BMW Motorrad

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BMW Motorrad is a brand used by German company BMW for its motorcycles, which have been manufactured since 1923. BMW Motorrad is a business unit within Corporate and Brand Development division of BMW.[1] BMW Motorrad revenues for 2007 were €1,228 million.[2] Its general director is Hendrik von Kuenheim.[3]


Originally an aircraft engine manufacturer in the early 20th century and through World War I, BMW introduced the first motorcycle under its name, the R32, in 1923. Although BMW motorcycles have been long associated with their original engine configuration, the flat-twin boxer engine, the company today manufactures motorcycles in a variety of engine and riding configurations.

Current production

1939 BMW Roundel

All BMW Motorrad's motorcycle production takes place at its plant in Berlin, Germany,[4] although some engines are manufactured in Austria, China and Taiwan.

BMW Motorrad achieved sales of 101,685 motorcycles in 2008,[5] with the most popular model being the R1200GS. In 2008, the company introduced the DOHC Boxer HP2 Sport.[6] In 2008, BMW entered the serious off-road competition motorcycle market with the release of the BMW G450X motorcycle.[7]

Current production includes a variety of shaft, chain, and belt driven models from 450 cc to 1300 cc designed for off-road, dual-purpose, sport, and touring activities. BMW motorcycles are produced in different families each with a different letter prefix. Current families are:

  • F series – parallel-twin engines of 800 cc capacity, featuring either chain or belt drive. Models are F650GS, F800GS, F800R, F800S and F800ST.
  • G series – single-cylinder engines of 450–650 cc capacity featuring chain drive. Models are G450X, G650GS (in some markets), G650 Xmoto, G650 Xchallenge and G650 Xcountry. The 450 cc engines are manufactured by Kymco in Taiwan.[8] The 650 cc engines are manufactured by Loncin in China.[9][10]
  • R series – twin-cylinder boxer engines of 1200 cc capacity featuring shaft drive. Models are R1200GS, R1200R, R1200RT and R1200S
  • K series – four-cylinder engines of 1200–1300 cc capacity featuring shaft drive. Models are K1200LT, K1300GT, K1200R Sport, K1300R and K1300S


BMW motorcycles have won many prestigious races around the world and have held many records. One of BMW's most significant titles is being the first non-British manufacturer to win the Isle of Man TT race which BMW accomplished in the 1939 Isle of Man TT.

BMW Motorrad also enters motorcycles into the Dakar Rally, an annual car, truck and motorcycle race usually from Europe to Africa featuring works riders such as Simon Pavey and motorcycling celebrity Charley Boorman. BMW motorcycles have won the Dakar Rally six times.[11][12]

Superbike World Championship (2009-present)

Team Alpha BMW
2009 name Team Alpha BMW
Base Flag of Germany Munich, Germany
Team principal/s Berti Hauser
Race riders 111 Ruben Xaus
11 Troy Corser
Motorcycle BMW S1000RR
Tyres Pirelli
Riders' Championships 0

In 2007, BMW Motorrad announced its entry to the 2009 Superbike World Championship season, when it will race the BMW S1000RR. The 2009 season team will be known as Team Alpha BMW and signed Spanish rider Ruben Xaus and Australian rider Troy Corser for the factory team.[13][14]


  1. "BMW Group Creates Two New Divisions". BMW Group. 27 Deptember 2007. Retrieved on 2009-01-15. 
  2. "BMW Group: 2007 sales revenue rises to record level". BMW Group. 30 January 2008. Retrieved on 2009-01-07. 
  3. "The Future of BMW Motorrad – Hendrik von Kuenheim talks to the media" (PDF). BMW. 16 April 2008. Retrieved on 2009-01-19. 
  4. "Berlin Plant". Manufacturing Facilities. BMW Group. Retrieved on 2008-09-18. 
  5. "BMW Group: moderate 4.3% decrease in sales for 2008". BMW Group. 9 January 2009. Retrieved on 2009-01-09. 
  7. Ziegler, Jessie. "BMW G450X - New thinking from a new player in the dirtbike market". Motorcyclist. Retrieved on 2009-01-07. 
  8. "KYMCO Ships 450cc Enduro Bike Engines to BMW". China Economic News Service (CENS). 3 July 2008. Retrieved on 2009-01-09. 
  9. "BMW's radical 3-wheeler on its way". Visordown. Retrieved on 2009-01-09. 
  10. Brisette, Pete (15 December 2008). "2009 BMW G650GS Review". 
  11. "History of Dakar - RETROSPECTIVE 1979-2007" (PDF). Dakar. Retrieved on 2009-01-07. 
  12. "Dakar Rally Winners (Bike Category)". MotorSports Etc.. Retrieved on 2009-01-07. 
  13. Template:Citeweb
  14. Insidebikes World Superbike News

External links