Moto Collection
Facebook FMD Instagram FMD
Accueil - FMD - Fiches - Blog - FFVE - Livres - Clubs - Musées - Contact FFVE
 BMW - R 17
 Back to brands list

BMW D2-492-76-14
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 750
Model : R 17
Production : 1935 - 1941
Category : (R) Street Bike


750 R17 – 1935

Technical advance

The first BMW 750cc motorcycles went on sale in 1928 — they were the side-valve R62 (78x78mm) and the oversquare (83x68mm) R63 with overhead-valves.

The First BMW with Pressed-Steel Frame ...

In 1929, the R62 was replaced by the R11, which was broadly similar but had a pressed-steel double-cradle frame that started a trend throughout the industry and was used by the majority of manufacturers, especially in Germany. Once again, a side-valve version was paralleled by an overhead-valve model, the R16, with the same bore and stroke as the R63.

... and Telescopic Forks

The major innovation on the two new 750s launched in 1935 — the R12 and R17 — was their hydraulically-damped telescopic forks. It was the first time this type of suspension had appeared on a mass-produced motorcycle. Still with an oversquare engine — more suitable to the high speeds of which an overhead-valve machine was capable — the R17 had practically the same power unit as the earlier R16 but was fitted — like the R12 — with a new four-speed gearbox controlled from the tank by an automobile-type shift lever pivoting directly in a turret on the gearbox lid. It remained in production until 1937. Very expensive — but prestigious — the R17 was the most powerful motorcycle built by BMW until its 600cc R68 of 1952 and the last overhead-valve 750 from the marque up to the R75/5 of 1969.


Engine: 736cc (83x68mm) air-cooled flat-twin four-stroke

Power Rating: 33 hp @ 5000 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: two 24 mm carburettors

Transmission: 4-speed lever shift, shaft final drive

Suspension: hydraulic telescopic forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 3.50x19 inch (front & rear)

Weight: 403 lb

Maximum Speed: 87 mph (solo); 75 mph (with sidecar)

The peak of German technology in the mid-1930s — the BMW 750 R17 was an expensive motorcycle, while the side-valve R12 was less costly.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

Accueil - FMD - Fiches Moto Passion - Blog - FFVE - Livres - Clubs - Musées - Contact

Mentions légales