BMW may be one of the most famous automotive manufacturers in the world, but it almost wasn’t the case. The Bayerische Motoren Werke was a manufacturer of aeroplane engines until the end of World War One, when the Treaty of Versailles banned aircraft manufacture in Germany.
So BMW diversified. From 1920 they sold a flat twin engine, designed to be used for a variety of industrial purposes. It found a home in a motorcycle, called the Helios, which was made by another diversifying German company but BMW bosses thought they could do it better. The rest, as they say, is history…
It’s now been 100 years since BMW’s Chief Designer, Max Friz, stuck that air-cooled, two-cylinder four stroke boxer engine in a chassis, and created the R 32 – BMW’s first motorcycle. Since then, BMW have made some of the finest motorcycles in existence, and to celebrate the momentous milestone BMW have released two special editions of current models, in their R nineT 100 Years and R 18 100 Years.
Starting with the R nineT as a base, the R nineT 100 Years comes equipped with a whole host of extras, starting with the ‘Classic Chrome’ finish, ‘100-year’ emblem on the tank and a two-tone single seat. It’s also got some extra milled parts, the Headlight Pro and Comfort Package, which includes heated grips, cruise control and pro riding modes.
Alongside this, there’s also an R 18 100 Years that comes equipped with the same ‘Classic Chrome’ finish with ‘100-Year’ emblem on the tank, alongside a diamond embossed single seat. There’s a whole host of chrome parts, the Headlight Pro with Adaptive Cornering and also Reverse assist, cruise control and heated grips as standard.
There will be 1,923 units of each, the R nineT 100 Years will be available in February and will set you back £18,040, while the R 18 100 Years will be available from March at a cost of £20,400.