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BMW Motorrad
BMW Logo.svg
Type Motorcycle brand
Current owner BMW AG
Markets Global

BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle business unit 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 2008 were 1,230 million.[4]



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

Current production

1939 BMW Roundel

All BMW Motorrad's motorcycle production takes place at its plant in Berlin, Germany,[5] although some engines are manufactured in Austria, China, and Taiwan.

BMW Motorrad produced 104,220 motorcycles in 2008,[4] with the most popular model being the R1200GS. Current production includes a variety of shaft, chain, and belt driven models, with engines from 450 cc to 1,300 cc; and models designed for off-road, dual-purpose, sport, and touring activities.

In 2008, BMW introduced the DOHC Boxer HP2 Sport,[6] and entered the serious off-road competition motorcycle market with the release of the BMW G450X motorcycle.[7]

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


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

BMW Motorrad motorcycles have won many prestigious races around the world and have held many track records. One of their most significant honors is being the first non-British manufacturer to win the Isle of Man TT race, which they accomplished at the 1939 Isle of Man TT.

BMW Motorrad also regularly enters its motorcycles in the Dakar Rally, an annual car, truck, and motorcycle race that runs from Europe to Africa and has featured riders such as Simon Pavey and motorcycling celebrity Charley Boorman. BMW Motorrad motorcycles have won the Dakar Rally six times.[11][12]

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 is known as Team Alpha BMW and includes Spanish rider Ruben Xaus and Australian rider Troy Corser.[13]


  1. ^ "BMW Group Creates Two New Divisions". BMW Group. 27 Deptember 2007. 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 relase), BMW Group,, retrieved 2010-01-09  
  4. ^ a b "Annual Report 2008" (PDF). BMW Group. Retrieved 10 January 2010.  
  5. ^ "Berlin Plant". Manufacturing Facilities. BMW Group. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  7. ^ Ziegler, Jessie. "BMW G450X - New thinking from a new player in the dirt bike market". Motorcyclist. Retrieved 2009-01-07.  
  8. ^ "KYMCO Ships 450cc Enduro Bike Engines to BMW". China Economic News Service (CENS). 3 July 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-09.  
  9. ^ "BMW's radical 3-wheeler on its way". Visordown. Retrieved 2009-01-09.  
  10. ^ Brisette, Pete (15 December 2008). "2009 BMW G650GS Review".  
  11. ^ "History of Dakar - RETROSPECTIVE 1979-2007" (PDF). Dakar. Retrieved 2009-01-07.  
  12. ^ "Dakar Rally Winners (Bike Category)". MotorSports Etc.. Retrieved 2009-01-07.  
  13. ^ Insidebikes World Superbike News

External links

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