Bmw Motorcycles

The Remarkable History of BMW

The Remarkable History of BMW

Innovation, perseverance, dedication, and outstanding engineering are the key elements that made BMW one of the giant global automobile manufacturers. The company went through several tough times, making it difficult to survive. However, the quality of products, high-end technology, and reliability made BMW a leading German motorcycle brand. The innovation and mastery to design such premium motorcycles came from the experience of the parent BMW Group which has been designing and manufacturing aircraft engines and luxury cars since 1916. Read this article to learn about the remarkable history of BMW.

1. BMW

BMW

Abbreviation Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW)
Industry Automotive
Products Luxury Cars and Motorcycles
Founded In March 7, 1916
Founded In (Headquarter) Munich, Germany
Founders Karl Rapp
Franz Josef Popp
Camillo Castiglioni
Subsidiaries Rolls Royce
Mini
DriveNow
BMW Z
BMW X
BMW M
BMW i
BMW
Alpina
Motorcycles Brand BMW Motorrad
Parent Company BMW
Established In 1923

Also Read: THE REMARKABLE HISTORY OF APRILIA

2. The Remarkable History of BMW

1910

Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik was an aircraft manufacturing company established in Munich, Bavaria, Germany in 1910 by a German aircraft engineer, Gustav Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik.

1916

On March 7, 1916, the company had to reorganize and the name was changed to Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW).

1917

One of the key personalities in the history of BMW was Rapp Motorenwerke, an aircraft engine producer who changed the brand name of BFW to Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH (BMW).

2.1 The First Aircraft Engine

In 1917, BMW successfully produced its first aircraft engine, the BMW IIIa, an inline six-cylinder water-cooled engine. It was also the first BMW product designed by Max Friz.

Like most industries, BMW faced tough times and economic recession during World War I. After the war ended, the company continued its operations to survive and produced several mechanical parts and instruments, including locomotive brakes, household items, farm machinery, and motorcycle engines.

1920

2.2 Development of M2B15 - A Gas-Powered Boxer Engine

In 1920, BMW developed a gas-powered boxer engine for industrial machinery. This engine proved to be a successful development and paved the way for BMW to step into motorcycle manufacturing.

1922

The company had to shift its aircraft engine manufacturing facility to a new place and the brand name was changed again to Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW). Later, the brand name was changed again to Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) which became the trademark of one of the leading motorcycle and car manufacturers.

1923

2.3 BMW R 32 - The First Motorcycle by BMW Motorrad

In 1923, BMW Motorrad, a separate BMW motorcycle brand was introduced to market its motorbikes. In the same year, the company manufactured its first motorcycle, the BMW R 32.

BMW R 32 - The First Motorcycle by BMW Motorrad

Photo Credit: BMW Dean

BMW R 32 - The First Motorcycle by BMW Motorrad

Photo Credit: Pipe Burn

After World War I ended, Germany and BMW were forced to stop producing aircraft and engines. So, the company started producing motorcycle engines to survive. The BMW R 32 was an ideal commuter and a well-designed motorcycle of its time. It was fitted with a BMW M2B33 494 cc flat-twin boxer engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 8.5 hp and could attain a top speed of 59 mph.

The BMW R 32 was first displayed at the 1923 Berlin Motor Show where it received wide recognition due to its unique transverse-mounted boxer engine cylinders. Since then, BMW’s boxer engine has become the trademark of the company. However, BMW has also started using engines with different configurations recently to ensure versatility. The BMW R 32 was a successful and reliable motorcycle. Though the BMW R 32’s production was stopped in 1926, it paved the way for coming BMW motorcycles.

1925

BMW R 37

In 1925, BMW introduced the R 37 model, a sporty and race version of the BMW R 32. This motorcycle earned BMW a reputation as one of the emerging national brands. The BMW R 37 received a flat-twin 494 engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 16 hp. It could attain a top speed of 70 mph.

1924

The BMW R 37 became a successful racing motorcycle and led Franz Bieber to victory in the 1924 German Championship.

1925

In 1925, the BMW R 37 was included in the production lineup for selling to private customers.

BMW R 39

BMW introduced another model in 1925, called the BMW R 39, powered by a 247 single-cylinder engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 6.4 hp. This motorcycle was also a sporty-style motorbike and it could attain a top speed of 61 mph. Josef Stelzer, riding the BMW R 39, helped BMW secure the first position in the 1925 German Road Championship.

1926

2.4 BMW R 42 - A Successful BMW Model of the Past

Both the BMW R 32 and the BMW R 37 were discontinued in 1926 as the company was planning to produce a more powerful and better version. The company introduced the BMW R 42 powered by a large 494 cc flat-twin boxer engine capable of delivering an increased horsepower of 12 hp and could attain a top speed of 58 mph. This motorcycle was built around the same frame as old BMW models. However, due to increased power output and price reduction of around 30%, it became the most successful BMW model from a sales point of view.

1927

BMW R 47

In 1927, BMW introduced the BMW R 47 fitted with a 494 cc flat-twin engine capable of a horsepower of 18 hp and could attain a top speed of 67 mph. This motorcycle proved to be a successful BMW sports model as it participated in several national and international racing championships.

1928

BMW R 52

In 1928, the BMW R 52 was introduced with almost similar design and specs. Only a few engine tweaks were made, including the long-stroke engine design.

BMW R 57

As there was no major innovation on the part of automobiles at that time, the new BMW R 57, introduced in 1928, had nothing new. However, it replaced the BMW R 47 as a racing motorbike in the 500 cc category.

2.5 BMW R 62 - The Best BMW Touring Bike of the 1920s

In the same year, BMW introduced another model, the BMW R 62. Though it used the same frame and had the same design as the previous models, the BMW R 62 received a large 745 cc flat-twin boxer engine, capable of delivering a horsepower of 18 hp. This motorcycle could attain a top speed of 70 mph. The BMW R 62 became the best touring motorcycle of the decade thanks to its reliable frame design, engine, and performance.

BMW R 63

Engineers at BMW continued improving the engine design and layout to achieve better performance. In the same year, a 735 cc engine with shorter strokes was designed and installed on the BMW R 63, a sports model. The 735 cc short-stroke flat-twin engine was capable of delivering an impressive horsepower of 24 hp. The BMW R 663 could attain a top speed of 74 mph.

1929

2.6 BMW R 16 - Built Around a Newly-Designed Frame

In 1929, BMW finally introduced the BMW R 16 with a newly designed frame and a slightly larger front fender. The soldered tubular frame was replaced by the torsion-resistant pressed steel frame for better performance.

BMW R 11

Along with the BMW R 16, another similar model built around the new frame was introduced, called the BMW R 11 in 1929.

2.7 1929 World Speed Record

In 1929, Ernst Henne, on his upgraded BMW R 37 motorcycle, powered by a supercharged engine, made a new world speed record of attaining 216 km/h.

1931

Motorcycles with small-displacement engines became popular again as the government announced tax exemption for motorcycles below 200 cc in Germany. To benefit from this scheme, BMW introduced a new model in 1931, the BMW R 2, fitted with a 198 cc single-cylinder engine. Despite being slightly expensive, the BMW R 2 became a popular model among riders.

1932

2.8 Upgraded BMW R 16

In 1932, the BMW R 16 received several upgrades to increase its power output and speed. The 1932 BMW R 16 could attain a top speed of 77 mph and the engine produced a horsepower of 33 hp.

BMW R 4

BMW continued producing low-powered motorcycles to ensure good sales. In 1932, the company introduced another model, the BMW R 4, fitted with a 398 cc single-cylinder engine.

1933

In 1933, BMW gained a reputation as one of the best racing motorcycle brands after securing a win at the 15th International Six Day Race in Wales with the BMW R 16.

1935

2.9 BMW R 17 - The Introduction of Hydraulic Telescopic Forks

In 1935, BMW introduced its fastest and most comfortable model, called the BMW R 17. When it came to technology and performance, BMW raised the bar for other motorcycle manufacturers at that time. The installation of hydraulic telescopic forks in the BMW R 17 made it one of the most comfortable motorcycles in the 1930s. After this innovation, almost every motorcycle manufacturer started installing hydraulic telescopic forks on motorcycles. The BMW R 17 was powered by a 736 cc engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 33 hp. This motorcycle was capable of attaining a top speed of 86 mph.

2.10 BMW R 12 - A Best-Seller Civilian and Military Motorcycle

In 1935, another BMW model, similar to the BMW R 17 was manufactured. It was also fitted with oil-damped hydraulic telescopic front forks for extra comfort. The BMW R 12 became the most popular and best-selling BMW motorcycle in the pre-World War II era and it was largely used by the military.

1936

BMW R 3

The start of 1936 was not up to expectations as BMW released another single-cylinder low-powered model, the BMW R 3, fitted with a 305 cc engine which did poor sales.

2.11 BMW R 5 - The First Motorcycle with a Foot-Operated Gear Shift

In the same year, BMW made a strong comeback with a sports racing bike, the BMW R 5. Though this motorcycle was not fitted with a large-displacement engine, it received several mechanical upgrades, including the two camshafts. The 494 cc flat-twin boxer engine was capable of delivering a horsepower of 24 hp. The BMW R 5 could attain a top speed of 86 mph. The most prominent feature it received was the foot-operated gear shift.

1937

2.12 Ernst Henne Became the Fastest Rider

In 1937, the world record speed holder broke his previous record on a 500 cc BMW motorcycle powered by a compressor motor capable of delivering a horsepower of 108 hp to become the fastest motorcycle rider.

BMW R 6

After manufacturing several sports models, BMW introduced the BMW R 6 with a torquey engine and improved touring capability. There were several new features introduced on the motorcycle, including the rear wheel brake and fuel tank-integrated toolbox. Due to being powered by a torquey engine, the BMW R 6 was ideal for a sidecar combination.

2.13 BMW R 20 - Received the First Tubular Frame

Another low-powered model, the BMW R 20 was introduced to replace the BMW R 20. The BMW R 20 received an all-new bolted tubular frame for the first time.

1938

2.14 BMW won the European Championship

In 1938, Georg Meier secured the first European Championship win for BMW.

2.15 Licensing Requirement and Tax Exemptions Changed Again

In 1938, the licensing regulations and the tax exemptions for motorcycles below 200 cc were changed and riders owning a BMW R 20 were required to obtain a license.

BMW R 51, BMW R 61, BMW R 66, and BMW R 71

In the same year, BMW launched a new lineup: the BMW R 51, R 61, R 66, and R 71 with the installation of the plunger rear suspension for the first time. The BMW R 66 was the fastest model in this lineup with a top speed of around 89 mph.

BMW R 23

In 1938, BMW introduced another low-powered motorcycle, the BMW R 23, after the recent change in the licensing regulations by the government. A new license category was formed for motorcycles up to 250 cc.

1941

2.16 World War II Era

In 1941, BMW had to stop the production of civilian motorcycles after the commencement of World War II in 1939. The company continued manufacturing motorcycles for the military.

2.17 BMW R 75 Sidecar - The Military Motorcycle

The first motorcycle BMW produced for the military was the BMW R 75 with a sidecar combination. It was one of the most advanced motorcycles of its time with the inclusion of several modern features, including reverse gear, powered sidecar, split frame, and off-road capability.

1948

2.18 Post-World War II

BMW R 24

The production started again in 1948 after World War II ended. The first model BMW introduced was the BMW R 24, based on the BMW R 23 with an addition of the four-speed gearbox.

1950

BMW R 25

In 1950, BMW introduced one of its most popular models in the post-World War II era, the BMW R 25. It was the first single-cylinder BMW motorcycle that received the plunger rear suspension.

1951

BMW R 67

After World War II ended, BMW decided to design new engine designs and upgrade the existing ones. As a result, the BMW R 67 was introduced with a sidecar combination.

BMW R 51/3

In the same year, BMW introduced another model, called the BMW R 51/3 at the 1951 Amsterdam Motor Show. This motorcycle became a popular model due to ensuring impressive sporty performance, smooth on-road riding, better handling, and adequate off-road capability.

2.19 BMW R 68 - The 100 Mile Racer

In 1951, BMW also introduced another sporty motorcycle, the BMW R 68 which turned out to be the fastest BMW ever made. This motorcycle could attain a top speed of 98 mph thanks to its 594 cc engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 35 hp. The BMW R 68 was introduced at the Frankfurt Motorcycle Exhibition and turned out to be the BMW’s 100 Mile Racer.

1954

2.20 Winning World Championships

BMW became a recognized motorcycle brand after it won several sidecar and motorcycle world championships. Wilhelm Noll and Fritz Cron won the 1954 World Championships while riding on the BMW RS series.

BMW R 25/3

1954 turned out to be one of the most successful years for BMW thanks to the very popular model, the BMW R 25/3 introduced in 1953. The fuel tank was completely redesigned, lightweight wheels were used, and the full hub brakes were installed for reliable braking. BMW sold more than 30,000 motorcycles in this year.

1955

BMW R 50

BMW R 50 was also introduced in the same year and it was a unique motorcycle due to being equipped with several modern features. This motorcycle was also used by the police. The telescopic front suspension was replaced by a shifted swingarm and the rear plunger suspension was replaced by a cardan shaft and swingarm.

BMW R 69

In the same year, BMW introduced another popular and fast motorcycle based on the BMW R 50. It was the first BMW motorcycle to reach a top speed of 101 mph.

2.21 Mid-1950s Motorcycle Market Crisis

At the start of 1955, the German motorcycle market crashed and several motorcycle manufacturers became bankrupt. BMW faced a tough economic crisis as the new models were not doing good business.

1956

2.22 A New World Speed Record

In 1956, BMW again received the limelight in the racing season as Noll, while riding the BMW motorcycle attained a top speed of 280 km/h, setting another world speed record. Meanwhile, Watler Zeller stood in second place at the podium at the end of the 1956 World Championship race.

1960

2.23 BMW R 69 S - The Fastest Motorcycle of Its Time

During the severe German motorcycle market crash, BMW continued to introduce new models by upgrading old ones. Despite continuous efforts, every strategy turned out to be unsuccessful until the BMW R 69 S arrived in 1960. It was one of the fastest motorcycles of the 1960s even in the international market. The BMW R 69 S was fitted with a single-piece saddle for two-up riding. The 594 cc engine was capable of delivering an impressive horsepower of 42 hp. The BMW R 69 S could attain a top speed of 107 mph.

1969

2.24 BMW R75/5 - The Beginning of /5 Series

Another major attempt was made by BMW to survive in the constantly declining motorcycle market by introducing the BMW R75/5, the first motorcycle in the BMW “/5” series. As far as the aesthetics are concerned, this motorcycle was the start of a new era of modern motorcycles. The 745 cc engine was capable of producing a horsepower of 50 hp.

2.25 New Manufacturing Facility in Berlin

In 1969, BMW’s manufacturing facility was shifted from Munich to Spandau, Berlin to meet the production capacity due to an increased demand for BMW motorcycles.

1973

2.26 BMW R 90 S - The Fastest Motorcycle of the 1970s

In 1973, BMW hired a professional designer, Hans Muth, to design the BMW R 90 S. It was a full sports-style motorcycle with a large 898 cc engine capable of producing a horsepower of 67 hp. The BMW R 90 S was the first motorcycle to receive a cockpit fairing. It could attain a top speed of 124.27 mph.

2.27 BMW R 90/6 - The Modern Tourer of the 1970s

In the same year, BMW also introduced the BMW R 90/6, a cruiser-style motorcycle for long-distance riding. When it came to speed and power, it was no less than the BMW R 90 S.

2.28 BMW R 75/6 - The Innovative Motorcycle of the 1970s

The BMW R 75/6 was the engineering marvel of its time due to being fitted with several latest features, including the shaft drive, five-speed gearbox, disc brakes, and long-wheel travel suspensions.

1976

2.29 BMW R 100/7, R 100 RS, and R 100 S

In 1976, BMW manufactured motorcycles with large-displacement engines. A 1,000 cc flat-twin boxer engine was developed to power the new series. The BMW R 100/7 was the only naked bike produced in 1976 in the 1,000 cc category. Meanwhile, the BMW R 100 RS was a Racing Sports (RS) motorcycle powered by a 980 cc boxer engine. It was a fully-faired motorcycle for better aerodynamic performance. The BMW R 100 RS could attain a top speed of 124.27 mph.

1978

BMW R 65

In 1978, BMW introduced the R 65 model in the entry-level category. It was powered by a 649.6 cc engine capable of a horsepower of 45 hp. The BMW R 65 was one of the motorcycles of the 1970s with a futuristic look.

2.30 BMW R 100 RT - The High-End Touring Bike

In 1978, BMW introduced a fully-faired, high-end touring bike powered by a 980 cc boxer engine capable of a horsepower of 70 hp. This motorcycle was fitted with a wide front fairing and an integrated large windscreen for protection from wind and weather. The standard luggage rack and saddlebags were attached to provide an ideal touring experience.

1980

BMW R 100 CS

In 1980, BMW installed its 980 cc boxer engine on a lightweight motorcycle to ensure high-speed performance and agility. The experiment turned out to be successful as this motorcycle reached a top speed of 124.27 mph (200 km/h).

2.31 Declining Sales

At the end of the 1970s, sales decreased due to the dominance of Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, including Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki worldwide. Also, BMW failed to come up with innovative motorcycle designs with high-performance engines. Most BMW motorcycles at that time belonged to the same category.

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2.32 BMW R 80 G/S - The Ultimate Enduro

To contest the tough situations, BMW designed a unique motorcycle, the BMW R 80 G/S with better off-road capability. This motorcycle was completely different from the usual BMW designs. It had a high ground clearance, a taller front end, and a slim design. The 797.5 cc engine was also capable of providing adequate thrust to maneuver on tough terrains. The G/S in the BMW R 80 G/S means “Gelände/Straße”, meaning an off-road motorbike.

1983

2.33 BMW K 100 - BMW’s First Inline Four-Cylinder Motorcycle

In 1983, BMW entered the modern world of motorcycling by introducing its most-awaited futuristic motorcycle, the BMW K 100 with a modern look. The company developed its first inline four-cylinder engine to compete successfully in a market dominated by Japanese manufacturers. It was a shaft-driven motorcycle with a powertrain and gearbox integrated within the engine. The BMW K 100 laid the foundation for modern BMW Motorrad. The company also manufactured genuine parts to customize this motorcycle. The BMW K 100 was fitted with a 987 cc engine capable of a horsepower of 90 hp. It could reach a top speed of 132 mph (215 km/h), making it one of the fastest motorcycles of the 1980s.

BMW K 100 RS

The BMW K 100 RS is the second member of the K lineup with a sport-style front fairing to improve aerodynamic performance. This motorcycle had the same 987 cc engine capable of producing a horsepower of 90 hp. However, the BMW K 100 RS was slightly faster than the BMW K 100 with a top speed of 136.7 mph (220 km/h).

1984

BMW K 100 RT

In 1984, BMW introduced the first touring bike, the BMW K 100 RT powered by the 987 cc inline four-cylinder engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 90 hp. Being a super tourer, this motorcycle could attain a top speed of 215 km/h.

1985

2.34 BMW K 75 C - BMW’s First Inline Three-Cylinder Engine Motorcycle

After the success of inline four-cylinder engine-powered K series models, BMW also introduced inline three-cylinder engine motorcycles. The first inline three-cylinder engine-powered model was the BMW K 75 C.

1987

BMW R 100 GS (E88)

In 1987, BMW experimented another time and produced one of the most powerful adventure touring bikes of its time, the BMW R 100 GS. This off-road motorbike was fitted with a 980 cc boxer engine capable of a horsepower of 60 hp.

1988

2.35 The Introduction of ABS Technology

In 1988, BMW developed the antilock braking system (ABS) for the first time in motorcycling history. It started a new era of advanced motorcycling technology.

2.36 BMW K1 - BMW’s First Fully-Faired Sports Bike

In 1988, there was a huge debate regarding the BMW lineup and the absence of a sports-racing motorcycle with full body fairing and a low drag coefficient. As a result of this debate, BMW launched a fully-faired sports bike, called the BMW K1, powered by a 987 cc inline four-cylinder engine capable of a horsepower of 100 hp. This motorcycle had the lowest air drag coefficient in the BMW lineup, ensuring a top speed of 150 mph (240 km/h).

1989

2.37 BMW K 75 RT - A Motorcycle for Law Enforcements

Previously, the BMW R 80 RT was widely used by the police department and was powered by a boxer engine. To upgrade this model into a more powerful version, BMW introduced the K 75 RT with a 740 cc inline three-cylinder engine capable of producing horsepower of 75 hp. This motorcycle was fitted with a large front fairing and had an impressive handling capability. The BMW K 75 RT became the next popular model in the police department after the BMW R 90 RT.

1991

2.38 The Introduction of Three-Way Catalytic Converter

In 1991, BMW introduced the three-way catalytic converter in the exhaust pipes to meet emission standards.

BMW R 100 R

In 1991, BMW introduced the R 100 R, an upgraded standard motorcycle with several new elements and a large-displacement boxer engine. This motorcycle received road-oriented tires, a large front wheel, and an extended rear frame. The BMW R 100 R is powered by a 980 cc flat-twin boxer engine capable of a horsepower of 60 hp.

2.39 BMW K 1100 LT - BMW’s Best-Selling Tourer of the 1990s

In 1991, BMW upgraded its engine used in previous touring models to make it 1,100 cc. The BMW K 1100 LT received a more powerful engine to compete with the exclusive touring bikes by other notable manufacturers in the 1990s. This motorcycle became one of the best-selling touring bikes of the 1990s thanks to the three-way catalytic converter installed.

1992

2.40 BMW R 1100 RS - The Most Advanced Motorcycle of Its Era

1992 was the year of innovation and technological advancements as BMW launched a unique motorcycle with several modern features, including Digital Fuel Injection (DFI), digital ignition, air- and oil-cooled engine technology, a four-valve engine, and a transformed front suspension for high damping rate and improved ride comfort. The upgraded engine ensured high power output, along with a low fuel consumption.

1993

2.41 BMW F 650 - The First BMW Motorcycle with a Chain Drive

BMW F 650 was launched in 1993 and soon became one of the most popular models thanks to its unique capabilities and modern enduro design. This motorcycle was prepared while collaborating with Aprillia, an Italian motorcycle manufacturer, and Rotax, an Austrian engine manufacturer. This motorcycle was also well-known as the Funduro due to its versatile performance, maneuverability., and agility.

2.42 BMW R 1100 GS - The Fastest Enduro of Its Time

In the same year, BMW was successful in developing one of the most unique motorcycle designs, called the BMW R 1100 GS. This motorcycle was one of the most powerful and fastest enduro of its time thanks to its slim and lightweight design and modern technology. The BMW R 1100 GS was the first Enduro with a four-valve flat-twin boxer engine capable of a horsepower of 80 hp. It was the first enduro that received the antilock braking system (ABS) and a three-way catalytic converter for reduced emissions. The ABS can also be easily switched off while maneuvering on dirt trails.

1996

2.43 BMW F 650 ST - The On-Road Version of “Funduro”

After the success of the BMW F 650 Enduro, the company decided to launch a road-oriented model for young and female riders. The BMW F 650 ST proved to be a great success among new riders thanks to its low-powered 652 cc single-cylinder engine. It was fitted with on-road tires, low seat height, and a smaller front wheel.

2.44 BMW R 1200 C - The First BMW Cruiser

In 1996, BMW designed a more powerful flat-twin boxer engine with a displacement of 1,170 cc to power the BMW R 1200 C. It was BMW’s unique interpretation of a cruiser/chopper-style motorcycle.

2.45 BMW K 1200 RS - The First BMW Motorcycle to Exceed the Horsepower Limit

BMW decided to lift the self-restriction of not manufacturing motorcycles capable of delivering a horsepower of more than 100 hp in 1996 when it introduced the BMW K 1200 RS. This motorcycle was powered by a 1,171 cc inline four-cylinder engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 130 hp and could attain a top speed of 150 mph.

1998

2.46 BMW K 1200 LT - BMW’s First Luxury Tourer

To compete with the Japanese luxury tourer, particularly the Honda Gold Wing, BMW introduced the BMW K 1200 LT. It received several touring-oriented features, including a full-body fairing, large windscreen, hard saddlebags, and a trunk with an integrated sofa-like passenger seat. The BMW K 1200 LT was a heavyweight sports-touring bike capable of ensuring a comfortable touring experience with an upright riding position.

1988

In 1998, BMW introduced the R 1100 S model, which was a unique motorcycle due to its half-fairing. It was fitted with an integrated fuel tank and front fairing design while the lower engine parts were exposed. Despite the sporty-style look, BMW categorized it as a sport-touring model.

1999

2.47 BMW C1 125 - The First Enclosed Motorcycle with Seat Belts

In 1999, BMW introduced a new concept in motorcycles by introducing seatbelts, and an enclosed structure to ensure rider safety. It looked nothing like a motorcycle, except it had two wheels. The helmet law was also not applicable to the BMW C1 125. Soon after the launch, the company realized that it could make better sales if marketed as a replacement for cars. Therefore, the BMW C1 125 became available at BMW car dealerships.

2001

BMW F650CS

In 2001, BMW introduced a uniquely designed motorcycle to attract beginners and young riders. It had an unorthodox styling with a futuristic look. The CS in the BMW F650CS stands for City and Street as it was designed for daily commutes and city traveling.

2002

BMW R 1200 CL

In 2002, BMW introduced the touring version of the R 1200 C by including a wide front fairing, windscreen, comfortable rider seat, saddlebags, trunk, and an integrated passenger seat with a backrest. However, the BMW R 1200 CL was powered by the same 1,170 cc engine that powered the R 1200 C model.

2005

2.48 BMW K 1200 R Power Cup

In 2005, BMW modified the K 1200 R model to introduce a race-oriented special edition, called the BMW K 1200 R Power Cup to compete in the MotoGP events. This motorcycle replaced the BMW Boxer Cup, a modified version of the BMW R 1100 S. The BMW Power Cup received race-inspired suspensions and carbon fiber parts.

2006

BMW G650 XChallenge, XMoto, and XCountry

In 2006, BMW introduced a fully enduro-style dual sports bike, called the BMW G650 XChallenge. It was a lightweight motorbike with a slim design, high ground clearance, a tall front end, knobby tires, and a narrow seat for extreme off-road riding. Two more variants were also introduced, along with the BMW G650 XChallenge, including the BMW G650 XCountry (Dual-Sports Bike) and the BMW G650 XMoto (Supermoto Bike).

BMW R 1200 R

In 2006, BMW introduced a roadster-style standard motorcycle powered by the conventional 1,170 cc boxer engine capable of a horsepower of 125 hp and a torque of 125 Nm.

2008

2.49 BMW K 1300 S - BMW’s First 1300 cc Motorcycle

In 2008, BMW introduced the upgraded version of the K 1200 S with an increased engine size of 1,300 cc. It was a sports bike with full body fairing and aggressive style. The 1,293 cc inline four-cylinder engine was capable of a horsepower of 175 hp and a torque of 140 Nm. The BMW K 1300 S was one of the fastest BMW motorcycles capable of reaching a top speed of 174.5 mph (280.8 km/h).

2009

BMW K 1300 R

In 2019, BMW also introduced the naked version of the K 1300 S by removing the fairing to reduce the overall weight and increase the performance. It was also powered by the 1,293 cc engine.

2008

BMW S 1000 RR

In 2018, BMW introduced one of its high-end and fastest sports bikes with aggressive styling to participate in the SBK World Championship. This motorcycle is also currently in production and has received several upgrades since 2008. After being successful in sports racing championships, the BMW S 1000 RR was also commercially produced for riders.

2011

2.50 BMW K1600 GT - The Ultimate Luxury Touring Bikes

In 2011, BMW started manufacturing its luxury touring bikes, the K 1600 series, powered by a 1,649 cc traverse-mounted straight six-cylinder engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 160 hp and a torque of 175 Nm. It replaced the previous K 1200 and K 1300 touring bike lineups to compete with the Honda Gold Wing in the six-cylinder category. The BMW K 1600 series is currently in production and is one of the best bagger-style sports-touring bikes in the global market successfully competing with the Honda Gold Wing.

2012

2.51 BMW C 600 Sport and BMW C 650 GT - BMW’s First Scooters

Like most notable versatile motorcycle manufacturers around the world, BMW also stepped into manufacturing scooters to capture a huge market. The BMW C 600 Sport and the BMW C 650 GT were the first scooters manufactured by BMW in the Maxi-Scooter category. A maxi-scooter is larger than the normal scooter with a bigger frame and large displacement engines, usually ranging between 150-850 cc. Both the BMW C 600 Sport and the BMW C 650 GT scooters were fitted with gas-powered engines, produced by Kymco, an engine manufacturer in Taiwan. Both scooters were fitted with a 647 cc engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 60 hp and a torque of 66 Nm.

2014

2.52 BMW R nineT - The Iconic BMW Motorcycle

In 2014, BMW released its most iconic model, the BMW R nineT which is a roadster-style standard motorcycle. Despite being a popular model, this motorcycle has a simple and basic design and the company markets it as the blank canvas for custom motorcycle builders. It features a split frame design and a separate wiring harness, making customization easy.

The BMW R nineT is available in several trims, including the R nineT Scrambler, R nineT Urban G/S, R nineT Pure, and the R nineT 100 Years. All these models are powered by the conventional-style 1,170 cc boxer engine capable of a horsepower of 110 hp and a torque of 100.7 Nm.

2.53 BMW S 1000 R - The Ultimate Naked-Style Roadster

Based on the BMW S 1000 RR sports bike, BMW launched a naked bike, called the BMW S 1000 R for a more exciting and fun riding experience. Being a lightweight and naked version, this motorcycle is the ultimate beast on the road. The 999 cc inline four-cylinder engine can produce a horsepower of 158 hp and a torque of 112 Nm. The BMW S 1000 R can attain a top speed of 160 mph. Being a top-of-the-line roadster, this motorcycle has several special features, including an ABS, traction control, three riding modes, a TFT screen display, a six-axis sensor, and adjustable handlebar position.

2015

2.54 Alliance with TVS Motor, India

In 2015, BMW collaborated with TVS Motor, an Indian motorcycle manufacturer to produce motorcycles targeting the Asian market. The BMW G 310 R, a low-powered and cost-efficient version of the BMW S 1000 R was developed. It turned out to be the first motorcycle completely manufactured at an overseas manufacturing facility.

2.55 BMW S 1000 XR - BMW’s Most Versatile Motorcycle

Introduced in 2015, the BMW S 1000 XR is the most versatile motorcycle ever produced by BMW. It is difficult to put this motorcycle in a specific category due to its unique design and parts. The front end resembles an adventure bike with a pointed and aggressive shape and a tall windscreen. The rest of the motorcycle is a naked bike with exposed engine parts, a simple rear end, and aggressive riding ergonomics. The BMW S 10000 XR also comes with standard luggage racks for the installation of saddlebags and a trunk giving it a sports-touring bike vibe.

The BMW S 1000 XR is fitted with a 999 cc inline four-cylinder engine capable of producing a horsepower of 165 hp and a torque of 113.9 Nm. This motorcycle can reach a top speed of 170 mph.

BMW R 1200 RS

BMW has produced one of the best sports touring bike lineups so far, including the BMW R 1200 RS which was released in 2015 and was displayed at the 2014 Intermot, a biennial motorcycle trade show. It was powered by a 1,170 cc boxer engine capable of a horsepower of 123 hp and a torque of 125 Nm.

2.56 BMW R 1200 R - The First Update

In 2015, the 2006 BMW R 1200 R was updated to reduce the overall weight of the motorcycle by 100 lbs. However, the same engine was installed in this motorcycle as found in the previous model.

Also Read: THE REMARKABLE HISTORY OF INDIAN MOTORCYCLE

2017

2.57 BMW R nineT Racer - BMW’s Ultimate Factory-Made Cafe Racer

The BMW R nineT Racer was one of the very few factory-made cafe racers to keep this category alive among motorcycle enthusiasts. This motorcycle was introduced by the company in 2017. However, due to poor sales, the BMW R nineT Racer was discontinued shortly after a production run of two years. It was fitted with a pointed nose fairing and a cafe racer-style tail cowl. The BMW R nineT Racer ensures an extremely aggressive riding style which makes it highly uncomfortable after an hour of riding.

2.58 The Concept Link Electric Scooter

Like most giant motorcycle manufacturers, BMW also started working on electric motorcycle technology and introduced a concept link electric scooter at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Lake Como, Italy.

2019

2.59 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure - BMW’s Top Adventure Bike

In 2019, BMW introduced one of its most successful adventure-touring bikes, the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure which is an upgraded version of the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure. Owing to its popularity, this motorcycle is still being produced thanks to the 1,254 cc boxer engine capable of a horsepower of 134 hp and a torque of 143 Nm. Being a modern BMW motorbike, the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure comes with several advanced riding aids, including traction control, inclination-optimized ABS, three riding modes, and hill start control.

2.60 BMW R 1250 RS - The Upgraded Sports Tourer

After the discontinuation of the BMW R 1250 RS in 2018, it was succeeded by the BMW R 1250 RS as an upgraded model, powered by a 1,254 cc engine capable of a horsepower of 136 hp and a torque of 142.36 Nm. Being a modern motorbike, it comes with several standard riding aids, including a lean-optimized ABS, traction control system, dynamic brake control (DBC), USB charging, and three riding modes.

2.61 BMW R 1250 R - BMW’s Top-of-the-Line Naked Bike

In 2019, BMW introduced its top-of-the-line naked motorcycle as the successor of the BMW R 1200 R. The engine was upgraded to a 1,254 cc engine capable of producing a horsepower of 136 hp and a torque of 142.36 Nm. Being a modern BMW motorcycle, it features a standard riding aids package, including a lean-optimized ABS, traction control, three riding modes, dynamic brake control, TFT display, and hill start control (HSC).

2020

2.62 BMW M 1000 RR - A BMW S 1000 RR on Steroids

The BMW M 1000 RR is the most powerful super sports bike in the BMW lineup, based on the BMW S 1000 RR. It is carefully designed to ensure a top-notch track racing performance. However, the BMW M 1000 RR is also a road-legal sports bike. Both the BMW M 1000 RR and the BMW S 1000 RR are powered by the same 999 cc inline four-cylinder engine capable of a horsepower of 205 hp and a torque of 112.6 Nm. However, the BMW M 1000 RR revs higher and can attain a top speed of more than 189 mph if the rider is experienced and skilled. It is also 10.8 lbs lighter than the BMW S 1000 RR.

2.63 BMW R 18 - The High-End Modern-Classic Cruiser

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Flat-Twin Boxer engine in 2020, BMW released the R 18 cruiser with the largest boxer engine ever produced by the company. The 1,802 cc Boxer engine is capable of delivering a horsepower of 91 hp and a torque of 157.27 Nm. The BMW R 18 was a tribute to the old BMW models by including a round headlamp, classic fuel tank design, solo rider seat, bobber-style front fender, wire-spoked wheels, and fishtail mufflers on both sides.

2022

2.64 Upgraded BMW S 1000 RR

Upgraded BMW S 1000 RR

Photo Credit: Motorcycle News (MCN)

BMW has recently upgraded its high-end sports bike, the BMW S 1000 RR. The 999 cc inline four-cylinder engine produced an impressive horsepower of 205 hp. The body has been redesigned to improve the aerodynamic performance and the inclusion of the aerodynamic winglets toward the front ensures the reduction in nose lifting while accelerating from rest. The 2022 BMW S 1000 RR comes with slide control, brake slide assist, steering angle sensor, modern electronics, and TFT display, along with standard ABS, traction control, Hill Start Control (HSC), and four riding modes.

2.65 BMW CE 04 - BMW’s First Electric Scooter

BMW CE 04 - BMW’s First Electric Scooter

Photo Credit: Ride Apart

After working tirelessly for years on electrical technology, BMW introduced its first electric scooter in 2022, named the BMW CE 04 based on the concept link design displayed in 2017. It is equipped with an EMP156 synchronous electric motor capable of producing a horsepower of 42 hp and a torque of 62 Nm. The BMW CE 04 can attain a top speed of 75 mph. On a single full charge, it ensures a maximum range of approximately 80 miles (Claimed). It also features standard storage space, ABS, electric reverse, three riding modes, an intelligent emergency call system, and a USB charging port,

2023

2.66 BMW CE 02 - BMW’s First Electric Motorcycle

BMW CE 02 - BMW’s First Electric Motorcycle

Photo Credit: Bike Exif

The BMW CE 02 is a mini electric motorbike designed to compete with the Honda Grom and the Honda Monkey in the mini motorcycle market. The production of the BMW CE 02 started in July 2023 and is now released as a 2024 model. It has a simple, yet stylish design to attract young riders. Being fitted with an externally excited synchronous motor, the BMW CE 02 produces a maximum torque of 54.9 Nm and a maximum power output of 15 hp. On a single full charge, it provides an approximate range of 55 miles.

Also Read: THE REMARKABLE HISTORY OF KAWASAKI

2.67 Current BMW Motorcycles Lineups

Current BMW Motorcycles Lineups
Category Motorcycle Type Model Base Price Engine Horsepower Torque
Sport Sports Bike BMW S 1000 RR $18,295 999 cc 205 hp 83 lb-ft
BMW M 1000 RR $33,345
Sports Tourer BMW M 1000 R $21,695
BMW F 900 XR $11,695 895 cc 99 hp 68 lb-ft
M Sports Tourer BMW R 1250 RS $15,995 1,254 cc 136 hp 105 lb-ft
Naked Bike BMW S 1000 XR $16,945 999 cc 165 hp 84 lb-ft
Standard / Sports Bike BMW M 1000 XR Upcoming Model
Tour Bagger / Touring Bike BMW K 1600 GTL $27,295 1,649 cc 160 hp 132.7 lb-ft
BMW K 1600 Grand America $28,130
BMW K 1600 Grand America Option 719 Midnight $30,725
BMW K 1600 GT $24,295
BMW K 1600 B $22,945
BMW K 1600 B Option 719 Midnight $28,725
BMW R 1250 RT $19,995 1,254 cc 136 hp 105 lb-ft
Roadster Naked Bikes BMW R 1250 R $15,345
BMW S 1000 RR $14,295 999 cc 165 hp 84 lb-ft
BMW F 900 R $8,995 895 cc 99 hp 67 lb-ft
BMW G 310 R $4,995 313 cc 34 hp 20.6 lb-ft
Heritage Cruiser BMW R 18 $14,995 1,802 cc 91 hp 116 lb-ft
BMW R 18 100 Years $18,990
BMW R 18 Octane $17,995
Cruiser / Touring Bike BMW R 18 Classic $18,695
BMW R 18 B $19,945
BMW R 18 Transcontinental $23,995
Heritage / R nineT Series Retro-Style Classic Roadster BMW R 12 nineT Upcoming Model
BMW R nineT $15,945 1,170 cc 109 hp 85.5 lb-ft
BMW R nineT 100 Years $19,995
BMW R nineT Pure $10,995
BMW R nineT Scrambler $12,995
BMW R nineT Urban G/S $12,995
Adventure Adventure Bike BMW R 1250 GS Adventure $20,745 1,254 cc 136 hp 105 lb-ft
BMW R 1250 GS $17,995
BMW F 850 GS Adventure $13,595 853 cc 90 hp 63 lb-ft
BMW F 850 GS $12,595
BMW F 750 GS $9,995 77 hp 61 lb-ft
BMW G 310 GS $5,695 313 cc 34 hp 20 lb-ft
Urban Mobility Electric Scooter BMW CE 04 $12,195 - 42 hp 45.7 lb-ft
Electric Motorcycle BMW CE 02 $7,599 - 40.5 lb-ft
Gas-Powered Scooter BMW C 400 GT $8,245 350 cc 34 hp 26 lb-ft

3. Wrap-Up

BMW has one of the most amazing and rich histories of producing versatile automobile products, including aircraft engines, high-end cars, and motorcycles. When it comes to motorcycle production, the German manufacturer holds a great track record of producing dependable motorcycles while constantly upgrading its models with time. Today, BMW Motorrad produces the most versatile motorcycles from all categories, including sports bikes, naked bikes, adventure bikes, roadsters, cruisers, touring bikes, electric bikes, and scooters. The company manufactures motorcycles for all riders, including beginners, intermediate, expert riders, and track racers. BMW is one of the largest companies with several subsidiaries working to revolutionize the automobile industry.

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