100 years of “Make Life a Ride”
BMW Motorrad’s history is characterised by an urge to succeed. Succeed in challenges and celebrate success. However, there have also been setbacks and it’s taken quite some perseverance. Giving up was never an option. The company’s history is mainly about people sharing a passion: adventurers, dreamers, inventors, athletes, visionaries – men and women aiming to revolutionise the streets with great ideas on two wheels. 100 years of the “Make Life a Ride” spirit. In this spirit, we take the time to simultaneously look at our past and our future: at events and highlights in the anniversary year 2023. And lots of ideas are still to come.
One history, countless stories
The people substantially shaping the history of BMW motorcycles go beyond the norm. It all began with Chief Designer Max Friz, who designed the first BMW motorcycle that was showcased at the German Motor Show on 28 September 1923. He was followed by designers, racers and pioneers who also challenged the status quo. In 1924, Rudolf Schleicher played a leading role in the development of the BMW R 37’s engine, the first BMW Motorrad sports model. In 1937, Ernst Jakob Henne broke the land speed record on a BMW 500 Kompressor fitted with full trim panel, reaching 279.503 km/h. In 1939, Georg “Schorsch” Meier won the Senior TT on the Isle of Man as the first non-British person on a BMW Kompressor. Even today, people at BMW Motorrad are still thinking ahead, developing new vehicle concepts based on new drives, for example.
100 years in a picture
100 years in an artwork: this motif highlights the history of BMW Motorrad, spanning a century, in a playful and illustrative way. Which milestones can you see? The boxer engine, the Paris-Dakar winner’s pose, the anniversary model with a bow, the BMW Group plant in Berlin and much more.
Your story makes ours complete x 100 years»
Max Friz –
Chief Designer from 1917
From 1917, Max Friz became Chief Designer at BMW, turning his attention to his great passion: developing the motorcycle. In just four weeks, he put the complete design to paper. His vision, the BMW R 32, will be showcased at the German Motor Show in September 2023. The rest is history.
Hans A. Muth –
Erster Designer ab 1971
Hans A. Muth became a designer at BMW Motorrad for the first time in 1971. In 1973, he put his passion for speed on the road with the first BMW Motorrad superbike. The styling of the R 90 S sparks a passion in onlookers. It was followed by numerous stylistic icons in BMW Motorrad's product history.
Edgar Heinrich –
Vice President Design ab 2012
Since 2012, when Edgar Heinrich took charge, the company has created the touring enduro icon BMW R 1200 GS and the super sports S 1000 RR along with many other motorcycles. However, he also focuses on electrifying mobility, for example as part of the development of the avant-garde CE 04 electric scooter or visionary bikes, such as the AMBY 2022 vision.
Share your story
100 years – what a ride. We’re sure you’ve experienced countless moments on your bike that were special, moving or just plain crazy. It’s stories like yours that make ours so vivid. That’s because it is you out there riding our bikes. All over the world, wherever life and freedom take you. Share your best story and show that you are a part of this movement for freedom. Simply upload your story to social media using the hashtag #YourStoryMakesOursComplete and you too will appear on our History Wall.
100 years in an exhibition
With “100 YEARS BMW MOTORRAD” as the motto, the anniversary exhibition brings 100 years of BMW Motorrad's history to life. Take a journey through 100 years packed with passion, great ambitions and impressive stories. Browse through history and delve into an immersive world that makes the passion of motorcycling tangible with all your senses. From off-road scenery to urban environments, you can experience the entire BMW Motorrad universe here. And it goes without saying that you also form part of our history.
The exhibition will be staged in the famous "bowl" at BMW Museum Munich. Doors to the public will open on 12 May 2023. A great reason for a bike ride – or a visit with the whole family.
New “old” retro roadster
R 12 nineT
R 12 nineT
Evolution of a legend. The new R 12 nineT is the consistent follow-up to the iconic R nineT retro roadster. With new ergonomics, more dynamism and more of a retro look. It evolves and yet remains true to itself. As always: pure #SoulFuel. And it's still perfect for customising. It’s on its way... time to get excited!
The electric revolution
The BMW CE 02
Tame the city streets with this stylish piece of engineering. The electric BMW CE 02 glides effortlessly through even the narrowest alleyways and past the after-work traffic. It’s the best way to get to wherever you need to be. But what exactly is the CE 02? Is it an electric scooter? Nope! We call it an eParkourer, because it gives you the agility of a parkour runner. Move your way.