BMW “R61”, 1938, Germany
To replace the R6, the first 600cc BMW motorcycle, the Bavarian company launched the new R61 at the 1938 Berlin Motor Show.
The company actually unveiled a whole new family of motorcycles: together with the R61, there was the smaller R51, the sportier R66 and the bigger R71.
These motorcycles are known to be the first BMWs with rear telescopic suspensions.
They weighed 9 kg more and the top speed was a little lower than the previous models with rigid frame, but the comfort was definitely better.
The R61 was the touring version with side-valve engine of the R66, the sportier version with overhead valves.
In true BMW style, both powered by a twin-cylinder boxer engine with shaft final drive.
The BMW R61 and R71 will become famous for their extreme reliability, so much so that they will be largely used by German troops during WWII.