R 4: Jack Wells
1934 BMW R 4 #P8445
398cc M69/3 S1 single cylinder 12 hp @ 4,000 rpm
Lake City, Florida
New for 1932, the R 4’s 12-horsepower engine allowed it to reach 62 mph, which it could do safely thanks to the solid-handling Star frame and adjustable friction shock absorbers at the front forks. The bike got BMW’s first four-speed gearbox (in 1932), and footpegs instead of floorboards. The durable R 4 was popular with the German military and off-road riders. Owner Jack Wells says the blue tank is a variant on BMW’s traditional all-black paintwork.
For more pictures and information on this or any other vehicle in the Motorcycles exhibit, check out the exhibition book in our store!