BMW motorcycles, not unlike BMW cars, are known for being expensive, fancy, different, high-end, luxurious performance machines. Did you know the BMW motorcycles came before the BMW cars? That’s right, when World War One ended in 1918, BMW was forced to halt production of their aircraft engines based on a treaty signed by the Germans. As the restrictions on the treaty lessened, in 1923 BMW began to build motorcycles, the first being the R32 which featured a flat-twin boxer engine. It wasn’t until 1928 that the first BMW automobile was produced, called the Dixi.
Vintage BMW motorcycles like the R32 look like a bicycle with an engine. The flat twin boxer engine, a configuration still used today on BMW motorcycles, creates a center of gravity for the bike which in turns makes a great ride for the driver.
There are not any BMW motorcycle USA factories. The one BMW factory in the States is in South Carolina, and is only an assembly plant building a limited number of automobiles for the US and global market. Production for most BMW vehicles is done primarily in Germany and then imported to the United States.
Are they really worth the price though? BMW fans sure think so. BMW owners brag about the many miles they can drive without engine issues or problems. They also pride themselves on maintaining their bikes. The majority of them also insist on using BMW motorcycle dealers perform the work, although also pricey, definitely worth the value.
Compared to Harley- Davidson and Victory motorcycles, BMW motorcycles are declared far more dependable. Dependability is a must when driving on those long winding roads in the middle of nowhere. What could be worse than sitting on the side of the road, in 100 degree heat, while your motorcycle is leaking oil and probably overheating?
When compared to Honda motorcycles, it seems that although Honda’s are quite dependable, the word on the street is that the BMW is more comfortable and has a better sounding engine. Ironically though, and old consumer report declares the four Japanese Brands; Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha are more reliable than the Triumphs, Ducati’s, Can-Am, and yes the BMWs. They even stated that BMW owners were four times more likely to need engine repairs than those who own a Yamaha motorcycle. When you consider the BMW is far more expensive than a Yamaha and the repairs are pricier, than why not buy a Yamaha instead. That BMW badge is worth a lot of money to that German manufacturing company.
In the same report, consumers purchasing a second bike would stay with their Harleys, Hondas, Yamahas, BMWs and Ducati’s over 60 % of the time, while those with Kawasaki and Suzuki motorcycles would probably purchase another brand.
The different model categories of BMW motorcycles include:
- The Roadster – the utmost in performance and classiness.
- The Adventure – just like it name, this is a motorcycle to take on adventures through the mountains, deserts and canyons.
- The Heritage – the original and very customizable bike made by BMW.
- The Urban Mobility – get around town running those errands in comfort with a windshield and fairings to provide excellent weather protection and plenty of storage room
- The Tour – these bikes are designed for long trips with a large windscreen, plush leather seating and both side and rear hard bags to provide plenty of storage space for both driver and passenger.
As with all motorcycle brands, the pricing on BMW motorcycles ranges from $8000 for the smallest of the Adventure bike line-up – to over $30,000 for the top of the line, executive touring motorcycle. Once you factor in all the accessories and options that are available, a purchaser can add another 10-30% to the purchase price.
BMW owners often become members of one or both of the sponsored BMW riding groups. One of those groups is the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America and the other is BMW Riders Association International. The BMW Motorcycle Owners of America get a free monthly BMW newsletter, discounts on parts and accessories, special event passes at discounted prices and lots of other perks. The BMW Riders Association International is intended to provide riders more of an experience than advantages and rewards.
Now BMW is making news with a concept motorcycle. The early name for this project is the BMW Titan.The Titan was created by a Turkish designer name Mahmet Erdem, who has designed previous BMW motorcycles that have earned awards. The BMW Titan is a futuristic looking motorcycle that many say could appear in the next Batman movie. Shaped like a shark, the front of the motorcycle is a massive front end (like a shark) and then tapers and narrows toe the rear tire (resembling the tail). The handlebars and front tire are hidden from view and contribute to the massive front end appearance.
As always and with all motorcycle owners, there are those who love their brand and hate all the others – what are your thoughts – BMW – what is all the hype about?