The Motorcycle for the Die-Hard Rider
It is said with pride that for a long time, BMW motorcycles were more famous than the automobiles and that they were compared to Triumph, BSA, Norton and Harley Davidson after the war. But oh, then came the Japanese flood causing the demise of most of the European manufacturers.
All except a few Italian ones … and BMW. Why?
In France, the motorcycle patrols of the Garde Nationale (National Guard) ride BMWs and are imitated in that in more than a hundred countries. But the orders of these “die-hard” riders cannot explain the production volume. At the end of the 70’s, BMW decides to develop the GS 800, a recreational machine to participate in the Paris-Dakar Rally. Success comes and proves that BMW has glamorously made the switch from a utility to a recreational motorcycle. The company is soon going to celebrate 80 years of motorcycle production.
Incidentally, this longevity is explained very well in Munich. The motorcycle has twice allowed BMW a rebirth. It is logical that the car had to push the motorcycle somewhat, too.
The motorcycle department has attacked the Japanese on their favourite ground – the cycle for young people – and BMW has produced the F 650, the first “European” motorcycle (the engine is by Rotax; Aprilia is responsible for the assembly). This machine shows that the brand is able to compete in all areas.
Production of the F 650 can barely keep up with the demand, which proves that the goal has been reached: The motorcycle pays for itself and supports the image of BMW.
In 1999, the appearance of the C 1 hits like a rocket. This two-wheeler provides a roof (or: a survival cell) that protects against bad weather, and a seat belt. In other words, the advantages of a motorcycle without its disadvantages. All that for less than DM 13,000.
Once again, this hits the jackpot, and the order books are full.
A One-in-a-Million Car Mechanic
At BMW, the engine cult goes back to the first days of the company in 1917. The 30’s were rocking with the sound of the six-cylinders. Ten years ago, the company re-introduced the V 12 after 50 years’ absence. Not to mention the two-cylinder boxer and the current turbo diesel with direct injection.
Before BMW became a design engineer, it was an excellent metalworking shop. The style and the aesthetics of the characteristic engines contribute to the success of the models.
However, instead of racing to the bitter end which often leads to excess, the people from Munich bank on refinement. The buyer of a BMW demands an engine with a generous torque, to be sure, but it should also be quiet, pleasant and sporty. Primarily, however, it needs to be beautiful. BMW wins first prize here in every aspect, and the whole world cherishes the typical “Old World” engines.
The group accepts any technological challenges: The 750i (V12) uses no more than a six-cylinder of 1992, and the extremely abstemious 330d and 530d are at the same time the most powerful on the market for turbo diesels with direct injection. Continue reading “BMW – The products”