It’s an almost impossible task to condense nine decades of BMW Motorrad history into just 90 seconds of film, but prepared to be inspired by this short movie that captures some of the most iconic machines of the last 90 years of the brand’s important heritage.
From the early ‘Rennsport’ works racing motorcycles to the all-new R 1200 GS travel enduro that will soon be delivered to customers worldwide, the ’90 Years in 90 Seconds’ movie features many of the iconic bikes that have helped establish BMW Motorrad as one of the world’s most illustrious and enduring motorcycle brands.
As the film counts up to 90 seconds, it shows archive footage stretching back over the decades, which will no doubt rekindle lost memories for many long-time fans of the marque. There are clips showing prototype boxer-twin enduros in racing trim – the forerunners to the production R 80 G/S that changed the motorcycling world when it was launched to universal acclaim in 1980. The brand’s motorsport heritage is also clear to see when the fully-kitted out ‘GS’ desert racers leap onto the screen. On these bikes, Hubert Auriol and Belgian Gaston Rahier shared four Paris-Dakar Rally victories from 1981 to 1985.
Iconic touring and sports machines are also shown in action, including the 1976 R 100 RS, a Boxer-engined tourer with 125mph (200km/h) performance and the ability to compete with the Japanese invasion of the time. It was also the first mass-produced fully-faired machine onto the market, with more than 33,000 of them bought by customers worldwide.
Four-cylinder BMWs feature in the film too, such as the avant-garde styled, high-performance K1 of 1989 that was never originally planned for volume production, but found almost 7,000 aficionados to buy it. As the top model in the range at the time, with its aerodynamic body including both front-wheel and rear-end fairing, the K 1 was the first motorcycle in the world to feature a fully-controlled three-way catalytic converter. Its 16-valve four-cylinder power unit with digitally controlled electronic engine management offered ideal conditions for this superior technology.
But it’s not just bikes that feature in this movie, as a classic BMW M1 ‘Supercar’ from the late 1970s puts in an appearance. And a closer look at many of the riders reveals an insight into early BMW rider clothing and equipment that set new standards in the two-wheeled world when brought to the market. In fact, back in the 1970s, BMW was the only motorcycle manufacturer to develop rider gear as well as motorcycle helmets.
Many other historically important BMW bikes feature in the film that quickly speeds its way right up to the present day, with recent new market segments added to the model range, such as the C 600 series of maxi-scooters. Sporting icons also play their part in the film, such as stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer on the F 800 R and Superbike World Championship racer Marco Melandri on the S 1000 RR. Also, new-for-2013 models are included, such as the F 800 GT, HP4, and of course the all-new R 1200 GS which has been making headlines all over the globe as the starring machine in the One World. One R 1200 GS ‘Ride of your Life’ Tour.
Seemingly no sooner than it has begun, this 90-second whistle-stop tour through the archives of BMW Motorrad finishes with the simple tagline ‘Unstoppable since 1923’. Who wouldn’t agree with that?