R 17: Evan Bell
1935 BMW R 17 #P1771
736cc M60 Boxer Twin 33 hp @ 5,000 rpm
Introduced in 1935, the R 17 was Germany’s fastest motorcycle, with an overhead-valve engine that gave it a top speed of 87 mph. If that wasn’t enough, the R 17 featured the world’s first hydraulically damped telescopic forks, plus a four-speed transmission. Expensive and rare even when new, the R 17 seen here was rough but almost entirely original when it was found in Mexico by Howard Pine in 1987. Over the next ten years, it was restored to as-new condition by Evan Bell for the museum at his Irv Seaver BMW dealership in California.
For more pictures and information on this or any other vehicle in the Motorcycles exhibit, check out the exhibition book in our store!