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Which BMW Motorcycle Is Best

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  • 26-10-2022
Which BMW Motorcycle Is Best

Which BMW motorcycle is best? Find out more about the BMW Motorrad  history and the range of motorcycles that they produce.

BMW Motorrad History

The letters BMW stand for "Bavarian Motor Works", and although the company are best known for their cars, their motorcycle engine manufacturing predates their first car by nine years. BMW AG was founded in 1916 in Munich and produced aeroplane engines during the first World War. In 1921, they began manufacturing motorcycle engines for other manufacturers before creating their first-ever bike, the R32, in 1923. In 1947, after the Second World War, BMW was permitted to begin building motorcycles once more in Western Germany.

They did, however, have to start entirely from scratch, as all of their surviving plans and blueprints were under Soviet control at the Eastern Germany facility. In 1952, following a trademark lawsuit, motorcycles that BMW produced at the East Germany Eisenach plant wore a red and white roundel bearing the name EMW to distance them from BMW.

How BMW Names its Motorcycles

As they do with their cars, BMW Motorrad uses an alphanumeric identification system when naming their motorcycles. The first part of the name is always a letter; this corresponds to an engine type.

The BMW Motorrad lineup currently has types of engines that vary from scooters with names that start with a C and have parallel twin-cylinder engines that are attached to a constantly variable clutch to sportbikes like the departed HP4 Race; a high-performance four-stroke four-cylinder bike.

Between those two extremes, you have bikes that start with the letter S; these are four-cylinder sports motorbikes, R bikes with an opposed twin-cylinder, G bikes with a single-cylinder, F bikes with a parallel twin-cylinder, and K bikes that have three or more cylinders.

The second part of their bike names is made up of numbers, which typically represent, in cubic centimetres, the size of the engine's displacement. However, on some occasions, it can just consist of a random series of numbers instead. Lastly is the letter or letters that follow the numbers; this part of the name explains the purpose of the bike. For example, A for Adventure, S for Sport, G from the German word Gelande, meaning terrain, GT is Sport touring, RR is road racing, RT is road touring, L for luxury, T for touring, GTL for luxury sport touring, B for bagger, R for road, X for extreme, and GSA for grand sport adventure.

Top BMW Motorcycles

The BMW company, founded in 1916, manufacturer luxury automobiles and are a subsidiary of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG in Germany.  The parent company originally began producing aircraft engines, and now it brands its vehicles under BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce. BMW not only build high-end cars but they are also known for manufacturing motorcycles under the motorcycle division, BMW Motorrad. Throughout the years, BMW has improved upon their initial motorcycle model and are even set to release an all-electric bike soon. Here are their most significant motorcycles:

First is the BMW S100RR motorcycle. This bike was originally intended to compete in the 2009 Superbike World Championship, but it eventually became commercial production. The BMW S100RR is available in three colour options and offers DTC or Dynamic Traction Control.  This bike provides not only a smoother ride but a safer one too. The S100RR bike has a four-cylinder engine putting out 199hp at 13,500 rotations per minute. A variety of accessories can be added when purchasing this bike, like HP footpegs, HP hand levers or an HP carbon front fender.

Next is the BMW DC Roadster, BMW's first road-ready electric motorcycle.  With companies like Harley Davidson manufacturing successful electric bikes such as the LiveWire, the DC Roadster definitely has competition. The BMW Roadster has a universal shaft rather than a chain and has cooling elements that are exposed on the outside and enable quicker cooling with better temperature control.  As well as these changes and its lack of a gas tank, the DC Roadster design has been so profoundly modified that it appears to be the bike of the future. It most definitely does not look like any motorcycle you have seen before.

The BMW R1200 GS, launched in 2004, has been a consistently high-performing bike and is one of the company's best selling motorcycles to date.  Equipped with a two-cylinder boxer engine, the R1200 GS is just one of the several bikes in BMW's GS family. The GS family is in reference to a group of dual-sport bikes.  Dual-sport means that they are designed to be used on and off the road. The R1200 GS can reach a top speed of 130-miles per hour and has been featured in numerous films and TV shows.

Next is the BMW F850GS bike. The F850 GS comes in three colour choices and is one of the most tech-friendly bikes available on the market.  This motorbike includes a 6.5-inch display so that drivers can safely and securely access all data relevant to their experience.  The F850 can also conquer any terrain with its four-stroke parallel-twin engine and is an exceptional bike to take off-roading. Just like the S100 RR bike, the F850 GS can be modified with accessories like a sport exhaust, an aluminium engine guard or a functional tank bag for all of your things.

Next is the BMW HP2 Enduro. The HP2 Enduro is a modified version of the R1200GS bike and is an outstanding adventure-touring bike and high-performing off-road bike.  This motorbike has some very impressive stats. The torque is an extraordinary 85-foot-pounds, and BMW boasts that it can reach a top speed of 125-miles per hour. This bike is also equipped with a suspension that can absorb almost any shock, enabling the Enduro to be able to conquer any terrain, off-road or in the city.  Although its two cylinders stick out awkwardly, the HP2 provides a smooth ride.

Next is the BMW HP2 Sport. Manufactured in 2008, this motorcycle was the successor to the R1200S.  In 2012, BMW stopped the production of this bike; however, it still remains one of the greatest motorcycles to hold the BMW name and logo.  The HP2 Sport comes with an 1170 cc flat-twin engine producing 128 hp, making it an extremely powerful machine.  The HP2 was widely received as a robust and powerful bike that could tear up tracks when first released. 

Next is the BMW K1600 GT. The K1600 GT is available in three colour options and has been fitted with a six-cylinder in-line engine that provides a smooth, powerful ride.  This bike's front suspension is a BMW duolever suspension, and it is equipped with a xenon headlight offering dynamic levelling. This motorcycle's design is sporty yet discrete. This bike's six-cylinder engine puts out 160 HP at 7,750 rotations per minute with incredibly smooth acceleration.

Next up is the BMW R1150RT. BMW Motorrad's RT series are luxury touring options that are modified versions of the R series of influential motorcycles.  Among this specialized line of bikes is the R1150RT that comes equipped with a 1130cc, 95-hp Boxer engine and several other excellent features. The bodywork on this motorbike is durable and weatherproof, meaning you have one less thing to worry about when out and about.  The bike's electrically operated windscreen will allow for adjustments on the go, along with optional luggage availability and stereo systems. This motorbike also comes with BMW's ABS Evo brakes, complete with standard embedded fog lights and a large headlight.

Next is the BMW K1600 GT. The K1600 GT is available in three colour options and has been fitted with a six-cylinder in-line engine that provides a smooth, powerful ride.  This bike's front suspension is a BMW duolever suspension, and it is equipped with a xenon headlight offering dynamic levelling. This motorcycle's design is sporty yet discrete. This bike's six-cylinder engine puts out 160 HP at 7,750 rotations per minute with incredibly smooth acceleration.

The BMW Kompressor is known by a variety of names, such as the BMW Type 255 Kompressor, the RS 255, the 500 Kompressor, Type 255 RS 500 and the RS255.  Produced from 1935 to 1939, the Kompressor was a bike intended for street racing and had a magnificent supercharged boxer engine within it.  The BMW Kompressor was preceded by the WR 750 and was supercharged with a sliding vane supercharger of the Zoller brand that was bolted to its engine.  Over the many decades, the Kompressor has set and broken a number of records, like running the first lap at over 100 mph during a major race.

Finally, we can conclude the list with the BMW K1. The K1 was a high-speed and high-class tourer bike that was designed and manufactured by the BMW company from 1988 - 1993.  During this short production time, only a minor 6,921 units were ever actually made. The BMW K1 was designed as an effort to help rebrand the BMW company's motorcycle line in the media's eyes as a producer of flat-twin tourers.  This bike has a 987 cc engine and a DOHC valve train with four cylinders. This bike can also produce 100 hp; however, it was restricted to 95 hp in the US due to their regulations.

Reasons To Love The BMW K1

The BMW K1 bike is an extremely competent high-speed touring bike that is confident and poised on the road. This magnificent bike is easily capable of impressive triple-digit speeds. The BMW K1 occupies a special place in post-war BMW motorbike history as almost an entire thirty years after it was initially conceived, the K1 still makes a profound statement.

The K-series was produced in the early 1980s and represented a fundamental departure from BMW's traditional motorbike offering. BMW launched their liquid-cooled K-series in 1984 as an ultimate replacement for the ageing air-cooled boxers. 

BMW's original plan was akin to Porsche building their liquid-cooled eight-cylinder 928 to replace the venerable air-cooled 911. Both projects ultimately failed as the 911, and BMW R series bikes both still represent the absolute pinnacle of their respective markets.

The BMW K1's corporate mission was to defeat the perception that the company solely made stodgy flat-twin touring bikes, and it ultimately succeeded. With a top speed of 150 miles per hour, the BMW K1 was not merely a K100 disguised with fresh new clothes. It was longer, lower, and substantially faster than the K100. Remarkably steady at triple-digit speeds, the K1 bike was designed for cruising.

In order to create the BMW K1, Spandau engineers began with the K100 and then brought it to a whole other level. Features like 16, valves, an anti-jacking Paralever rear driveshaft and anti-lock brakes were only the beginning.The K1 motorcycle engine adopted a more advanced fuel injection system and experienced a number of other internal performance upgrades, including an impressive 16-valve head. 

The final result was increased torque and more powerful peak horsepower. Pushing the European power regulations of that day, the K1 bike produced nearly 100 horsepower. It had staggered rims with 17-inch front wheels and 18-inch wheels at the rear. The upgraded Marzocchi forks had less rake than a standard BMW K100. They installed massive Brembo brakes to deal with the extra weight. Some of the BMW K1's groundbreaking technology like 16-valves and ABS took over a decade to become more mainstream features at other motorcycle manufacturers.

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