War is a terrible thing. But, no matter what you say it does bring out the ingenuity in humans.

Computers, code breaking, tinned food, the jet engine, the rocket, logistics, medical developments, recreational drugs, the list goes on – they all owe their accelerated development to war.

I own a motorbike that owes it’s heritage to this bike. My bike, built over 65 years after this bike, retains much of the same layout.

1942 BMW Wehrmacht

1942 BMW Wehrmacht

This is a 1942 BMW of the Wehrmacht. Click on the image to see it in all it’s glory.

This bike would have been used on the eastern front and would have followed on from the disastrous winter campaign of 1941 when the equipment failures of the german army were a contributing factor to the stagnation of their efforts.

How do I know all of this? Am I some sort of late night Discovery channel watching loser? Do I consume the books of Antony Beevor the way a middle aged woman consumes chick-lit in a vicarious attempt to live another life?


the main reason I know it was made in 1942 is because there’s a little tag on the bike that tells you so.

The eastern front?

Take a look at the exhaust pipe coming out of the front of the engine (that curvy pipe swooping under the left of the bike (your right)) and notice how it has a smaller pipe coming from it as it exits the engine head. That pipe turns back to connect so a bit of silver pipework behind the engine cylinder (the cylinder is the bit with the spark plug and the cooling fins sticking out of the side of the bike).

Now, if you’re trying to run a bike at sub-zero temperatures (on the eastern front) one thing you have to watch is the winter air temperature on the inlet manifold (that bit at the back of the engine) and the possibility of the carburettors icing up turning your iron horse into a useless lump.

So, if you connect the warm exhaust pipe to the inlet you can warm the inlet and prevent freezing. And that’s what they did and that is what the little pipe is for – warming the carbs and intake manifold.


And proof that I actually know something and am not all dreams and metaphors.


2 responses to “Ingenuity

  1. I didn’t know that. Wish my old Pegasso had something like that. It was a bitch (sorry daughter) on winter mornings.

  2. Great post! Owner of a BMW and a Pegasso!

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