BMW Motorrad Spezial

Neander motorcycle

Neander motorcycle
Ever heard of Neander? Me neither, until Legend of The Motorcycle founder Jared Zaugg mentioned the German marque in a recent Bike EXIF Interview. This drop-dead gorgeous machine is a 1929 Neander P3 1, which surfaced at a Bonhams sale in the UK a couple of years ago. Ernst Neumann-Neander used a variety of engines for his motorcycles, including Villiers, JAP and Küchen—but this is one of the very rare MAG-powered models. It’s also one of the last machines to roll off the Neander production line. Owned by a Viennese fur trader, it was sold to motorcycle collector Professor Fritz Ehn in the mid-60s. Ehn had the Neander restored—using zinc for the frame, rather than now-unavailable cadmium—and Bonhams sold the bike for £31,050, a healthy increase over the guide price. It was the largest ever sale of a single motorcycle collection, with over 300 bikes going under the hammer. Professor Ehn, we’re told, jettisoned his motorcycles to make way for a new passion … vintage tractors.

Neander motorcycle
Neander motorcycle

  • I want it.

  • tq

    so beautiful. i have such an appreciation for bikes of this period, but doubt I would have any idea on how to start / operate / ride them.

  • Dave Enfield

    First glance = What a great retro looking build , then , Holy —- this is the real thing . It’s all been done before , and better , hasn’t it ? Just look at that .

    • C.A. White

      Who wants to bet that it won’t be long now before a custom bike rolls out with cad plating instead of a paint job as a result of this? The aging of the patina is similar to copper or zinc when weathered. It’s incredible. Neander was indeed ahead of its time.

  • Very cool looking bike today

  • Kim of Copenhagen

    Try googling ‘1928 Neander’ or ‘Opel rocket motorcycle’ (it was basically the same bike), and you’ll see it with a different and unique type of front fork. Another unique feature is the saddle which has an inflatable air bladder.

  • Very interesting aspects of it which look like modern parts grafted into an old bike… the sportbike tank and twin spar frame. Almost looks like a “steampunk” mashup done for kicks. Must have been futuristic-looking back in 1929!

    The period details are fantastic; ball-end controls, reverse levers, that very cool hand shifter, forks, and that cool little metal tool box.

    Aside from the manual spark advance and insignificant brakes, it’s probably got rideability equal or better than a ’70s Harley.

  • Rufus S.

    I’ve got to admit it’s gorgeous. Jared has great taste.

  • Last Brunneng

    Gorgeous, except I want to take the fenders off.

  • joe momma

    …that is instantly a handsome sumbitch….normally what would seem cheap – stamped steel parts – sure woiks on this one…..the full radius pipes done with an eye for style….

  • iRivas

    Beautiful classical motorcycle. When I see bikes like these it always reminds of why I fell in love with motorcycles in the first place. Thank you Chris for this post.

  • Anonymous

    Talk about being ahead of its time. People seeing it then probably have the same reaction as someone today seeing a Confederate Hellcat for the first time. Like @Dave at first glance I thought it was a modern custom make out of retro parts.

  • Avadhut P

    It looks amazingly futuristic even today!

  • awesome, inspiring and well ahead of its time, great post…just don’t dare call it a cafe racer!! ;)

  • AdamCJenkins

    i like the levers and really all the controls.

  • Mingh

    the difference between this and a confederate is thet here, form follows function.
    Stunning bike (this one, not the hellcat) There were more of those pressed steel frames round that time, until now, my favourite was the zundapp 600, but this one’s gone straight to the top spot

  • KIK

    is the tank from a gsx-r ?

  • elven

    Great bike for its time and so many customs today try to achive a similar look!
    The seat and tank together on top of the frame are simply classic.

  • That might be the most beautiful motorcycle I’ve ever seen.

  • Jared Zaugg

    I’ve received a few e-mails as to how my choice was made. Now, with this posting, you can clearly see why I selected this machine as the “most beautiful” in my interview. Being asked a question like this is like being asked what’s the best album ever cut. It’s an impossible question but one that forces an answer – and just one answer. My litmus test involved two challenges: the first as mentioned in the interview (standing out among the jewels) and the second is if it makes me weak in the knees every time I see it no matter how many times I’ve seen it. Thanks to Bonhams for providing the photos and a big thanks to Chris for posting them.

  • Cafebmw

    another example of the vintage bike scene in europe which shows a way bigger variety than ours here in the u.s. most germans involved resp. interested in vintage bikes (or how they call it, ‘oldtimer’), do know neander, opel, boehmerland, etc.
    here it’s always the usual suspects with the occasional a bit more exotic thrown in, such as excelsior…
    cadmium plating is still available in the us. in europe is prohibited for environmental reasons for decades.

  • msp

    Wow. Jesus. That bike is awesome.

  • rich

    Just the Neander tall?

    • Anonymous

      Dunno, but I think it comes from the same Neander valley as the other humans :-)

  • Gerrard

    you know, a few dimensions would be really interesting if anyone has ’em?

  • joe momma

    ….i been looking at this one fer days……the only miniscule slightest of snivels i can say are this……at first blush the fenders don’t seem to radius the tires PRECISELY….i realize a body man may have had effect on this……it why, a while back i boohooed fenders on the brough……these are “mona lisa” moments, in my mind….even the stamped steel framework has extreee center brace in the back, fullfilling the “sturdy like a brick shithouse” constructs i look for…….the magneto is in back rather than as mudflap on the brough…..apparently the stars were in alignment when this neanderthal was conceived!!!….it’s darn close to my fave……..the temple anzani…..see we ain’t all american snobs????

  • joe momma

    …like a purdy girl… can’t always put yer finger on it…..but you’d like to put yer fingers on it!!….

  • Plittersdorf

    Prepare to have your mind bent! Check out what the name is currently tied to:
    Once again thinking ahead of it’s time and definitely out of the box!