The Big Car Database

Bmw Motorcycles

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.

The current General Director of the unit is Hendrik von Kuenheim. BMW Motorrad has produced motorcycles since 1923, and revenues for 2009 were €1,069 million from the sale of 87,306 motorcycles, a drop on the 2008 figure of €1,230 million from the sales of 101,685 motorcycles. In May 2011, the 2,000,000th motorcycle produced by BMW Motorrad was an R1200GS.


BMW's first motorcycle, the R32
Main article: History of BMW motorcycles

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, 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.

BMW Motorrad produced 82,631 motorcycles in 2009, compared with 104,220 in 2008, 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. Current production includes a variety of shaft, chain, and belt driven models, with engines from 310 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, and entered the serious off-road competition motorcycle market with the release of the BMW G450X motorcycle.

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

  • C series – Maxi-scooters called Urban Mobility Vehicles by BMW
  • F series – parallel-twin engines of 798 cc capacity, featuring either chain or belt drive. Models are F650GS, F700GS, F800GS, F800R, F800S, F800GT and F800ST. The F650GS was powered by a single cylinder 652cc Austrian built Rotax engine.
  • G series – single-cylinder engines of 449 to 652 cc capacity featuring chain drive. Models are G450X (now discontinued), G650GS, G650 Sertão, G650 Xmoto, G650 Xchallenge and G650 Xcountry. The 450 cc engines are manufactured by Kymco in Taiwan. The 2009 and 2010 650 cc engine parts were manufactured by Rotax in Austria, with the engine being assembled by Loncin Holdings, Ltd in China. Arriving in 2016 is the BMW G310R, a single-cylinder liquid-cooled model manufactured in India by TVS Motor Company.
  • R series – twin-cylinder boxer engines of 1,170 cc capacity featuring shaft drive. Models are R1200GS, R1200R, R1200RT, BMW R1200RS, R1200S and R nineT.
  • K series – four-cylinder engines of 1,157 to 1,649 cc capacity featuring shaft drive. Models are K1200LT, K1300GT, K1300R and K1300S. In 2011, BMW Motorrad launched the six-cylinder 1,649 cc K1600GT and K1600GTL.
  • S series – S1000RR – sport bike with transverse-mounted, 999 cc inline-four engine. Models included S1000R, S1000XR


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, has featured riders such as Simon Pavey and motorcycling celebrity Charley Boorman. BMW Motorrad motorcycles have won the Dakar Rally six times.

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. 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.

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 133.393 mphand set a new race record of 1 h 44 min 14.259 s, after 226 miles of racing.

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.