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VIN Number Location 1941 R12


New member
A friend has bought a 1941 R12 750cc German military motorcyle. The factory data plate on the headstock has been removed. Is there anywhere else on the bike where one can locate an identification number for registration purposes?

Edit: Obviously it is a BMW !!!
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I also have a 1941 R12. The frame and motor numbers originally would have matched. The motor number is stamped in the case on the right side, in an area cast for it just below where "BMW" is cast. The frame number is stamped into the top side of the upper frame member, on the right side, between the axle and the seat.

R12s from 1935 and 1936 don't have matching numbers. And the frame number is stamped into the side of the left frame member, directly in front of the rear axle.

Because of the war, and depending on where the bike spent its time after the war, lots of things could have been swapped around. These bikes and their R11 predecessors have a lot of parts in common, or that can easily be made to fit. Some parts are now being reproduced in europe; the quality can vary dramatically. It takes a sharp eye to find an example that is really correct.

Great! Thank you. I suspected that the numbers may be faint. Looks like some paint scraping is in order.
Unfortunately, I've seen the numbers on that frame rail as far forward as the under the seat. I don't know why there is so much variation, but it could well be that some of the stampings aren't exactly original...

Your friend might be interested in the english language Yahoo! group mailing list, Kradriders, which focuses on WWII German bikes. Lots of knowledge about R12s there.