13 Iconic BMW Motorcycles Through the Years

From the moment the iconic BMW R32 roared to life in 1923, it was clear that the Bavarian Motor Works was poised to redefine the landscape of motorcycling. Through the years, BMW Motorrad has embarked on a relentless quest for perfection, melding cutting-edge technology with an unyielding spirit of innovation. They have birthed legends, machines that transcend time, embodying a symphony of power, elegance, and craftsmanship.

BMW R32 (1923)

Image Editorial Credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Stepping into the annals of motorcycle history, the R32 not only marked BMW’s foray into the motorcycle sector but also set a benchmark for motorcycle engineering. Introduced in 1923, it housed a 486 cc flat-twin engine, a configuration that would become a hallmark of BMW’s motorcycles. Its shaft drive system was revolutionary at that time, presenting a cleaner and more reliable alternative to chain drives. The R32 established BMW as a forefront runner in motorcycle innovation, a tradition that continues today.

BMW R90S (1973-1976)

Image Editorial Credit: Patife / Shutterstock.com

Emerging as a flagship model in the 1970s, the R90S was BMW’s answer to the growing demand for high-performance sport motorcycles. It boasted a potent 898cc air-cooled, flat-twin engine that churned out 67 horsepower, capable of reaching speeds up to 124 mph. Its distinctive two-tone paintwork and sporty fairing were aesthetically appealing and improved aerodynamics, laying the groundwork for future sports-touring motorcycles.

BMW K100 (1983-1992)

Image Editorial Credit: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

The 1980s marked a radical shift for BMW with the introduction of the K100. Breaking away from the traditional flat-twin engine, it featured a liquid-cooled inline-four engine positioned longitudinally in the frame. This 987cc engine was powerful and offered smoother operation, setting a new standard in the touring segment. Its futuristic design and advanced electronics heralded BMW’s shift into the modern era of motorcycle manufacturing.

BMW R1100GS (1994-1999)

Image Editorial Credit: Heinsdorff Jularlak / Shutterstock.com

The R1100GS represented a milestone in the evolution of adventure motorcycles. This dual-sport motorcycle featured a 1085cc oil/air-cooled flat-twin engine, producing 80 horsepower. Its Telelever front suspension system reduced dive under braking, offering stability and enhanced handling dynamics. This motorcycle was a master of versatility, capable of tackling both on-road and off-road terrains with aplomb, solidifying BMW’s reputation in the adventure motorcycle segment.

BMW R1200GS (2004-2012)

Image Editorial Credit: Corina Daniela Obertas / Shutterstock.com

Building upon the success of its predecessor, the R1200GS became an icon in the world of adventure motorcycling. Its 1170cc flat-twin engine was capable of producing 100 horsepower, offering a spirited performance across varying conditions. This motorcycle further emphasized BMW’s commitment to innovation by introducing features such as the Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) system, allowing riders to tailor the bike’s handling characteristics to their preferences.

BMW S1000RR (2009-present)

Image Editorial Credit: Frederick White / Shutterstock.com

Making its debut in 2009, the S1000RR took the superbike world by storm. Its 999cc inline-four engine pushed out a staggering 193 horsepower, making it one of the most potent bikes in its class. Its asymmetric design, with distinct headlight shapes, became an iconic feature. Moreover, its advanced electronics package, including traction control and race ABS, brought race-track technology to the streets, raising the bar for performance motorcycles.

BMW HP4 (2013-2014)

Image Editorial Credit: masariev / Shutterstock.com

The HP4 was a higher-spec version of the S1000RR, further refined for racing aficionados. The motorcycle featured the same 999cc inline-four engine but was outfitted with advanced features such as Dynamic Damping Control (DDC), providing optimum suspension settings in every riding condition. Its carbon-fiber bodywork and forged aluminum wheels reduced weight, enhancing the motorcycle’s agility and performance.

BMW R nineT (2014-present)

Image Editorial Credit: Traveller70 / Shutterstock.com

Unveiled as a homage to 90 years of BMW Motorrad history, the R nineT combined classic styling with modern technology. Its 1170cc air-cooled flat-twin engine produced a respectable 110 horsepower. The motorcycle’s modularity allowed for extensive customization, allowing riders to tailor the bike to their tastes. Its retro-inspired design and modern performance elements made it a hit among motorcycle enthusiasts.

BMW R1250GS (2019-present)

Image Editorial Credit: FernandoV / Shutterstock.com

As a successor to the R1200GS, the R1250GS further elevated the adventure motorcycle experience. It featured a larger 1254cc flat-twin engine with ShiftCam technology, optimizing power delivery and efficiency. This motorcycle, capable of producing 136 horsepower, offered seamless power across the rev range, making it a formidable competitor in the adventure touring segment.

BMW F850GS (2018-present)

Image Editorial Credit: Hafiz Johari / Shutterstock.com

Bridging the gap between middleweight and heavyweight adventure motorcycles, the F850GS brought forth a perfect blend of performance and versatility. Its 853cc inline-twin engine churned out 90 horsepower, offering spirited performance on both tarmac and trails. Its dynamic design and superior handling characteristics made it a favorite among adventure motorcycle enthusiasts.

BMW K1600GT (2011-present)

Image Editorial Credit: noraismail / Shutterstock.com

A pinnacle in the touring motorcycle segment, the K1600GT brought luxury and performance into a harmonious blend. Powered by a 1649cc inline-six engine, it offered a silky smooth and potent performance, producing 160 horsepower. Its feature-laden package, including adaptive headlights and a dynamic ESA, made long-distance journeys a pleasurable experience, setting a new benchmark in the touring motorcycle category.

BMW R80 G/S (1980-1987)

Image Editorial Credit: Jarretera / Shutterstock.com

As the predecessor to the GS series, the R80 G/S was a trailblazer in the world of dual-sport motorcycles. Its 797cc flat-twin engine could easily tackle both on- and off-road terrains. Its unique Monolever suspension and high ground clearance made it a capable performer in varied conditions, fostering the growth of the adventure motorcycling segment.

BMW G310R (2016-present)

Image Editorial Credit: Kridsada Krataipet / Shutterstock.com

Marking BMW’s venture into the entry-level motorcycle segment, the G310R featured a 313cc single-cylinder engine, offering an accessible and enjoyable riding experience for novices and experienced riders alike. Its agile handling and modern design made it a popular choice for urban commuters looking for a touch of premium quality in a small package.

This article originally appeared on MyCarMakesNoise.

More from MyCarMakesNoise

The 11 Fastest Motorcycles Ever Made

Image Editorial Credit: FernandoV / Shutterstock.com

The world of motorcycles has witnessed some astonishing speed demons that push the limits of two-wheeled engineering. These lightning-fast machines captivate the imagination of riders and enthusiasts alike, blending raw power, aerodynamics, and advanced technology. Read More

A Salute to America’s 12 Most Iconic Pickup Trucks

Image Editorial Credit: Gestalt Imagery / Shutterstock.com

From the dusty roads of mid-century farms to the bustling streets of modern cities, pickup trucks have cemented their place in the heart of American automotive culture. Emblematic of both rugged utility and a spirit of adventure, these vehicles have evolved from mere workhorses to symbols of freedom, strength, and individualism. Read More

23 Items You Should Never Store in Your Garage

Image Editorial Credit: Noel V. Baebler / Shutterstock.com

Storing items in the garage is a common practice for many homeowners, but not everything belongs in this often unpredictable environment. Temperature fluctuations, moisture, and pests can damage certain belongings or even pose safety hazards. Read More

Avatar photo

Author: Dave Johnston

Dave is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *