Who? BMW Motorrad, part of Bayerische Motoren Werke – Bavarian Motor Works – better known to all as BMW.
Where? Headquartered in Munich with bike brand BMW Motorrad UK based in Bracknell, Berkshire and supported by 36 official dealers spread across the country. Motorcycle production is based in Berlin with some engines coming in from plants in Austria and the Far East.
What’s the story? War, what is it good for? Huh….well the post WWI Treaty of Versailles did force BMW out of aircraft engine manufacture and into motorcycle production, the 500cc flat-twin boxer powered R32 being first off the line in 1923. By 2011 the company had produced over 2 million motorcycles with the now renowned and respected marque gracing an extensive range of enduros, roadster, sports, supersports, tourers and scooters.
Key Models? The BMW 1200 RT has to be in there as a favourite of British and Irish police forces, although technically speaking a lot of the police actually ride the 1200RTP, a bespoke single seated version with crash bars and other ‘blues-n-twos’ tweaks. The F650 Funduro deserves a mention, partly for being the first single cylinder BMW since the 1960 R27 but mainly for highlighting the company’s ambitions; accessibly affordable it hit the dual sport market between the eyes. The C1 commuter bike is undoubtedly eye-catching and its ‘passive safety’ features won praise, but not sales!
Anyone I know ride ‘em? Brad Pitt and beau Angelina Jolie favour the German marque whilst Ben Affleck was pictured with Uma Thurma riding pillion astride an R1150R in the film Paycheck. Ewan MacGregor adopted the R1150GS and R1200GS respectively for his Long Way Round and Long Way Down adventures. The latter machine also won favour with Harrison Ford.
Coolest customs? Stellan Egeland’s Harrier is eye-poppingly radical. Not to everyone’s taste it nonetheless took a podium place at the ever hard fought AMD Championship of Custom Bike Building in 2009. “Madusa” is a mighty naked beast, built from SSR1000 parts made by aftermarket specialists so you can build one at home. Maybe. Or how about this R100/7 from Spanish workshop Café Racer Dreams? Vintage grunt.
Turner’s Tales – (Paul Turner Carole Nash’s Repair Centre Manager), tells us about his BMW encounters or not as the case maybe.
Mmmm, BMW this is a difficult one.
No one here has owned a BMW, guess we’re all a bit too young still?
Although I do remember when we had our first BMW S1000RR in to the repair centre last year, we all stood around it like it was an animal at the zoo, staring at its lines and its technology. We estimated it and got authorisation to repair it, waited for the parts to arrive and then had the difficult task of handing out the job to a technician, usually we have one technician who likes working on BMW’s, this time there was a queue of six of them, all fighting to get the chance to work on it!
And what about Insurance? If you’ve customised your BMW or would just like a bike quote, don’t forget to talk to our motorcycle specialists about your insurance needs, call today on 1800 818 751 and we will find the right insurance package to suit you.