1954 BMW R 25/3

A plane company banned from production in 1917 BFW (Bayerische Flugzeugwerke) started manufacturing four-stroke motorcycle engines, and began to manufacture motorcycles under the brand name BMW in 1923, along with two partners. Its emblem was a plane propeller, inspired by its former business. From its earliest models, the company preferred a shaft-drive system to chain drive.

BMW introduced the R 25 in 1951, with a 15.26 cu.in. engine, the only single-cylinder post-war model and the first to feature rear suspension. Marketed for two years, the R 25 was updated twice, remaining in production as the R 25/2 and a year later, in 1953, as the R 25/3.

This R 25/3 with its Vertical-Single OHV engine was an enhanced version of the well-tested and improved R 25/2 with new hydraulic fork, straighter and longer fuel tank, toolbox moved to the side, new wheels and wheel hub. In this model, BMW reduced the wheel diameter from 19 to 18 inch. The steel rims were replaced by alloy, and small rubber gaiters were added to the front axle. The R 25/2’s 12 bhp engine was enhanced to 13 bhp. With its engine connected to the frame using rubber mountings, dropped exhaust noise made to fit the traffic rules of the time, revised suspension springs in the seat, and using double-acting oil dumpers in the front fork to increase ride quality, the

R 25/3 was very popular. Brake diameter was enlarged. A footbrake-operated lamp was added to the tail lamp for urban traffic. The R 25/3 BMW, when production ended in 1956, had sold a total of 47,700 in four years.

The example in the Museum, like our other 1954 model, the R 51/3, is fitted with a TR 500 Steib sidecar. The price without the sidecar was 2,060 DM.

1954 BMW R 25/3

  • Make BMW
  • Model R 25/3
  • Body Style Classic Bike + Sidecar
  • Year 1954
  • Origin Germany
  • Production Total 47,700
  • Rider Capacity 1 (+1 sidecar)


  • Engine 224/4, Vertical-Single, OHV, Gasoline, 4 stroke, 15.1 cu.inch, 13 bhp, 5800 rpm
  • Bore x Stroke 2.68 x 2.68 inch
  • Transmission Manual, 4-speed, single-plate, dry, foot shift
  • Top Speed 74 mph (with sidecar 55 mph)
  • Fuel System Carburetor
  • Primary Drive Kick starter, shaft
  • Final Drive Shaft
  • Frame 225/3, steel, twin-loop, welded, tubular
  • Suspension Front Telescopic fork
    Rear Telescopic, shock absorber
  • Electrical System 6 Volt, 60 Watt
    (Generator, Noris ZLZ 60/6/1600L)
  • Brakes 2-wheels drum
  • Wheelbase 53.7 inch
  • Overall Length 81.2 inch
  • Overall Width 29.9 inch
  • Saddle Height 28.7 inch
  • Ground Clearance 3.6 inch
  • Shipping Weight 330 lbs
  • Tires Front, rear: 3.25 x 18