The BMW Museum in Munich, Germany, opened its 100 Years of BMW Motorrad exhibit on May 12 in celebration of the company’s centennial. More than just a collection of bikes, the museum “bowl” will include numerous displays that will include history, parts, gear, and recognition of BMW Motorrad clubs around the world. But of course, there will also be the bikes, including more than 55 original motorcycles, some of which are being displayed for the first time on their own platform, and staying to the spirit of an anniversary celebration, many historical models will be featured next to current ones. And looking toward the future, the exhibit will also include the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 vehicle. For more information, read the press release below.
In honor of these motorized two-wheelers, which have always supported the sporty, dynamic image of Bayerische Motoren Werke and today contribute significantly to its economic success, the BMW Museum will be displaying more than 55 original motorcycles from 10 decades in its world-famous Museumsschüssel (Museum Bowl).
Built in 1973, this round building’s architecture continues to fascinate visitors to this day and boasts themed displays comprising roughly 15 stations. Five larger exhibition levels are dedicated to the best-known BMW Motorrad designers, the various customer interests, the most captivating motorcycle combinations, and remarkable models.
In addition, unique treasures from the BMW Group Classic historic collection of vehicles will be displayed to the public for the first time on their own dedicated platform.
A Thrilling Journey Through 100 years of BMW Motorrad History
At the center of the exhibition are a number of original motorcycles spanning a period of 100 years, which present an appropriate depiction of the development of the BMW Motorrad brand over time. The exhibition also draws on tanks, benches, lights, rider’s helmets, frames, and smaller technical details to trace exciting lines of development from the past to the present. Space is also devoted to specific aspects such as motorsports, electromobility, research and development, and advertising, as well as the fascinating world experienced by two globetrotters on their BMW motorcycles.
Exported to more than 110 countries to date, the company’s vehicles for use by the authorities play a decisive role at international scale. The exhibition will also highlight the BMW Motorrad clubs organized around the globe.
BMW Museum Showcases Motorcycle Pairings From Past and Present
In the exhibition’s wide-ranging content, the concept of the anniversary exhibition proceeds in principle from motorcycle pairings, with a historical vehicle in each case being placed beside a current one. This creates many interesting contrasts on the subjects of innovation, super-athletes, combinations, full cladding, and urban mobility. Visitors will find the most valuable pieces in the exhibition on the way from platform 2 to Motorsport. Here, two machines are presented that are associated with victory in the legendary Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man: in this road race, which is probably the most difficult in the world, Schorsch Meier was successful on his BMW R 255 Kompressor, and 75 years later Michael Dunlop placed first on a BMW S 1000 RR.
Here, the anniversary exhibition honors the drivers, designers, and developers from 100 years of BMW Motorrad history and at the same time references production in the BMW Group plant in Berlin-Spandau.
One of many highlights in the exhibition is the parade of fascinating BMW R 18 models, which is presented in a range of model variants. These alone would be worth a separate exhibition in this format. This is also true for the fully clad powerhouse from the batch of a BMW K1 and BMW R 1250 RT.
The final touch is added by the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 vehicle, which has been known since 2016 and gives an outlook into the future of the motorcycle.
Interactive stations encourage visitors to actively engage with the exhibition; for example, a special photo station on platform 2 creates unforgettable moments for visitors as they explore. Visitors will also be able to hop onto each of two original BMW motorcycles, a couple of which we also encounter here. They can take their place behind the handlebars of a BMW R 25 from the 1950s and a current BMW S 1000 RR.
There’s even more BMW Motorrad to enjoy in the permanent exhibition. Since it’s re-opening in 2008, the BMW Museum has dedicated around 10 rooms and stations to the history of BMW motorcycles. Various topics give greater insight here, whether it’s the very first motorcycle, the BMW R 32; an overview all depicting around 25 milestones; or impressive examples from motorcycle racing.
For more information, visit the BMW Museum website.