German Heavy Motorcycle with Sidecar

German BMW R75 with sidecar

Messengers, reconnaissance groups, traffic controllers, military police, and medical personnel often depended on solo motorcycles and combinations for mobility and speed. In the German army, motorcycle combinations were also used in large numbers to motorize Kradschützen motorcycle infantry units. The Einheits Beiwagen - standard mil-spec sidecar - was developed specifically for this purpose, it had mounting brackets for a standard light machine gun, and it was designed to carry a mortar. Heavy motorcycle combinations like the BMW R75 had powered sidecars with forward and reverse gears. The s.Krad category of heavy motorcycles included solo motorcycles and combinations over 500 cc, some of which were captured in the course of the 1940 campaign:

  • Zündapp KS600 mit Beiwagen (E), 3x1
  • NSU 601 OSL mit Beiwagen (E), 3x1
  • BMW R12 (745 cc) mit Beiwagen (E), 3x1
  • BMW R75 mit Beiwagenantrieb (E), 3x2
  • Zündapp KS750 mit Beiwagenantrieb (E), 3x2
  • FN M12 (Belgian) mit Beiwagenantrieb (E), 3x2
  • Gnome & Rhône AX2 (French) mit Beiwagenantrieb (E), 3x2

Available Scale Model Kits

  • 1:72 Atlantic 610
  • 1:72 Hasegawa MT12
  • 20 mm Raventhorpe
  • 1:76 Fujimi 76020
  • 1:76 Hinchliffe 20/36
  • 1:76 Revell 03150 (Matchbox 40171)
  • BMW 750 motorcycle combination + 3 Fallschirmjäger, 1:76 AB Figures FJ11
  • BMW & Sidecar (x4), 15 mm Battlefront Miniatures GE400
  • BMW & Sidecar (Afrika) (x4), 15 mm Battlefront Miniatures GE401
  • Motorcycles w/ Sidecars (x16), 1:285 GHQ G141
  • Motorcycles w/ Sidecars (x4), 1:285 GHQ G40
  • BMW & Sidecar (x2), 1:300 Heroics & Ros G088

Technical Specifications

  • Schweres Kraftrad 750 cc mit Seitenwagen (angetrieben)
  • Engine: BMW R750 2-cylinder, H-I-A-C, 745 cc, 19.4 kw @ 4400 rpm
  • Maximum Speed: 95 km/h
  • Transmission: 4 Forward 1 Reverse, or 3F1R in low ration; lockable differential.
  • Brakes: Hydraulic rear and sidecar brakes
  • Tires: 4.50-16
  • Length: 2400 mm
  • Width: 1730 mm
  • Height: 1000 mm
  • Weight: 400 kg
  • Production: 1940-44

Bibliography

Museum Exhibits

s.Krad BMW R75 in desert camouflage, Technik-Museum Speyer, Germany

s.Krad BMW R75 in desert camouflage, Technik-Museum Speyer, Germany

Historical Employment

  • German Army, 1940 – May 1945

Conversions

  • Soviet Army Dnepr M-72 copy of the BMW R71 (3x1) combination
  • Heavy Solo Motorcycle

BMW R75 motorcycle combinations are available from many different manufacturers, they are often part of larger kits involving transport or fighting vehicles. The combinations are easily converted to solo motorcycles by leaving the sidecar off, and filling the attachment points with putty.

Frequently Asked Questions

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