1935 R 17
ENGINE 736cc M60 boxer twin
OUTPUT 33 hp @ 5,000 rpm
CURB WEIGHT 363 lbs.
TOP SPEED 87 mph
PRICE WHEN NEW RM 2,040 ($823)
YEARS PRODUCED 1935-’37
NUMBER BUILT 434
OWNER Evan Bell (since 1987)
LOCATION Orange, California
The R 17 was introduced to the public on February 14, 1933, at the German Automobile Exhibition in Berlin. The R 17 was a successor to the R 16. The R 17 continued the line of BMW motorcycles that had a pressed-steel frame. This improved durability and rigidity. The R 17 was equipped with 735 cc M60 boxer twin engine, which produced 33 horsepower and a top speed of 87-mph. The motorcycle also came with hydraulically damped telescopic forks, the world’s first, and a four-speed transmission. Drum brakes on the front and rear, 3.5-19 tires front and rear, and a 3.7-gallon fuel tank.
You could buy an R 17 for 2,040 Reichsmarks ($823) in 1935, making it the most expensive German motorcycle at the time. Only 433 R 17s were built between 1933 – 1935.
This 1935 R 17 motorcycle was found in Mexico in 1987 by Howard Pine. Howard’s family owns the Sacramento, CA based A&S BMW dealership. Howard later sold the motorcycle to Evan Bell, owner of Irv Seaver BMW since 1979. Evan began working at the dealership in 1959 and later purchased it. Evan had already restored several vintage motorcycles for the dealership’s museum, including an R 32. It took over 10 years to restore this motorcycle. It is believed that very few R 17s still exist today.
To learn more about this motorcycle and others, check out the exhibition book authored by Jackie Jouret in our online giftshop.
BMW Motorcycle: A Century of Innovation exhibition is currently on display at The Ultimate Driving Museum through January 20, 2024. From a 1926 BMW R 32 to a 2023 BMW R 18 100th Anniversary edition are part of the 56 BMW motorcycles and five BMW motorcycle powered vehicles, like the Isetta 300, 600, and Farmobil are all part of the exhibition.
Museum hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm | Saturday 10am – 4pm
(Last admission is an hour before closing each day)
Ticket prices are Adults 18+: $12, Youth 6-17: $6, Children 5 & under: Free
The Ultimate Driving Museum is located at 190 Manatee Court, Greer, SC 29651
www.theultimatedrivingmuseum.org | 864.329.1919
The BMW Motorcycles: A Century of Innovation exhibit is proudly sponsored by the following: