The BMW R7 is truly a one-of-a-kind motorcycle that was introduced as a concept in 1934, but never produced. It did, however, inspire the R17 and R5 models. It was built during the height of the Art Deco movement, which is apparent by its very precise design that adheres to the standard mathematical basis of the Art Deco style, and is truly a pleasing piece.
After its conception, the R7 slipped away and was thought to be lost until it was rediscovered in 2005 and fully restored. It bears all black body panels with white outlines. Its wire wheels are painted a deep black to match the rest of the body. The body was like no other bike at the time, boasting smooth lines and fenders that partially wrapped around the wheels. Covering the engine are pieces of formed sheet metal to aid its aerodynamic qualities. Even the exposed cylinder heads are formed into a more aerodynamic dome shape.
The R7 boasts an 800 cc boxer engine that Leonhard Ischinger designed for BMW. It boasts a forged, 1-piece crankshaft for extra strength, and 1-piece cylinders and cylinder heads. Since the camshaft was under the crankshaft, the cylinders were positioned higher, leading to more effective valve positioning and even more ground clearance than the typical bike of the era. Coming off of the engine are two chrome fish-fin exhaust pipes.
This bike boasts a 4-speed manual transmission. Instead of the traditional foot shifter, the 1934 R7 boasts a car-style gear shifter to the right of the fuel filler cap.
There is no price placed on this bike, as it is a one-of-a-kind example that has never been sold on the open market. We are sure it would fetch upwards of $1 million at auction. We’ll never know, as its original discoverers are still in ownership and show no desire to sell it.
Image Credit: BMW museum Munich and ElfeJoyeux via Wikipedia