A brief history of BMW motorcycles
BMW motorcycle production started after WW1, as new regulations meant that the company, which was originally part of Rapp Motorenwerke, was unable to continue manufacturing aircraft engines. In 1921, BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) had started work on a flat-twin engine for use as a stand alone engine for industrial use, although several motorcycle manufacturers adapted it for bike use.
The first production BMW Motorrad motorcycle appeared in 1923. This bike was the 486cc R 32 with an across-the-frame mounted early version of its now legendary Boxer engine. The R 32 also featured shaft drive, a drive system used on all its bikes until the first chain drive BMW bike appeared. BMW Motorrad later experimented with an overhead cam supercharged 500cc version, which achieved a top speed figure of 173.8mph – an incredible figure considering it was 1937!
BMW Motorrad suffered badly during WWII. From the ashes, the few remaining engineers started producing BMW bikes based on pre-war technology. But it was enough for the company to grow once more and produce new models of varying capacities.
1970 gave rise to a complete redesign of chassis and the Boxer engine. Three new models appeared – the 500cc R 50, 600cc R 60/5 and 750cc R 70/5 – and all featured telescopic suspension, electric starters and revised valve system layout to reduce the width of the engine for increased ground clearance.
In 1980 BMW Motorrad caused a stir with the R 80 GS (Gelande/Strasse – off-road/road), the bike that kick-started today’s adventure bike genre. It was an immediate success – mainly through dominating the Dakar race series. Three years later, BMW Motorrad changed tack and introduced a water-cooled inline-four cylinder machine tagged K 100. This later spawned the triple-cylinder K 75 and other variants, all using a single-sided rear swing arm.
BMW Motorrad still produces Boxer-engine bikes although they are very modern in design using four-valve dohc heads and up-to-date chassis design. The same design ethos has seen the introduction of new four-cylinder K-series bikes; the incredible 1649cc straight-six-cylinder K 1600 GT/GTL; and today’s best four-cylinder superbike, the S 1000 RR.; not forgetting the huge range of parallel twins and single-cylinder machines in road and off-road format.
The BMW Motorrad range of motorcycles
Adventure The BMW Motorrad GS range is loaded with mostly special edition models based on four main models:
G 650 GS – 652cc single-cylinder
F 650 GS – a 71bhp, 798cc parallel twin
F 800 GS – an 85bhp version of the F650 GS
R 1200 GS – a 1,170cc Boxer-twin. The R 1200 GS Adventure version has true off-road capability and is seen as the best globe-trotting motorcycle available.
Sport The BMW S 1000 RR is judged by many owners and motorcycle journalists to be the finest production superbike available. Its 999cc, 195bhp engine is a real rocket but usable at the same time thanks to ABS, traction control, power mode selection etc. The 1293cc K 1300 S is also a missile but comes with a slightly more relaxed riding position for the discerning rider.
Scooters Two Maxi Scooters available, each using the same 647cc twin-cylinder, automatic engine. The C 650 GT is the plushest, while the C 600 Sport is a little more sportier in presentation. Huge carrying space on both bikes is a strong point.
Tour When it comes to comfort over distance, BMW motorcycles top the leader board. The F 800 ST (parallel twin) is a good starting point in the BMW Motorrad Tour range. The R 1200 RT is the pinnacle of Boxer twin development and touring refinement. The six-cylinder K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL, both give different levels of touring sumptuousness.
Roadster Essentially these are naked versions of existing models and are: the parallel twin F 800 ST, Boxer twin R 1200 R, and four-cylinder K 1300 R.
How Bennetts provide tailored BMW Motorcycle Insurance
Bennetts has over 30 years experience in generating BMW motorcycle insurance quotations. We tailor our quotes to your exact needs as well as to whichever one of the huge range of BMW motorcycles you own, or are buying, so that you only get the best possible BMW Motorcycle insurance quote. Whether this quote includes added protection of European cover, legal cover, effective monthly payments, or TPFT/fully comprehensive, we will work hard to net the right quote for you.
We use the services of eight leading insurance underwriters and their wide-reaching range of insurance schemes and benefits. What this means to you as a BMW motorcycle owner is peace of mind in knowing we strive to provide the best service.
How to get a quote for your BMW motorcycle
Call us on 0800 107 7990 and speak to one of our experienced team today. You will be assisted as quickly as possible in getting the right BMW Motorrad insurance – this way you can make better use of your time doing other things while we source your BMW Motorrad insurance quote. Or you can get a quote online, at your leisure.
Sources of interest for BMW motorcycle owners and fans
BMW Motorrad UK – the UK arm of BMW Motorrad shows its model range in detail, plus the huge range of official accessories, from clothing to aftermarket exhausts and much more. Why not delve deeper into the world of BMW to find out about tours, events and news.
BMW Motorrad Club – everything BMW Motorrad is found at the one of the largest motorcycle clubs. Off-road training, tours, track days, offers, road training, newsletters etc. are all on offer.