheaper to register than a 400cc.

    R4:


    R3:
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  5. #5
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wezul View Post
    Doesn't Jack Wells have one of everything, Darryl?
    His display at Gray was impressive, yours too!
    Thanks, but I only had two old bikes at Gray.

    Jack brought a whole semi trailer full of bikes. He apparently has a big collection, but I don't think he has one of everything.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  6. #6
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    This gentleman, in Maine, i believe, may have close to one of everything. The YBs had a trip to see his collection IIRC at one point, but I was not able to attend.

  7. #7
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti View Post
    This gentleman, in Maine, i believe, may have close to one of everything. The YBs had a trip to see his collection IIRC at one point, but I was not able to attend.
    Yes, that's Dave Percival. He is indeed reputed to have "one of everything". I'd love to see his collection!

    I got to meet him a couple years ago when he, a German couple and John Harper (VBMWMO member #1) were on the California Marathon, an event put on by a vintage BMW car club (that allowed some biker trash in by mistake, no doubt). I rode my R52 down to the resort where the event ended. Dave's a very nice guy, indeed...
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  8. #8
    Speaking of Jack Wells, does anyone have contact information for him, or know how I might email him through the MOA?
    Many years ago I was his copilot on a single trip at American Airlines and now I'm becoming interested in BMW vintage bikes. I'd love to get in touch with him.
    Perhaps someone - or maybe even Jack himself, could send me a PM?

    Thanks,
    Brad Wheeler

  9. #9
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I have Jack's email address at home...but I got that from Darryl...so one of us can PM you his address.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  10. #10
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    You can find his email directly by visiting the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners web site and clicking on About VBMWMO. He's listed as the SE Regional Director.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  11. #11
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Where in Maine?!? Is his collection open for visits?
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  12. #12
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Begin of the Production 1936
    End of the Production 1936
    Engine Internal Designation 203/1
    Motor Type four-stroke single-cylinder vertical
    Bore 68 mm
    Stroke 84 mm
    Displacement 305 ccm
    Max Power 11 hp
    Rpm (Max Power) 4200 rpm
    Compression Ratio 6.0:1
    Valves ohv
    Carburetion System 1 x register carburettor Sum type C K 3/500
    Engine Lubricating System forced-feed lubrication
    Oil Pump gear pump
    Power transmission Clutch single-plate, dry
    Number of Gears 4
    Shifting manual
    Gearbox Ratios 3.6/2.18/1.35/1
    Rear Wheel Ratio 1:5.11 (with sidecar 1:5.63)
    Bevel/Crownwheel 9/46 teeth (with sidecar 8/45 teeth)
    Electrical system Generator Bosch 6 V/45/70 W
    Ignition System battery ignition
    Spark Plugs Bosch W 175 T1
    Chassis Designation 203/1
    Frame pressed steel twin-loop frame
    Front Wheel Suspension cantilever spring, 9 laminae with friction shock absorber
    Rear Wheel Suspension rigid
    Wheel Rims 2.5 x 19
    Tyres front 26 x 3.5 balloon
    Tyres rear 26 x 3.5 balloon
    Brakes front drum brake
    Brakes rear drum brake
    Dimensions and
    weights
    Length 1980 mm
    Width 850 mm
    Height 950 mm
    Wheel Base 1320 mm
    Fuel Tank Capacity 12 l
    Unladen Weight, Full Tank 149 kg
    PermittedWeight Limit 200 kg
    Fuel Consumption approx. 3 l/100 km
    Oil Consumption approx. 1 - 2 l/1000 km
    Top Speed 100 kph
    Numbers Produced 740
    Price 995,- RM

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    You can find his email directly by visiting the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners web site and clicking on About VBMWMO. He's listed as the SE Regional Director.
    Got it - thanks!

  14. #14
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted View Post
    Where in Maine?!? Is his collection open for visits?
    I believe it is by invitation only. Wasn't there a write up in the MOA News in the last 5 years on him and his collection?
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  15. #15
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    You can find his email directly by visiting the and clicking on About VBMWMO. He's listed as the SE Regional Director.
    Good one, Darryl! I should have known/remembered that...
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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