BMW Motorrad is the motorcycle brand of the German company BMW, part of its Corporate and Brand Development division. The current General Director of the unit is Hendrik von Kuenheim. BMW Motorrad has produced motorcycles since 1923, and achieved record sales for the fifth year in succession in 2015. With a total of 136,963 vehicles sold in 2015, BMW registered a 10.9% increase in sales in comparison with 2014. In May 2011, the 2,000,000th motorcycle produced by BMW Motorrad was an R1200GS.
The company began as an aircraft engine manufacturer in the early 20th century and through World War I. BMW manufactured its first motorcycle in 1923, the R32, which featured a flat-twin boxer engine. BMW Motorrad still uses the flat-twin boxer configuration, but now manufactures motorcycles with a variety of engine configurations.
With the exception of the G310 series (which is produced at TVS’s Tamil Nadu, India plant), all BMW Motorrad’s motorcycle production takes place at its plant in Berlin, Germany. Some engines are manufactured in Austria, China, and Taiwan. Most of the current motorcycles in BMW Motorrad’s range were designed by David Robb, who was the company’s chief designer from 1993 to 2012 when he was replaced by Edgar Heinrich.
The most popular model is the R1200GS and its sibling R1200GS Adventure, which sold 24,467 units – accounting for 28% of BMW’s annual production. Current production includes a variety of shaft, chain, and belt driven models, with engines from 310 cc to 1,649 cc; and models designed for off-road, dual-purpose, sport, and touring activities.
In 2008, BMW introduced the DOHC Boxer HP2 Sport, and entered the serious off-road competition motorcycle market with the release of the BMW G450X motorcycle.