New technology, new segment.

BMW Motorrad continues to drive the innovation.

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. 

First ABS for motorcycles.

First ABS for motorcycles.

In the shaft drive, the paralever ensures that the disruptive reactive forces of the shaft drive are reduced. This largely avoids the rise and drop of the bike’s rear when accelerating and decelerating. In spring 1988, BMW was also the first manufacturer to launch an electronic-hydraulic Anti-Blocking System (ABS) for motorcycles. In addition, the K 1 was the absolute highlight of the IFMA '88. This was the world's first motorcycle with digital engine electronics and featured an exciting avant-garde design. 

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The new segment: The travel Enduro.

After BMW's entry into off-road racing, the successful off-road machine goes on the market in the summer of 1980 in modified form as a serial production Enduro under the name or BMW R 80 G/S. With the G/S - G stands for "Gelände" (= off-road), S for "Strasse" (= road) - BMW establishes the segment of the large, comfortable travel Enduro bikes, a key category in the motorcycle trade to this day. The world's first single-sided swing arm causes a stir - the BMW monolever with rear wheel mounted on one side. 

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1981: The BMW R 80 G/S came, rode and conquered.

1981: The BMW R 80 G/S came, rode and conquered.

In the early eighties, BMW sends the "boxer" into the desert. With the Frenchman Hubert Auriol, called "the African" because of his navigating talents, BMW wins the toughest rally in the world. Auriol is able to repeat his success in 1983, whilst in 1984 and 1985 it is the Belgian Gaston Rahier who gets his name on the list of winners riding a BMW. 

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The development of the K1.

The idea of BMW development engineer Josef Fritzenwenger of installing a longitudinally configured in-line engine in a horizontal position went into production in 1983. The K series was born, taking its place next to the tried-and-tested two-cylinder boxer. The machine was developed for perfect aerodynamics. Based on the K 100 RS, the K1 had the new four-valve engine, a paralever rocker and lightweight three-spoke wheels. In order to maintain sufficient stability at high speeds, the frame of the K 1 was reinforced and the wheelbase was increased by 50 mm. For genuine power.  

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The motorcycles of the 1980s

1980: R 80 G/S.

1980: R 80 G/S.

In the R 80 G/S, BMW presented the first production version of a BMW Enduro machine. This was not just the largest model in this series in terms of cylinder capacity, but also the world's first motorcycle with swing arm for controlling the rear wheel. 

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1983: K 100.

1983: K 100.

The characteristic feature of the K 100 was the longitudinally configured, water-cooled in-line engine with horizontal cylinder arrangements and flange-mounted transmission. Like all motorcycles in the K series, the K 100 had a modern bridge frame made from perforated tubes and a monolever rear wheel rocker. As with the boxers, the crankshaft was in a longitudinal position.    

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1985: K75.

1985: K75.

The K 75 was the entry-level model in the K series. This motorcycle was available in a number of different versions and, thanks to the reliable three-cylinder engine with 75 hp output, is also very popular with government agencies. 

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1987: R 80 GS.

Source: BMW Group Archive; Photographer: BMW Werkfoto.

1987: R 80 GS.

Technically identical to the R 100 GS, the small GS had a paralever rocker with torque support, cross-spoked wheels and a 24-litre fuel tank. 

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1987: R 100 GS.

1987: R 100 GS.

As the new top model in the BMW boxer range, the R 100 GS Enduro had an improved chassis and a powerful 980 cc engine, which achieved even greater torque thanks to larger carburettors and a new exhaust system. For the first time the rear wheel was controlled by a paralever double articulated rocker that compensates for the righting torque of the shaft drive. Another technical highlight are the cross-spoked wheels, which enable tubeless tyres to be used. 

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1989: K 1.

1989: K 1.

The K1 was mainly designed to enhance the company's profile and to show off new technology. It used four-valve technology and digital engine electronics, paralever rear wheel rocker and four-piston brake calipers. The cladding for the front wheel was integrated in the aerodynamically optimised fairing. 

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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.

  • 1940s.
    On with pioneering spirit.

    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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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.

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