BMW 750/275 (R 75) EVOLUTION DURING WAR YEARS 1941-1944, Giovanni Bianchi, ASI, 2007(民國96年|主曆2007年)《Black Water Museum Collections | 黑水博物館館藏》
We would like to think that this book on BMW R75, perfectly following the Manufacturer's original handbook as to the page and chapter lay-out, may represent the start of a new "A.S.I. series".
It is an exhaustive study on the technical details of a motorcycle that has become a myth. Our vehicle was designed and constructed to fulfil the requirements of wartime, but that's not the point, as what takes us more is the clear-headedness that led to such an outstanding technical result.
It was a machine specially conceived to overcome all the difficulties it was destined to cope with while moving on such hard grounds as the immense frozen Russian steppes, the African deserts and European mountains, as well as half the swampy areas of our globe. Such goal was brilliantly achieved. The technical concept of the engine: a 2-cylinder boxer type performing all expected functions by means of a very high torque distribution value, low barycentre and additional sidecar drive.
The possibility of carrying passengers or whatever necessary at any time made it an extremely versatile type of vehicle. Technique and a good choice of materials made it an exceptional machine. This book is a thorough presentation of an object longed for by many Good maintenance made it undestroyable.
people, whether military vehicles enthusiasts or not. The clear and neat exposition, the pictures of the time, and the reproductions of parts from the original handbook allow the reader to get the information he was looking for in quite a simple and immediate way. Finally a book focusing on the diffusion of knowledge, with neither frills nor flights of fancy, merely supplying the necessary elements to extend the level of information on our motorcycle through accurate descriptions and with the support of relevant pictures.
That's the good way to spread culture and get the satisfaction of owning both the vehicle and the book illustrating it.
Indeed, BMW R75 and the book written by Giovanni Bianchi complement one another: if you own the motorcycle you can't help reading the book, if you own and read the book you feel like owning the motorcycle. This means that the author has done a good job while developing his subject and has achieved his goal.
Therefore, I congratulate the author on his work and I wish a "good reading" to all the purchasers of "BMW 750/275 (R75) EVOLUZIONE NEGLI ANNI DI GUERRA 1941-1944/EVOLUTION DURING WAR YEARS 1941-1944".
BMW R 75 Sidecar unit, from Deutschland...
In the scenery of the heavy motorcycles with over 500 cc. displacement, as used by the German Army during the second World War, besides the Belgian FN M12, the French Gnome & Rhone Ax2, and the German NSU 601 OSL, ZUNDAPP KS 600 and KS 750, as well as BMW R12-some with and some without sidecar drive- the lion's share was won by the BMW R75 sidecar unit, occasionally also used in "solo" guise, along with its cousin ZUNDAPP KS 750, both featuring a number of common elements.
The 745cc. BMW R75 powerful engine with opposed- twin cylinders has a power of 26 HP at 4400 revolutions per minute, thus assuring a reliability that just from the very start made it immediately fit for the hard tasks that soldiers were going to trust to it. Moreover, the four speed gear plus four reduced ones and reverse gear, the differential blocking and hydraulic brakes made of this vehicle the best product conceived at the time for military motorcycles. Eventually, R75 was also fitted with tessellated 4.50 tyres mounted to 16 rims that, in an emergency, allowed interchangeability with the 5 tyres supplied on all the Volkswagen military vehicles.
This motorcycle was then used for a great number of different tasks in all the theatres of war, from the desert sands to the moorlands - immense frosty plains during the cold Russian winter or marshes in spring, including the whole territory of Central and Southern Europe. The versatility of this "servant of infantry", Steib or Royal, is further proved by the fact that sometimes a 7,92-bore light machine-gun was mounted to the sidecar with munitions kept in the large side cases or inside a special sidecar housing.
A 20-liter can of petrol was at least necessary to extend the autonomy of the motorcycles belonging to the exploring units. This reminds us of a picture, maybe propagandist but a true one, showing a BMW R75 under a bus shelter at 12 km from the Red Square in Moscow - a symbol of the shattering of a dream that even Napoleon Bonaparte's army had not managed to realize.
Some models were fitted on the field for the health service by replacing the sidecar "little boat" with a stretcher, or for the maintenance service by replacing the sidecar with a workshop case. A 37 mm anti-tank gun was also hooked at times; and a picture even shows convoys with the powerful BMW R75 as a towing unit pulling a column of IF8 munition carts, hooked one after the other thanks to simple readjustment of the same tows that were used for people and animals carriage.
Following OKW requirements, production was expected to start in 1940, indeed the first vehicles left the plants in Munich, Bavaria, only in June 1941. At least 17.500 pieces were then manufactured through to 1944 while at the same time about 18.500 KS 750 cousins were produced by ZUNDAPP. In 1944, due to the extremely high production costs and to the war hostile fate, production turned from an offensive into a defensive one and the last delivery of R75 pieces was made from the new plants in Eisenach, Thuringia, whereas the planned relocation of the production units in Romania was then abandoned.
These few introductory lines have been written to highlight the outstanding design and production of a vehicle that proved to be an innovative and functional one. Obviously it couldn't replace the light four-wheeled vehicles, such as the "Kubelwagen", but it surely completed them or even replaced them in all those operations where such vehicles were missing or not necessary.
Eng. Renato Pujatti
Chairman-National Technical Commission ASI for Military Vehicles -