BMW Schneekrad was made in 1936 and it was one of the first motorcycle-snowmobile’s ever put together. There is no too much info about this machine and even this we have has different opinion’s about it’s heritage: some say it was an experimental BMW-powered snowmobile which was built by Riemerschmidt, a BMW engineer as a personal project. Others version says it’s Wehrmacht order. The only thing is known for sure: Nazi Germans were getting ready for the Alps in winter so they were in need of machine which could move fast enough in spite of the the snow and mud. There are two versions of which the name Schneekrad originated from. Schnee means snow and krad means caterpillar, but also Krad was the military abbreviation of the German word Kraftrad, the administrative German term for motorcycle.
For this snowmobile Riemerschmidt used BMW R-12 engine in a “Gleitkettenkraftrad” or “slip-chain” motorcycle design and a Steib TR-500 sidecar. It’s very difficult to imagine how this machine was turning. There is almost no more information about this snowmobile which make us think it was abandoned project and possibly only one prototype was built.
The picture you see was made by Kurt Worner, a famous European photographer.