Get A Peek of BMW’s Fascinating Motorcycle History
BMW’s motorcycle history started in the year 1921. After WWI ended, the Versailles Treaty got signed. It demanded that the company has to cease its aircraft production. To survive the company started to design small industrial engines. In 1920, the flat-twin petrol engine M2B15 got released. It was designed as a portable industrial engine, but several manufacturers used it.
1921 to 1938
The alliance of BMW and Bayerische Flugzeugwerke [BFw] happened in 1922. Helios [BFw] became the first Bayerische Motoren Werke motorcycle.
- R32 – The first motorcycle 
- R37 was the first sporting motorcycle [1925-26]
- R39 was BMW’s smallest model with first single-cylinder 
- R2 used 200 cc engine, so there was no need for a motorcycle license to drive it in Germany 
- R3 was a single-cylinder model with 300 cc engine 
- R4 the lineage of 1-cylinder continued with 400 ccs 
- R12 & R17 were the first motorcycles equipped with hydraulically dampened telescopic forks 
- R71 was exceptional, well-engineered, and expensive. In 1938, it was licensed to the Soviet Union, which resulted in Dnepr M-72
1939 to 1945
During WWII, BMW’s R75 was preferred in the German military as they performed excellently in North Africa’s harsh operating environment.
1945 to 1955
In West Germany, R24 was designed with several improvements to its R23 version with a 247 cc single-cylinder engine and no rear suspension. It entered the market in 1949.
In 1950, flat-twin model R5 1/2 followed by R5 1/3 and R67 got introduced. In 1952, the sporting model R68 with front stands and bell-bottom front fenders got presented.
1969 to 1982
- In 1969, the /5 range comprising of the R50/5, R60/5, and R75/5 models got introduced.
- In 1974, the /5 models got replaced by /6 range.
- In 1976, the /7 range substituted the /6 models.
- In 1978 R45 and R65 got presented
- In 1982 R65 LS and R65 S models were included.
- In 1987 R65 GS dual-sport got offered.
1983 to 1992
- In 1983 the K100 got introduced with the fuel-injected inline-four engine.
- In 1985, K75 got added.
- In 1988, K100 was first to get an ABS or anti-lock brake system.
- In 1989, the K100 RS4V model was first to use 4-valves per cylinder engine.
- In 1988 K1 was the first sports tourer bike.
1993 to 2003
- In 1993, F650 models was introduced.
- R1100 R, R1100 GS, R1100 R, R1100 S, and R1150 GS were the new oil head models introduced [1994 – 2004].
- In 2000 – C1 was the first enclosed scooter model.
2004 to 2014
- The revamp of the K series started in 2004 till 2009.
- In 2011, K1600 GT and K1600 GTL [luxury tourer] got added to the K series.
- In 2009, BMW released S1000 RR, a sports bike designed to compete Superbike World Championship.
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