On with pioneering spirit.

Production starts again with the R 24.

After the turmoil of the war, BMW manages a new start with motorcycle production. First they build the R 24 a single-cylinder motorcycle limited to 250 cc.

BMW keeps its head above water.

BMW keeps its head above water.

All motorcycle production facilities and design documentation, transferred to Eisenach due to the war at the beginning of the forties, are now inaccessible for BMW in Munich. The dismantling of the production facilities in Munich, Berlin and Eisenach seems to indicate that the end has come for BMW after the war. Repair work for the American army and the manufacture of diverse items for everyday use keep the company going until motorcycle production can be recommenced at the end of 1948.

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A new beginning with the R 24.

On the basis of a pre-war machine, the first BMW post-war motorcycle is created in Munich. The new beginning is beset with difficulties, but tool machines borrowed from other companies provide some assistance. It is also necessary to obtain a licence from the Allies: at first this only permits the construction of single-cylinder motorcycles limited to 250 ccm. Design plans are ready in the summer, but the first BMW R 24 is not delivered until shortly before Christmas of 1948. In the following year, some 10,000 of the 12 bhp motorcycle are built, a year later the figure increases to 17,000.

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BMW R24: 247 ccm, 12 PS.

BMW R24: 247 ccm, 12 PS.

The chassis of the old R 23 now contains a modernised single-cylinder engine with centrifugally governed ignition advance and rocker supports mounted on separate heads. Also new is the four-speed transmission with ratchet foot control and a Bing carburettor instead of the Amal version. With the R 24, BMW has made a well-publicized comeback. One of its first customers is the escort of Federal President Theodor Heuss.

 

 

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The motorcycles of the 1940s

1941: R 75.

1941: R 75.

Designed for an off-road side-car configuration for military use, the R 75 had a newly developed OHV engine (overhead hanging valves), gearbox with low ratio reduction and reverse gear. The bike had a side-car wheel drive with differential lock, bolted tubular frame and hydraulic brake on the rear wheel. This was the only BMW motorcycle produced solely for military use. 

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1948: R 24.

1948: R 24.

The chassis of the old R 23 now contains a modernised single-cylinder engine with centrifugally governed ignition advance and rocker supports mounted on separate heads. Also new is the four-speed transmission with ratchet foot control and a Bing carburettor instead of the Amal version. 

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More decades

  • 1920s.
    The foundations.

    At the Berlin Motor Show in September 1923, the starting signal was given for the construction of BMW motorcycles: The R 32 is the first BMW motorcycle, developed by Max Friz. The world-renowned boxer engine will be the manufacturers main characteristic. 

  • 1930s.
    Of records and races.

    In the 1930s, the engineers not only considered performance development, but also introduced, for example, the hydraulically damped telescopic fork and the elaborately designed OHV boxer engine - with unique consequences and successes.

  • 1950s.
    Back on top.

    The 1950s are marked by sporting successes. BMW achieves remarkable top speeds with a series-manufactured machine. Furthermore the drivers of motorcycle teams win world championship titles.

  • 1960s.
    Up turn.

    In Berlin-Spandau, where aircraft engines were built up to 1945 and subsequently tool machine facilities were installed, the BMW motorcycles are given their new home and Berlin air in their tyres. In keeping with the new motorcycle boom, BMW manufactures a completely newly developed series with the /5 models.

  • 1970s.
    Protection against wind and weather.

    A new era is being introduced: Cockpit and full fairings make driving on the motorcycle more comfortable. There are sporty motorbikes. In particular, the R 90 S is a popular design classic - not least because of its elaborate two-tone paintwork. 

  • 1980s.
    New technology, new segment.

    The motorcycle manufacturer surprises with pioneering innovations and the new segment of travel enduro. After the revolutionary single-arm swing from 1980, the BMW Paralever system is introduced in 1987 in the R 100 GS. 

  • 1990s.
    Pioneer, trendsetter.

    The new four-valve boxer with electronic engine management and the first BMW single-cylinder motorcycle since 1966 come on the market in the 1990s. In addition, in the spring of 1991, BMW Motorrad became the world's first motorcycle manufacturer to offer a regulated three-way catalytic converter for motorcycles. 

  • 2000s.
    Sportier and more dynamic than ever.

    Several new models and technical innovations are driving the growth at BMW Motorrad: the new K-Series now comes with a transversely mounted engine, and the newly developed F-Series fuels the mid-range segment. At the end of the decade, BMW Motorrad will introduce one of the most important new releases on the market - the S 1000 RR marks the first time that the brand has entered the world of superbikes.

Current models

Suitable motorcycles.