BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad
Product type Motorcycle brand
Owner BMW
Markets Global

BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle brand of the German company BMW, part of its Corporate and Brand Development division.[1] The current General Director of the unit is Hendrik von Kuenheim.[2][3] BMW Motorrad has produced motorcycles since 1923, and revenues for 2009 were 1,069 million from the sale of 87,306 motorcycles,[4] a drop on the 2008 figure of €1,230 million from the sales of 101,685 motorcycles.[5] In May 2011, the 2,000,000th motorcycle produced by BMW Motorrad was an R1200GS.[6]


BMW's first motorcycle, the R32

The company began as an aircraft engine manufacturer in the early 20th century and through World War I. BMW manufactured its first motorcycle in 1923, the R32, which featured a flat-twin boxer engine. BMW Motorrad still uses the flat-twin boxer configuration, but now manufactures motorcycles with a variety of engine configurations.

Current production

BMW's best selling motorcycle, the R1200GS
BMW K1200S
2014 BMW S1000R

All BMW Motorrad's motorcycle production takes place at its plant in Berlin, Germany,[7] although some engines are manufactured in Austria, China, and Taiwan. Most of the current motorcycles in BMW Motorrad's range were designed by David Robb, who was the company's chief designer from 1993 to 2012 when he was replaced by Edgar Heinrich.[8][9][10]

BMW Motorrad produced 82,631 motorcycles in 2009,[4] compared with 104,220 in 2008,[5] a fall of 20.7% The most popular model is the R1200GS and its sibling R1200GS Adventure, which sold 24,467 units accounting for 28% of BMW's annual production.[11] Current production includes a variety of shaft, chain, and belt driven models, with engines from 650 cc to 1,649 cc; and models designed for off-road, dual-purpose, sport, and touring activities.

In 2008, BMW introduced the DOHC Boxer HP2 Sport,[12] and entered the serious off-road competition motorcycle market with the release of the BMW G450X motorcycle.[13]

BMW Motorrad motorcycles are categorized into product families, and each family is assigned a different letter prefix. The current families are:


BMW Motorrad achieved record sales for the fifth time in succession in 2015. With a total of 136,963 vehicles sold in 2015, BMW registered a 10.9% increase in sales in comparison with 2014. The biggest single market in 2015 was once again Germany (23,823 units), followed by USA (16,501units), France(12,550 units), Italy (11,150 units), United Kingdom (8,200 units) and Spain (7,976 units).

With an aim for 2020 to supply 200,000 vehicles to customers, BMW Motorrad is targeting an increase of its dealership from around 1,100 to 1,500 in the future. As it was the case until now, BMW's most successful motorcycle is still the R 1200 GS with 23, 681 units sold in 2015.

While re-positioning as a brand under the "Make life a ride" claim, BMW Motorrad is still faithful to its old core values (innovation, safety and quality) by targeting for the medium term to increase the portfolio of urban mobility and electromobility solutions.


Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport
2010 name Team Alpha BMW
Base Rosenheim, Germany
Team principal/s Berti Hauser
Race riders 91 Leon Haslam
11 Troy Corser
Motorcycle BMW S1000RR
Tyres Pirelli
Riders' Championships 0

BMW Motorrad regularly enters its motorcycles in the Dakar Rally, an annual car, truck, and motorcycle race held traditionally on European and African land and recently, in South America,[18] has featured riders such as Simon Pavey and motorcycling celebrity Charley Boorman. BMW Motorrad motorcycles have won the Dakar Rally six times.[19][20]

In 2007, BMW Motorrad announced its entry to the 2009 Superbike World Championship season, where it is racing the BMW S1000RR. The 2009 season factory team was known as Team Alpha BMW and includes Spanish rider Ruben Xaus and Australian rider Troy Corser.[21] In the 2010 season, Xaus and Corser were joined on the track by Team Reitwagen BMW riders Andrew Pitt and Roland Resch, also riding the S1000RR.

Isle of Man TT

In recent years BMW Motorrad have enjoyed renewed success at the Isle of Man TT Races. Prior to 2014, the last success in the solo categories at the event was in 1939, when Georg Meier won the Senior TT. After 75 years BMW again took top spot on the rostrum at the 2014 Isle of Man TT when Michael Dunlop piloted a BMW S1000RR to first place in the opening Superbike race. Michael Dunlop then rounded off the week with victory in the Senior TT.[22]

At the 2016 Isle of Man TT, Michael Dunlop again took the honours in the opening Superbike TT for BMW. Dunlop led the race from start to finish from another BMW rider, Ian Hutchinson. Dunlop also established a new outright lap record, at 133.393mph[23]and set a new race record of 1hr 44min 14.259secs, after 226 miles of racing.[24]

BMW sidecars also had numerous successes at the TT Races, primarily during the 1960s and early 1970s.

In total BMW have won 34 Isle of Man TT races, in both the solo and sidecar divisions.[25]


  1. "BMW Group Creates Two New Divisions". BMW Group. 27 September 2007. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  2. "The Future of BMW Motorrad – Hendrik von Kuenheim talks to the media" (PDF). BMW. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
  3. Oliemuller, Roy (21 May 2008), Hendrik von Kuenheim elected president of the IMMA (press release), BMW Group, retrieved 2010-01-09
  4. 1 2 "Annual Report 2009" (PDF). BMW Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
  5. 1 2 "Annual Report 2008" (PDF). BMW Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  6. "BMW Celebrates Production of Its Two Millionth Motorcycle". 13 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  7. "Berlin Plant". Manufacturing Facilities. BMW Group. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
  8. Ash, Kevin (January 30, 2012). "Legendary design chief leaves BMW". Motor Cycle News. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  9. "David Robb leaves BMW". Visordown. January 30, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  10. 1 2 Madson, Bart (January 30, 2012). "Running on Fumes". Motorcycle USA. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  11. "BMW Motorcycle Sales for 2009 and Prospects for 2010". 5 February 2010. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  12. "BMW MOTORRAD ACHIEVES RECORD SALES YET AGAIN IN 2007". Biker Voodoo. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06.
  13. Ziegler, Jessie. "BMW G450X – New thinking from a new player in the dirt bike market". Motorcyclist. Archived from the original on 29 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
  14. "KYMCO Ships 450cc Enduro Bike Engines to BMW". China Economic News Service (CENS). 3 July 2008. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
  15. "BMW's radical 3-wheeler on its way". Visordown. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
  16. Brisette, Pete (15 December 2008). "2009 BMW G650GS Review".
  17. "BMW Motorrad achieves record sales for the fifth time in succession in 2015. Deliveries 10.9 % above previous year as of December. BMW Motorrad strategy takes effect.". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  18. Organisation, A.S.O. - Amaury Sport. "History : Dakar". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  19. "History of Dakar - RETROSPECTIVE 1979-2007" (PDF). Dakar. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
  20. "Dakar Rally Winners (Bike Category)". MotorSports Etc. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
  21. "News & Reviews - Carole Nash".

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