Kamis, 10 Maret 2011


Norton is a British motorcycle marque, originally from Birmingham, founded in 1898 as a manufacturer of "fittings and parts for the two-wheel trade".[1] By 1902, they had begun manufacturing motorcycles with bought-in engines. In 1908, a Norton-built engine was added to the range. This began a long series of production of single and eventually twin-cylinder motorcycles, and a long history of racing involvement.
Wartime WW2 production of the military Model 16h and Big4 sidevalve motorcycles was Nortons contribution to the war effort, almost 100,000 being manufactured.
When major shareholders started to leave Norton in 1953, the company declined and Associated Motor Cycles bought the shares.[2] Although motorcycle sales went through a recession in the 1950s, and Norton Motors Ltd was only a small manufacturer, Norton sales flourished. A series of Norton Dominator Twins of 500cc, then 600cc, then 650cc and then the 750cc Norton Atlas kept sales bouyant, especially with sales to the USA.
In 1968, the new 750cc Norton Commando Model appeared, with the engine/gearbox/swingarm unit "isolastically" insulated from the frame with a series of rubber mountings. This kept the vibrations from the rider, giving a smooth comfortable ride. The Commando was a best seller, and voted #1 Motorcycle of the Year a number of times in Britain. 850cc Models appeared for 1973, giving more torque. And for 1975 an electric start arrived in the 850 Mk3.
Political manoeuvrings brought the downfall of Norton and other manufacturers in the 1970s - taxpayer assisted wranglings over amalgamations and sell-offs all but killing the industry.
In late 2008, Stuart Garner, a UK businessman, bought the rights to Norton from some US concerns and relaunched Norton in its Midlands home at Donington Park where it will develop the NRV588 racer, a machine styled after the Norton Commando,[3] and a new range of Norton motorcycles, with options including 1200 cc Superbike, and 750 cc Supersport variants.[4]
The original company was formed by James Lansdowne Norton (known as "Pa") at 320, Bradford Street, Birmingham in 1898.[1] In 1902, Norton began building motorcycles with French and Swiss engines. In 1907, a Norton ridden by Rem Fowler won the twin-cylinder class in the first Isle of Man TT race, beginning a sporting tradition that went on until the 1960s. The Isle of Man Senior TT, the most prestigious of events, was won by Nortons ten times between the wars and then every year from 1947 to 1954. The first Norton engines were made in 1908, beginning a line of side-valve single cylinder engines which continued with few changes until the late 1950s.[2]
The first Norton logo was a fairly simple, art nouveau design, with the name spelled in capitals.[5] However, a new logo appeared on the front of the catalogue for 1914, which was a joint effort by James Lansdowne Norton and his daughter Ethel. It became known as the "curly N" logo, with only the initial letter as a capital, and was used by the company thereafter, first appearing on actual motorcycles in 1915.[6] Ethel Norton also did some testing of her father's motorcycles.[citation needed] In 1913 the business declined. R.T. Shelley & Co., the main creditors, intervened and saved it. Norton Motors Ltd was formed shortly afterwards under joint directorship of James Norton and Bob Shelley. J.L. Norton died in 1925 aged only 56, but he saw his motorcycles win the Senior and sidecar TTs in 1924.[7]
Designed by Walter Moore, the Norton CS1 engine appeared in 1927, based closely on the ES2 pushrod engine and using many of its parts. On his departure to NSU in 1930, an entirely new OHC engine was designed by Arthur Carroll, which was the basis for all later OHC and DOHC Norton singles. (Moore's move to NSU prompted staff to claim that NSU stood for "Norton Spares Used") That decade spawned the Norton racing legend. Of the nine Isle of Man Senior TTs (500 cc) between 1931 and 1939 Norton won seven.[8]
Until 1934, Norton bought Sturmey-Archer gearboxes and clutches. When Sturmey discontinued production Norton bought the design rights and had them made by Burman, a manufacturer of proprietary gearboxes.
Nortons also appealed to ordinary motorcyclists who enjoyed the reliability and performance offered by single-cylinder engines with separate gearboxes. The marque withdrew their teams from racing in 1938, but between 1937 and 1945 nearly a quarter (over 100,000) of all British military motorcycles were Nortons, basically the WD 16H (solo) and WD Big Four outfit with driven sidecar wheel.[2]
1921 Norton 16 H (490 cc)
Norton International M30 500 cc OHC Racer 1937
1939 Norton ES2
Norton Big Four (1952 model)

Post war

After the Second World War, Norton reverted to civilian motorcycle production, gradually increasing its range. A major addition in 1949 was the Model 7, later known as the Norton Dominator, a pushrod 500 cc twin-cylinder machine designed by Bert Hopwood. Its chassis was derived from the ES2 single, with telescopic front and plunger rear suspension, and an updated version of the gearbox known as the "lay-down" box.
Post war, Norton struggled to reclaim its pre-WWII racing dominance as the single cylinder machine faced fierce competition from the multi-cylinder Italian machines and AJS from the UK. In the 1949 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season, the first year of the world championship, Norton made only fifth place and AJS won. That was before the Featherbed frame appeared, developed for Norton by the McCandless brothers of Belfast in January, 1950, used in the legendary Manx Norton and raced by riders including Geoff Duke, John Surtees and Derek Minter. Very quickly the featherbed frame, a design that allowed the construction of a motorcycle with good mass-stiffness distribution,[9] became a benchmark by which all other frames were judged.[8]
Norton also experimented with engine placement, and discovered that moving the engine slightly up/down, forward/back, or even right/left, could deliver a "sweet spot" in terms of handling. Motorcycle designers still use this method to fine-tune motorcycle handling.[10]
In 1951, the Norton Dominator was made available to export markets as the Model 88 with the Featherbed frame. Later, as production of this frame increased, it became a regular production model, and was made in variants for other models, including the OHV single-cylinder machines.
Manx Nortons also played a significant role in the development of post war car racing. At the end of 1950, the English national 500 cc regulations were adopted as the new Formula 3. The JAP Speedway engine had dominated the category initially but the Manx was capable of producing significantly more power and became the engine of choice. Many complete motorcycles were bought in order to strip the engine for 500 cc car racing, as Norton would not sell separate engines.
The racing successes were transferred to the street through cafe racers, some of whom would use the featherbed frame with an engine from another manufacturer to make a hybrid machine with the best of both worlds. The most famous of these were Tritons - Triumph twin engines in a Norton featherbed frame.
Civilianised version of 1943/44 military Norton, model WD16H
1954 Norton Manx
Norton Manx 500 cc Racer 1958
Pre-unit Triumph engined Triton Café racer
Norton Manx Engine in a Cooper Formula 500 Race Car
Detail of the Engine


1967 Norton Atlas
Despite, or perhaps because of the racing successes, Norton was in financial difficulty. Reynolds could not make many of the highly desired featherbed frames and customers lost interest in buying machines with the older frames. In 1953 Norton sold out to Associated Motorcycles (AMC), who owned the brands AJS, Matchless, Francis-Barnett and James. The Norton factory in Bracebridge Street, Birmingham was closed in 1962 and production was moved to AMC's Woolwich factory in southeast London.
Under AMC ownership a much improved version of the Norton gearbox was developed, to be used on all the larger models within the corporation under the AJS, Matchless and Norton brands. Again, the major changes were for improved gear selection.
Late in 1955, a 600 cc Dominator 99 was launched. The 1946 to 1953 Long Stroke Manx Norton was 79.6 × 100 mm (3.1 × 3.9 in) initially SOHC, the DOHC engine becoming available to favoured racers in 1949. The Short Stroke model (1953 to 1962) had bore and stroke of 86 × 85.6 mm (3.4 × 3.4 in). It used a dry sump 499 cc single-cylinder motor, with two valves operated by bevel drive, shaft driven twin overhead camshafts. Compression ratio was 11:1. It had an Amal GP carburettor, and a Lucas racing magneto. The 1962 500 cc Manx Nortons produced 47 bhp (35 kW) at 6,500 rpm, weighed 142 kg (313 lb), and had a top speed of 209 km/h (130 mph).[11] The new price was £440 (2009: £8,000).
In 1960, a new version of the roadgoing featherbed frame was developed with the upper frame rails bent inwards to reduce the width between the rider's knees for greater comfort. The move was also to accommodate the shorter rider as the wide frame made it difficult to reach the ground. This frame is known as the "slimline" frame; the earlier frames then became known as the "wideline".
The last Manx Nortons were sold in 1963. Even though Norton had pulled out of racing in 1954, the Manx had become the backbone of privateer racing, and even today are quite sought after.
On November 7, 1960 the first new 650cc Norton Manxman was launched for the American market only. By October 1961 The Norton 650SS appeared for the UK market ,The 750cc Norton Atlas. in April 1962 for the American market as they demanded more power. Featherbed frames were still used, but the increases to the vertical twin engine's capacity caused a vibration problem at 5500rpm. A 500cc vertical twin is smoother than a single cylinder, but if the vertical twin's capacity is enlarged vibration increases. The 750 Norton Atlas proved too expensive and costs could not be reduced. Financial problems gathered.[12]
There was an export bike primarily for use as a desert racer, sold up until 1969 as the Norton P11,[13] AJS Model 33 and as a Matchless G15, which used the Norton Atlas engine in a modified Matchless G85CS scrambler frame with Norton wheels and front forks. This bike was reputed to vibrate less than the featherbed frame model. AMC singles were also sold with Norton badging in this era.[14]
Also during this period Norton developed a family of three similar smaller-capacity twin cylinder machines: first the Norton Jubilee 250 and then the Navigator 350 and Electra 400, which had an electric starter. These models were Norton's first use of unit construction. The engine was an entirely new design by Bert Hopwood and the frame and running gear were from the Francis-Barnett range, also owned by AMC. These machines had a reputation for poor reliability.[citation needed]


By the late 1960s, competition from Japanese manufacturers and a rapidly-declining home market[citation needed] had driven the whole British motorcycle industry into decline. In 1966 AMC became insolvent and was reformed as Norton-Villiers, part of Manganese Bronze Holdings Ltd.
The 750 Norton Atlas was noted for its vibration. Rather than change engines Norton decided to change the frame, and the isolastic-framed Norton Commando 750 was the result.
In 1969, the Commando was introduced. Its styling, innovative isolastic frame and powerful engine made it an appealing package. The Commando easily outperformed contemporary Triumph and BSA twins and was the most powerful and best-handling British motorcycle of its day. The isolastic frame made it much smoother than the Atlas. It used rubber bushes to isolate the engine and swinging arm from the frame, forks, and rider. However, as the steel-shims incorporated in the Isolastic bearings wore, often from rusting, the bike became prone to fishtailing in high-speed turns.[clarification needed]
The "Combat" engine was released in January 1972, with a twin roller bearing crank, 10:1 compression and developing 65 bhp (48 kW) at 6,500 rpm. Reliability immediately suffered, with frequent and early crank-shaft main-bearing failures, sometimes leading to broken crankshafts. Older engines had used one ball-bearing main bearing and one roller bearing main bearing but the Combat engine featured two roller bearings in a mistaken belief this would strengthen the bottom-end to cope with the higher power-output. Instead the resultant crank-bending caused the rollers to "dig-in" to the races, causing rapid failure. This fragility did not show up well,[clarification needed] especially when compared with the reliability of contemporary Japanese machines.[15]
The Commando was offered in several different styles: the standard street model, a pseudo-scrambler with upswept pipes and the Interstate, packaged as a tourer. Electric start was introduced on the Mark III in 1974. Sales were respectable but the company declined financially and became insolvent in 1975.[8] In 1976 a Norton with a US-flag theme on the tank could be purchased for US$1,976.
1973 850 Commando

 Norton Villiers Triumph

1978 Commando Interstate Mk3
In 1972, BSA was also in financial trouble. It was given UK Government help on the condition that it merged with Norton-Villiers, and in 1973, the new Norton Villiers Triumph (NVT) was formed. The Triumph Motorcycles name came from BSA's Triumph subsidiary. In April 1973 an 8.5:1 compression 828 cc "850" engine was released with German FAG SuperBlend bearings. These, featuring slightly barrel-shaped rollers, had been introduced on late model 750 cc engines to cure the Combat engine's problems of crank-flex and the consequent digging-in to the bearing-surface of the initial cylindrical bearing rollers. This model produced 51 bhp (38 kW) at 6,250 rpm but the stated power does not give a true picture of the engine performance because increased torque seemed to make up for the reduced horsepower.[16]
In 1974, the UK's outgoing Conservative government withdrew subsidies, but the incoming Labour government restored them after the General Election. Rationalisation of the factory sites to Wolverhampton and Birmingham (BSA's Small Heath site) caused industrial disputes at Triumph's Coventry site; Triumph would go on as a workers cooperative alone. Despite mounting losses, 1974 saw the release of the 828 Roadster, Mark 2 Hi Rider, JPN Replica (John Player Norton) and Mark 2a Interstate. In 1975, the range was down to just two models: the Mark 3 Interstate and the Roadster, but then the UK Government asked for a repayment of its loan and refused export credits, further damaging the company's ability to sell abroad. Production of the two models still made was ended and supplies dwindled.

Wankel engine

In the 1980s, the company went through several incarnations – mainly because the name was popular and now owned by several parties. In liquidation from NVT the global rights were split between (at least) Norton UK, Germany, America and Rest of the World.
The brand was relaunched on an ambitious scale in Lichfield in 1988. The new models succeeded in racing – winning the Senior TT in 1992 – but they moved rather more slowly in the commercial market. The company had some success making the Wankel-engined Interpol 2 motorcycle for civilian and military police forces and the RAC. This led to a civilian model in 1987 called the Classic.
Subsequent Norton Wankels were water-cooled. The Commander was launched in 1988 and was followed by the Spondon-framed F1. This model was a de-tuned replica of Norton's RCW588 factory racing machines which won many races including the 1992 Isle of Man TT, ridden by Steve Hislop. The F1 was succeeded by the restyled and slightly less expensive F1 Sport. Chief Executive Phillippe LeRoux attempted to diversify the company to a group with interests in property and leisure,[17] meanwhile supply of Norton Classic was being delayed by supply problems with petrol tanks and headlight shells.[citation needed]
At this point the UK Department of Trade and Industry started to investigate improprieties in the investments of financier Philippe LeRoux and his associates[18] following which LeRoux resigned his position as Chief Executive.[19]
In a move to manage an outstanding debt of ₤7million, in 1991, David MacDonald was appointed Chief Executive at the behest of the Midland Bank. McDonald sold the company to the North American company Wildrose Investments. Head of Wildrose investments, Nelson Skalbania, reformed the company as Norton Motors (1993) Ltd, putting his daughter Rosanda in place as General Manager at the Shenstone site.[20] The new ownership attempted to reclaim Triumph and Norton motorcycles that had been loaned to various science and technology museums. This proved controversial as some of the museums had assumed the loans had been made on a permanent basis.[21] In 1994 ownership of the company reverted to Aquilini Investments as Skalbania was unable to repay the money he had borrowed to purchase the company. The Skalbania connection was reported as being severed by July of that year [22] By 1996 the service side of the Shenstone site was closed and transferred to Startright Motors[23] in Leeds, and Reg Allen Motorcycles in Acton, London. The focus of manufacture was moved to the manufacture of components for light aircraft engines based on the rotary design.
It was reported in 2005 that a group of former Norton employees built nine F1 sports models from existing stocks of parts.[24]
A number of firms continued spares and service support for various generations of piston-engined Nortons, including Andover Norton,[25] Mick Hemmings,[26] Norvil (formerly Fair Spares), RGM Motors,[27] Unity Equipe and Norman White (a former team racer and mechanic).[28]
Ron Haslam on a rotary-engined Norton RCW588 racer
Norton Interpol
Norton Commander P53, sold as a civilian tourer

 Replicas and revival

During the late 1990s, Kenny Dreer of Oregon evolved from restoring and upgrading Commandos to producing whole machines. He modernised the design and in the early 2000s went into series production with the 961 Commando, but then suspended operations in April 2006.
After fifteen years of US ownership the Norton brand has now been secured by Stuart Garner, UK businessman and owner of Norton Racing Ltd. Garner is developing a new 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) Norton factory at Donington Park.[29] The Dreer machines is an 88 × 79 mm (3.5 × 3.1 in), giving an actual cylinder capacity of 961 cc, air and oil-cooled pushrod parallel twin with a 270° crank and a gear-driven counterbalancer. The machine is a single seater styled after the earlier Commando models. A power output of 80 bhp (60 kW) at the rear wheel is claimed, giving a top speed of in excess of 130 mph (210 km/h).[4][30]
The new operation at Donington Park has gone into limited production producing a motorcycle based on the Kenny Dreer 961 Commando. The new motorcycle only shares the outline of the Dreer bike, all aspects of the motorcycle have apparently been re-designed in order to move into production. An updated and revised version of the rotary by Brian Crighton, an engineer who worked on the rotary machine in the 1990s is also being developed. To expand the range of machines available, the company has acquired a significant interest in Maxsym Engine Technology with the aim of using the Maxsym parallel twin engine, originally developed for Moto GP as the basis of a new range of Norton motorcycles, with options including 1,200 cc Superbike, and 750 cc Supersport variants.[4]

Rabu, 09 Maret 2011

Motor BMW

BMW began in 1916 as a reorganization of Rapp Motorenwerke, an aircraft engine manufacturer that began production before World War I. With the Armistice, the Treaty of Versailles banned the German air force and the manufacture of aircraft in Germany, so the company turned to making air brakes, industrial engines, agricultural machinery, toolboxes and office furniture and then to motorcycles and cars.


Prewar BMW R5 at Nürburgring

BMW Sahara, Poland 1944
In 1921, BMW began manufacture of its M2B15 flat-twin engine. Designed by Max Friz for use as a portable industrial engine, the M2B15 was largely used by motorcycle manufacturers, notably Victoria of Nuremberg, and Bayerische Flugzeugwerke in their Helios motorcycle.[1] Friz was also working on car engines.[citation needed]
BMW merged with Bayerische Flugzeugwerke in 1922, inheriting from them the Helios motorcycle and a small two-stroke motorized bicycle called the Flink.[1] In 1923, BMW's first "across the frame" version of the boxer engine was designed by Friz. The R32 had a 486 cc (29.7 cubic inches) engine with 8.5 hp (6.3 kW) and a top speed of 95 to 100 km/h (59 to 62 mph).[2] The engine and gearbox formed a bolt-up single unit. At a time when many motorcycle manufacturers used total-loss oiling systems, the new BMW engine featured a recirculating wet sump oiling system with a drip feed to roller bearings. This system was used by BMW until 1969, when they adopted the "high-pressure oil" system based on shell bearings and tight clearances, still in use today.
The R32 became the foundation for all future boxer-powered BMW motorcycles. BMW oriented the boxer engine with the cylinder heads projecting out on each side for cooling as did the earlier British ABC. Other motorcycle manufacturers, including Douglas (motorcycles) and Harley-Davidson, aligned the cylinders with the frame, one cylinder facing towards the front wheel and the other towards the back wheel.
The R32 also incorporated shaft drive. BMW continued to use shaft drive in all of its motorcycles until the introduction of the F650 in 1994, which featured chain drive.
In 1937, Ernst Henne rode a supercharged 500 cc (31 cubic inches) overhead camshaft BMW 173.88 mph (279.83 km/h), setting a world record that stood for 14 years.
During World War II the Wehrmacht needed as many vehicles as it could get of all types and many other German companies were asked to build motorcycles. The BMW R75, a copy of a Zündapp KS750, performed particularly well in the harsh operating environment of the North African Campaign. Motorcycles of every style had performed acceptably well in Europe, but in the desert the protruding cylinders of the flat-twin engine performed better than configurations which overheated in the sun, and shaft drives performed better than chain-drives which were damaged by desert grit.
So successful were the BMWs as war-machines that the U.S. Army asked Harley-Davidson, Indian and Delco to produce a motorcycle similar to the side-valve BMW R71. Harley copied the BMW engine and transmission — simply converting metric measurements to inches — and produced the shaft-drive 750 cc (46 cubic inches) 1942 Harley-Davidson XA.[3]


Tank roundel with Serif typeface

BMW R35, built in East Germany after World War II

The first postwar West German BMW, the 1948 250 cc BMW R24 ready for sale

500 cc BMW R51/3
The end of World War II found BMW in ruins. Its plant outside of Munich was destroyed by Allied bombing. The Eisenach facility while badly damaged was not totally destroyed and tooling and machinery was safely stored nearby. The facility was not dismantled by the Soviets as reparations and sent back to the Soviet Union where it was reassembled in Irbit to make IMZ-Ural motorcycles as is commonly alleged. The IMZ plant was supplied to the Soviets by BMW under license prior to the commencement of the Great Patriotic War. After the war the terms of Germany's surrender forbade BMW from manufacturing motorcycles. Most of BMW's brightest engineers were taken to the US and the Soviet Union to continue their work on jet engines which BMW produced during the war.
When the ban on the production of motorcycles was lifted in Allied controlled Western Germany, BMW had to start from scratch. There were no plans, blueprints, or schematic drawings because they were all in Eisenach. Company engineers had to use surviving pre-war motorcycles to copy the bikes. The first post-war BMW motorcycle in Western Germany, a 250 cc R24, was produced in 1948. The R24 was based on the pre-war R23, and was the only postwar West German BMW with no rear suspension. In 1949, BMW produced 9,200 units and by 1950 production surpassed 17,000 units.
BMW boxer twins manufactured from 1950 to 1956 included the 500 cc models R51/2 and 24 hp (18 kW) R51/3, the 600 cc models 26 hp (19 kW) R67, 28 hp (21 kW) R67/2, and R67/3, and the sporting 35 hp (26 kW) 600 cc model R68. All these models came with plunger rear suspensions, telescopic front forks, and chromed, exposed drive shafts. Except for the R68, all these twins came with "bell-bottom" front fenders and front stands.
The situation was very different in Soviet-controlled Eastern Germany where BMW's sole motorcycle plant in Eisenach was producing R35 and a handful of R75 motorcycles for reparations. This resulted in one BMW motorcycle plant existing in Eisenach between 1945 and 1948 and two motorcycle companies existing between 1948 and 1952. One was a BMW in Munich in Western Germany (later the German Federal Republic) and the other in Soviet controlled Eisenach, Eastern Germany (later the German Democratic Republic), both using the BMW name. Eventually in 1952. after the Soviets ceded control of the plant to the East German Government, and following a trademark lawsuit, this plant was renamed EMW (Eisenacher Motoren Werke). Instead of BMW's blue-and-white roundel, EMW used a very similar red-and-white roundel as its logo.[4] No motorcycles made in East Germany after World War II were manufactured under the authority of BMW in Munich as there was no need for an occupying power to gain such authority. After the collapse of the Iron Curtain many EMW models have made their way to the USA. It is possible to find find restored R35 motorcycles today parts of which are EMW and parts of which are BMW[citation needed] as many parts are interchangeable, making authentic identification quite difficult because all BMW R35 motorcycles were produced in Eisenach until 1952, when they became EMW.


1959 R50

250cc R27, the last BMW shaft-driven single
As the 1950s progressed, motorcycle sales plummeted. In 1957, three of BMW's major German competitors went out of business. In 1954, BMW produced 30,000 motorcycles. By 1957, that number was less than 5,500. However, by the late 1950s, BMW exported 85% of its boxer twin powered motorcycles to the United States.[citation needed] At that time, Butler & Smith, Inc. was the exclusive U.S. importer of BMW.
In 1955, BMW began introducing a new range of motorcycles with Earles forks and enclosed drive shafts. These were the 26 hp (19 kW) 500 cc R50, the 30 hp (22 kW) 600 cc R60, and the 35 hp (26 kW) sporting 600 cc R69.
On June 8, 1959, John Penton rode a BMW R69 from New York to Los Angeles in 53 hours and 11 minutes, slashing over 24 hours from the previous record of 77 hours and 53 minutes set by Earl Robinson on a 45 cubic inch (740 cc) Harley-Davidson.
Although U.S. sales of BMW motorcycles were strong, BMW was in financial trouble. Through the combination of selling off its aircraft engine division and obtaining financing with the help of Herbert Quandt, BMW was able to survive. The turnaround was thanks in part to the increasing success of BMW's automotive division. Since the beginnings of its motorcycle manufacturing, BMW periodically introduced single-cylinder models. In 1967, BMW offered the last of these, the R27. Most of BMW's offerings were still designed to be used with sidecars. By this time sidecars were no longer a consideration of most riders; people were interested in sportier motorcycles.
The 26 hp (19 kW) R50/2, 30 hp (22 kW) R60/2, and 42 hp (31 kW) R69S marked the end of sidecar-capable BMWs. Of this era, the R69S remains the most desirable example of the dubbed "/2" ("slash-two") series because of significantly greater engine power than other models, among other features unique to this design.
For the 1968 and 1969 model years only, BMW exported into the United States three "US" models. These were the R50US, the R60US, and the R69US. On these motorcycles, there were no sidecar lugs attached to the frame and the front forks were telescopic forks, which were later used worldwide on the slash-5 series of 1970 through 1973. Earles-fork models were sold simultaneously in the United States as buyers had their choice of front suspensions.


In 1970, BMW introduced an entirely revamped product line of 500 cc, 600 cc and 750 cc displacement models, the R50/5, R60/5 and R75/5 respectively and came with the "US" telescopic forks noted above. The engines were a complete redesign. The roller and ball-bearings in the bottom end had been replaced by shell-type journal bearings similar to those used in modern car engines. The camshaft, which had been at the top of the engine, was placed under the crankshaft, giving better ground clearance under the cylinders while retaining the low centre of gravity of the flat-twin layout. The new engine had an electric starter, although the traditional gearbox-mounted kick starter was retained. The styling of the first models included chrome-plated side panels and a restyled tank, these have been called "toaster" models because of the tank's resemblance to a kitchen toaster.[citation needed]
The /5 series was given a longer rear swingarm, resulting in a longer wheelbase. This improved the handling and allowed a larger battery to be installed. These were called the long wheelbase, LWB, 1973½ versions.[citation needed]
The /5 models were short-lived, however, being replaced by another new product line in 1974. In that year the 500 cc model was deleted from the lineup and an even bigger 900 cc model was introduced, along with improvements to the electrical system and frame geometry. These models were the R60/6, R75/6 and the R90/6. In 1973 a supersport model, the BMW R90S, was introduced. In 1975, the kick starter was finally eliminated. In addition to "/" or "slash" models, other Airhead models such as the G/S (later, GS) and ST also have dedicated followings within BMW circles, while others favor certain earlier models like /5 "toasters." Each has its merits which owners will freely debate with enthusiasm.[citation needed]

1994 BMW R100RT
In 1977, the product line moved on to the "/7" models. The R80/7 was added to the line. The R90 (898 cc) models, "/6" and R90S models were replaced by updated versions with a new 1,000 cc; engine, the R100/7, the R100S and the new super sport model the R100RS with a full fairing. This sleek model, designed through wind-tunnel testing, produced 70 hp (51 kW) and had a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph).[5] The R100RS had a shorter rear end ratio to overcome the higher wind resistance of the full fairing. Many period motorcycle tests in Germany (Das Motorrad) indicated it was actually slightly slower than the R100S with only 65 hp. In 1978, the R100RT was introduced into the lineup for the 1979 model year, as the first "full-dress" tourer, designed to compete in this market with the forthcoming Honda Gold Wing.[citation needed]
In 1979, the R60 was replaced with the 650 cc R65, an entry-level motorcycle with 48 hp (36 kW) that had its very own frame design. Due to its smaller size and better geometrics, front and rear 18-inch (460 mm) wheels and a very light flywheel, was an incredibly well-handling bike that could easily keep up and even run away from its larger brothers when in proper hands on sinuous roads. BMW added a variant in 1982: the R65LS, a "sportier" model with a one-fourth fairing, double front disc brakes, stiffer suspension and different carburettors that added 5 hp (4 kW). A short stroke version of the R65, the 450 cc R45 appeared in some markets.[citation needed]


1986 BMW K100RS

BMW R1200C cruiser

1996-2004 BMW K1200RS
In early 1983, BMW introduced a 1,000 cc, in-line four-cylinder, water-cooled engine to the European market, the K100. The K series comes with a simplified and distinctive rear suspension, a single-sided swingarm. (In 1985 the traditionally powered boxer R80RT touring bike received this monolever rear suspension system and in 1987 the R100RT got it).
In 1985, BMW came a 750 cc three-cylinder version, this one smoothed with another first, a counterbalance shaft.
In 1986, BMW introduced an electrically adjustable windshield on the K100LT.
In 1988, BMW introduced ABS on its motorcycles. ABS became standard on all BMW K models. In 1993 ABS was first introduced on BMW's boxer line on the R1100RS. It has since become available as an option on the rest of BMW's motorcycle range.
In 1989, BMW introduced its version of a full-fairing sport bike, the K1. It was based upon the K100 engine, but now with four valves per cylinder. Output was near 100 hp (75 kW).
In 1995, BMW ceased production of airhead 2-valve engines and moved its boxer engined line completely over to the 4-valve oilhead system first introduced in 1993.
During this period, BMW introduced a number of motorcycles including:
The R1200C, produced from 1997 to 2004, was BMW Motorcycles only entry into the Cruiser market. At the other end of the model lineup, the C1, produced from 2000 to 2002, was an enclosed scooter, the only scooter to be offered for sale by BMW.

 Since 2004

[edit] K series

On 25 September 2004, BMW globally launched a radically redesigned K Series motorcycle, the K1200S, containing an all new in-line four-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine featuring 123 kW (165 hp).[6] The K1200S was primarily designed as a Super Sport motorcycle, albeit larger and heavier than the closest Japanese competitors. Shortly after the launch of the K1200S, problems were discovered with the new power plant leading to a recall until the beginning of 2005, when corrective changes were put in place. Recently, a K1200S set a land speed record for production bikes in its class at the Bonneville Salt Flats, exceeding 174 mph (280 km/h).
In the years after the launch of K1200S, BMW has also launched the K1200R naked roadster, and the K1200GT sport tourer, which started to appear in dealer showrooms in spring (March–June) 2006. All three new K-Series motorcycles are based on the new in-line four-cylinder engine, with slightly varying degrees of power. In 2007, BMW added the K1200R Sport,[7] a semi-faired sport touring version of the K1200R.
In October 2008, BMW launched three new 1,300 cc K-series models: the K1300R, K1300S and K1300GT.[8] The K1300 models feature increased in engine capacity of 136 cc, an increase in power to 175 hp (130 kW) and a new exhaust system.

 R series

In 2004, bikes with the opposed-twin cylinder "boxer" engine were also revamped. The new boxer displacement is just under 1,200 cc, and is affectionately referred to a "hexhead" because of the shape of the cylinder cover. The motor itself is more powerful, and all of the motorcycles that use it are lighter.
The first motorcycle to be launched with this updated engine was the R1200GS dual-purpose motorcycle. The R1200RT tourer and R1200ST sports tourer followed shortly behind. BMW then introduced the 175 kg (390 lb), 105 kW (141 hp) HP2 Enduro, and the 223 kg (490 lb), 100 hp (75 kW) R1200GS Adventure, each specifically targeting the off-road and adventure-touring motorcycle segment, respectively. In 2007, the HP2 Enduro was joined by the road-biased HP2 Megamoto fitted with smaller alloy wheels and street tyres.
In 2006, BMW launched the R1200R and the R1200S, which is rated at 90 kW (121 hp) @ 8,250 rpm.

 F series

F 800S
BMW has also paid attention to the F Series in 2006. It lowered the price on the existing F650GS and F650GS Dakar, and eliminated the F650CS to make room in the lineup for the all-new F800 Series. The new motorcycles are powered by a parallel twin engine, built by Rotax. They feature either a belt drive system, similar to the belt drive found on the now defunct F650CS, or chain drive. Initially, BMW launched two models of the new F800 Series, the F800S sport bike and the F800ST sport tourer; these were followed by F650GS and F800GS dual-purpose motorcycles, both of which use the 798 cc engine despite the different names.[9]

 G series

G650 Xchallenge enduro
In October 2006, BMW announced the G series of offroad style motorcycles co-developed with Aprilia. These are equipped with an uprated single cylinder water cooled 652 cc fuel injected engine producing 53 hp (40 kW), similar to the one fitted to the single-cylinder F650GS, and are equipped with chain drive. There are three models in the series, all produced for BMW by Aprilia in their North Italian Scorzè Plant, each focused on a slightly different market:
  • G650 Xchallenge hard enduro featuring 21 inch front and 18 inch rear spoked wheels
  • G650 Xcountry scrambler / adventure sports featuring 19 inch front and 17 inch rear spoked wheels
  • G650 Xmoto street moto / supermoto featuring 17 inch cast alloy wheels
In some markets the single cylinder F650GS has been rebranded as the G650GS.[10]

 HP2 Series

First was the 175 kg (390 lb), 105 hp (78 kW) HP2 Enduro, followed by the road-biased HP2 Megamoto fitted with smaller alloy wheels and street tyres in 2007.
In April 2007, BMW announced its return to competitive road racing, entering a factory team with a "Sport Boxer" version of the R1200S to four 24-hour endurance races.[11] In 2008 they released this as the HP2 Sport.


The S1000RR is a super bike launched to compete in the 2009 Superbike World Championship.[12] It is powered by a 999 cc (61 cu in) inline-four engine producing 193 bhp (144 kW).

 Husqvarna acquisition

In July 2007, it was announced that BMW had signed a contract to acquire Husqvarna Motorcycles, including its production facilities and staff, from Italian manufacturer MV Agusta.[13][14]

 Engine types

There are currently four lines of BMW motorcycles:
  • F & G series singles
  • F series twins
  • R series
  • K series
The series differ primarily in the class of engine that each uses.

 F and G series singles

The F Series of single cylinder BMW motorcycles was first launched in 1994, as the F650, and was built by Aprilia around a carbureted 650 cc four-stroke, four valve, single piston engine, and chain drive. The mission for the F 650 was to provide an entry level BMW motorcycle. In 2000, the F650 was redesigned, now with fuel injection, and labeled the F650GS. An off-road focused F650 Dakar model was also launched that year. 2002 saw the addition of the F650CS 'Scarver' motorcycle to the line up. The Scarver was different from the F650GS variants in that it utilized a belt drive system opposed to a chain, had a much lower seat height, and was intended for on-road use. All F650 motorcycles produced from 2000 to 2007 used a 652 cc engine built in Austria by Rotax and were built by BMW in Berlin.
In late 2006, the G series of offroad biased bikes motorcycles was launched using the same 652 cc engine fitted to the F650GS, although that engine is no longer manufactured by Rotax.
In November 2007, the G450X sport enduro motorcycle was launched using a 450 cc single cylinder engine. The G450X contained several technological improvements over the Japanese off road racing motorcycles but the most unique and significant was the use of a single pivot point for the drive sprocket and the swing arm. This unusual configuration allowed for a very tense drive chain with no slop and eliminated acceleration squat. The former benefit saves on chain and sprocket wear and the later allows for a more consistent drive geometry and fully available rear suspension travel during heavy acceleration.

 F series twins

In mid 2006, The F Series added two new motorcycles to the lineup, the F800S sports bike and F800ST sports tourer, both which use an 798 cc parallel-twin engine built by Rotax. Both motorcycles also feature a belt drive system similar to what was in use on the F650S. In 2007 the single cylinder F650GS was replaced with the twin cylinder F800GS and F650GS models. The latter uses a de-tuned version of the 798 cc engine fitted to the F800GS,[9] marking a departure from BMW's naming convention.

 R series

Four different BMW valve covers.

1954 R68's two-fin valve cover
The R series are built around a horizontally opposed flat-twin boxer engine. As the engine is mounted with a longitudinal crankshaft, the cylinder heads protrude well beyond the sides of the frame, making the R series motorcycles visually distinctive. Originally, R series bikes had air-cooled heads ("air heads"), but are now produced only with oil-cooled heads ("oilheads" and "hexheads").
Photo of Four different BMW "heads": How do you tell the different BMW valve covers ("heads") since 1970 apart? The "airhead" cover on a 1973 R75/5 is upper left. The first "oilhead" cover, introduced in model year 1993 in Europe and 1994 in the US, is upper right. The "oilhead" cover on an R1150RT, with two spark plugs per cylinder, is lower left. The latest "hexhead" cover, with an optional valve cover protector, on an R1200RT, is lower right.
Photo of Pre-1970 valve cover: A common valve cover from 1952–1969 on models R50, R60, R50/2, R60/2, R51/3, R67, R67/2, R67/3 had six fins. The R50S, R68, R69, and R69S of this period had two-fin valve covers.

K series

The K series BMW's have water cooled engines of three (K75) or four (K100, K1100, K1200, K1300) cylinders. Until 2005, although currently in use on the K1200LT, the engine was longitudinal, laid out on its left side with the cylinder heads on the left and the crankshaft on the right. It is called the "Flying Brick" because of the appearance of this layout. Sales did not meet BMW's expectations, and production ceased with the 1993 model. By the end of the K series' run, 6,921 units had been produced.[15] In 2004, BMW introduced a new 4-cylinder water cooled engine that transverses the chasis and is tilted forward 55 degrees. The BMW K75, three-cylinder, models were produced from 1985 to 1996.

BMW K100 motorcycle engine circa 1986

BMW 2004 K 1200GT, style produced only two years
The first K-series production bike was the K100, which was introduced in the 1983. In 1988 BMW introduced the K1 which had the Bosch Motronic fuel injection system.
From 1985 to 1996, the K75 740 cc three-cylinder engine was produced.
In 1991 BMW increased the displacement of the K 100 from 987 cc, and the model designation became the K1100 (1,097 cc). The K1100LT was the first with the new engine displacement. In 1998 BMW increased the size again to 1,170 cc. This upgraded flat four engine appeared in the K1200RS. This engine is still in production for the K1200LT.
The later K1200 engine is a 1,157 cc transverse inline four, announced in 2003 and first seen in the 2005 K1200S. The new engine generates 123 kW (165 hp) an is tilted forwards 55 degrees. It is 43 cm (17 in) wide, giving the bikes a very low center of mass without reducing maximum lean angles.[16]
In October 2008, BMW announced the new K1300GT, K1300S and K1300R models, all of which feature a larger capacity 1293 cc engine producing up to 175 hp (130 kW). The new engine produces maximum power output 1,000 RPM lower than the previous engine, produces more torque due in part butterfly flap fitted in the exhaust.

 Model designation

BMW motorcycles are named according to a three-part code made up of the engine type, approximate engine volume, and styling information (e.g., sport, sport touring, luxury touring, etc.). The three parts are separated by blanks.[17][18][19]
Engine type
  • R - boxer engine, horizontally opposed flat twin cylinder
  • K - in-line 3 or 4 cylinder water-cooled engine
  • F & G - single or twin vertical cylinder water-cooled engine
Engine displacement in cc
  • Current models: 1300, 1200, 900, 800, 650 and 450. Previous models included 850, 1100, and 1150.
  • Older model BMWs divide the approximate engine displacement by ten for the model number. For example, K75 = approx 750 cc.

R1200RT-P police "motor"
Styling suffix designations:
  • C - Cruiser
  • CS - Classic Sport
  • G/S - Gelände/Strasse Off-road/Street
  • GS - Gelände Sport Off-road Sport (Enduro)
  • GT - Gran Turismo or Grand Touring
  • LT - Luxus Tourer (Luxury Tourer)
  • R - Road or Roadster - typically naked
  • RS - Reise Sport (Travel Sport)
  • RT - Reise Tourer (Travel Tourer)
  • S - Sport
  • ST - Strasse (Street) or Sport Tourer
  • T - Touring
Additionally, a bike may have the following modifiers in its name:
  • A - ABS
  • L - luxury
  • P - police
  • C - custom
  • PD - Paris Dakar
Examples: K1200S, R1200RT, F650GS, R1150RSL, K1200LT, K1200LT-C, R1200RT-P, R1200RSA.
Prior to the introduction of the K100 series and the R1100 series motorcycles, the letter prefix was always the same, and the numbers were either based on displacement, as mentioned above, or were just model numbers.


 Single-sided rear suspension

The first BMW monolever suspensions appeared in 1980 on the then-new R80G/S range. It had a single universal joint immediately behind the engine/gear-box unit. This system was later included on updated versions of the K & R Series.


Paralever is a further advance in BMW's single-sided rear suspension technology (photo right). It decouples torque reaction as the suspension compresses and extends, avoiding the tendency to squat under braking and reducing tyre chatter on the road surface. It was introduced in 1988 R80GS and R100GS motorcycles.

Revised, inverted Paralever on a R1200GS
In 2005, along with the introduction of the "hexhead", BMW inverted the Paralever and moved the torque arm from the bottom to the top of the drive shaft housing (photo right). This reduces underhang of components and tends to increase ground clearance in right lean.
It is believed[by whom?] that the term Paralever was developed due to the appearance of a parallelogram shape between the four items making up the rear suspension (rear drive, drive shaft, transmission, and lower or upper brace). Other motorcycle manufacturers have patented versions of this system, including Arturo Magni for MV Agusta and Moto Guzzi's Compact Reactive Shaft Drive.