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 revenues for 2009 were €1,069 million from the sale of 87,306 motorcycles, a drop on the 2008 figure of €1,230 million from the sales of 101,685 motorcycles. In May 2011, the 2,000,000th motorcycle produced by BMW Motorrad was a 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.
All BMW Motorrad's motorcycle production takes place at its plant in Berlin, Germany, although 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.
BMW Motorrad produced 82,631 motorcycles in 2009, compared with 104,220 in 2008, a fall of 20.7% 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 650 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.
BMW Motorrad motorcycles are categorized into product families, and each family is assigned a different letter prefix. The current families are:
BMW Motorrad regularly enters its motorcycles in the Dakar Rally, an annual car, truck, and motorcycle race that runs from Europe to Africa and has featured riders such as Simon Pavey and motorcycling celebrity Charley Boorman. BMW Motorrad motorcycles have won the Dakar Rally six times.