What a year it’s been for BMW Motorrad, with new models unveiled, special
anniversary celebrations, superb sales and sporting success, and the promise
of even more excitement to come in 2011. There’s never enough space to list
all the many achievements of course, but here’s a brief, end-of-year report
on our ‘best of the best’ in 2010.
The accolades for the awesome S 1000 RR in its first full year of competition
are almost too numerous to mention, but here are a few of the highlights:
In the 2010 Superbike World Championship. Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser posted
a total of eight top-five-finishes, and Troy clinched the team’s first pole
position and podium finishes. In the high-profile Superstock 1000 FIM Cup that
supports the WSBK championship, BMW Motorrad Italia’s Ayrton Badovini took
the S 1000 RR’s first international title and set a new motorsports record
when he won nine out of ten races – including an astounding seven victories
from the first seven rounds – and securing the title with three rounds yet
The RR claimed its first national title as early as August, when Gregory Fastré
won the Belgian Superbike Championship. This was followed by complete dominance
in the French Superbike Championship (Erwan Nigon and Sébastien Gimbert); clear
victory in the Stock Extreme category of the Spanish Superbike Championship
for Team Motorrad rider Javier Forés; victory in two of the UK’s most competitive
race series, with Steve Brogan taking the inaugural British Superbike-EVO Championship
and Jon Kirkham dominating the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship.
The 2010 Finnish Superbike Championship was won by Sami Penna in his debut
season using the RR, while over in Canada, three BMW riders occupied the top
five of the 2010 Canadian Superbike Championship behind seven-time champion
Jordan Szoke. The International German Superbike Championship saw Belgian rider
Werner Daemen claim second place overall, while in the USA, BMW riders – more
often than not supported by their local dealers – took many wins in regional
and State championships.
On the road, Scottish rider Keith Amor had a stunning victory in the North
West 200 Superstock race on an RR back in June, while late in November, American
racer Jeremy Toye added his name to the RR success story with a hard-fought
third place podium finish at the Macau Grand Prix.
Off-road sport was also packed full of success stories for BMW Motorrad. Simo
Kirssi celebrated his third German Cross Country title and his second aboard
the powerful BMW G 450 X back in August, while in early October the ‘flying
Finn’ ended his BMW supremacy with one more title after winning the 2010 European
Cross Country Championship in his last ever race aboard the BMW G 450 X. In
total, Kirssi won 16 of the 24 cross country races he officially entered since
2008, taking two German and three European titles during that period.
In early June, BMW Husqvarna Motorsport’s Andi Lettenbichler claimed a superb
runner-up result at the 10th running of the Erzberg Rodeo’s Red Bull Hare Scramble.
Completing the gruelling event in a time of just under two hours, Letti was
one of only 16 finishers. In early July, ‘Letti’ grabbed a podium spot after
five days of the Red Bull Romaniacs Extreme Enduro – one of the most brutal
races worldwide – and then another podium finish was secured by him at the
Roof of Africa in late November.
In Stunt Riding, Chris Pfeiffer and his BMW F 800 R successfully defended
his 2009 German Stuntriding Open title at the Hockenheimring, where the Bavarian
rider proved he has still got what it takes to beat the rest of the world’s
best freestyle riders.
It has been well documented that product placement is one of the best ways
to get your brand noticed and the dedicated followers of fashion among us
cannot failed to have noticed how often BMW bikes have been used as a backdrop
for magazine and fashion-shoots, often accompanied by gorgeous girls in beautiful
Top designers such as Thomas Kirchgrabner for LISKA, Marcel Ostertag, Karl
Lagerfeld and Kinga Horvath have supplied bespoke designer clothes for fashion
shoots that have appeared in magazines worldwide and have included celebrity
models such as Leslie Porterfield and Najet El Kamel. The venues have been
equally spectacular and have featured the top-secret BMW wind tunnel in Munich;
World Superbike pit-lane and grids around the world; downtown Dubai; and even
the Rowenta elite Model Look Germany 2010 competition in Berlin.
Celebration and dedication
2010 has been a year of celebrations, activities and getting involved – locally,
nationally and internationally – with BMW Motorrad. Because the 30th anniversary
of the GS is being celebrated in 2010, a special limited edition GS range
was unveiled, and was an instant success, as was a special ‘Thank You GS’
online photo-book, which has received nearly 1000 entries from dedicated
owners worldwide. Believe it or not, there is even a special wine that has
been produced for Adventure riders, available from the Californian vineyard
of GS owner Mike Kuimelis.
The announcement of the second BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy in South
Africa attracted twice as many entries as the inaugural event in Tunisia in
2008. After intense ‘national’ qualifiers all over the world, 10 teams from
12 nations battled over seven days in November in South Africa, Swaziland and
Mozambique to win the coveted Trophy title and become known as the best GS
riders in the world. In the end, Team UK won, but the South Africans and Scandinavians
pushed them all the way, with only one point separating first and second places.
BMW Motorrad Days in Garmisch-Partenkirchen celebrated 10 years of success
in July with record crowds, fantastic weather and an action-packed event programme.
Those who were unable to make it to Germany for the anniversary celebration
were encouraged to follow all the information on the new BMW Motorrad Facebook
site, including live chats with celebrities who came along to join the biker
party. Launched in March, the official Facebook page was designed to keep fans
up to speed with all the latest news and developments from BMW Motorrad. So
far, it has been a massive success story, with well over 100,000 regular visitors.
All over the world, BMW riders are achieving personal goals by riding further
than they thought possible, visiting areas where people have never seen motorcycles
before and experiencing the world on two wheels as never before. Joined by
a firm belief that a full life is preferable to a long life, adventure riders
are using BMW bikes to push their own boundaries and discover new horizons.
Serious distances are being ‘racked up’ too, such as those achieved by Darren
Sandler, who in February celebrated the fantastic achievement of riding 200,000
miles (320,000 kilometres) in just under five years on his K 1200 LT. Or what
about 80-year-old Dave Swisher, who has covered a staggering 1.5 million miles
(2,400,000 kilometres) in less than 30 years on BMW motorcycles. To put that
distance in perspective, that’s the same as riding to the moon and back more
than three times!
For those who want to see the world, a big variety of touring companies exist
to help you realise your dreams, while sharing the experience with other like-minded
riders. One of the stand-out Adventure Tour companies in 2010 has to be GlobeBusters,
who took a team of BMW GS riders on a 13,000-mile (20,000 kilometres) journey
all the way from London to Beijing in China, defying revolutionaries, raging
rivers, collapsed roads and corrupt officials.
The ten-week, 17,000km journey connected BMW riders worldwide with a love
for travel. However, the GlobeBusters team is currently attempting something
even more ambitious – to lead the biggest group endurance ride the world has
ever seen. “Discover our Earth” covers 40,000 miles (65,000km) and five continents
in around 250 days. The 30 international GS riders set off from Austria on
21 November and will be on the road until July 2011. Wish them well and be
sure to follow their trip online.
As predicted, the awards and accolades came thick and fast in 2010, kicked
off by five of the best for BMW Motorrad at the Motorräder Dortmund expo
in March, where Germany’s ‘Motorrad’ magazine celebrated the best bikes of
2010. For the first time ever, BMW Motorrad swept the board, taking all five
motorcycle awards. The S 1000 RR won the hotly-contested Sports category
in its first year; the K 1300 GT won the Best Touring Bike category, with
the R 1200 RT in third place; and the R 1200 GS / Adventure were class leaders
in the Enduro /Supermotard segment. The K 1300 S won the Best All-Rounder
category, with the R 1200 R scooping the top award for the Best Naked Bike.
BMW Motorrad’s communication agency (Serviceplan) also collected a few awards
of its own at the Spotlight international advertising film festival. It won
Gold in the Visions category for a Ruben Xaus video, as well as Bronze in the
‘No Limits’ and ‘Public’s Choice’ categories for the same film; and Bronze
in the ‘Web and Mobile’ category for its “Dinner for RR” clip. This clip received
more than 1.1 million clicks in less than a week after it was launched on BMW.TV/com
and has since gone on to become the most successful BMW film on You Tube ever.
In July the S 1000 RR was awarded the ‘2010 Sportsbike of the Year’ title
by the United Kingdom’s Fast Bikes magazine, beating off all the competition
from Japan, Italy and the UK – including the Honda Fireblade, Ducati 1198 S
Corse, Aprilia RSV4 R and Triumph Daytona 675 – to win this prestigious award.
The following month, the RR was honoured with three ‘Best of’ awards from
the American media. Robb Report named the S 1000 RR as the best sportbike in
its annual ‘Best of the Best’ issue in June. In July, Cycle World followed
by awarding the RR ‘Best Superbike for 2010’; and in the September issue of
Motorcyclist, editors chose the RR for its coveted ‘Motorcycle of the Year’
More good news came in early November, when the RR was crowned Motorcycle
News’ Machine of the Year. Judged and presented by the UK’s biggest-selling
motorcycle publication, the RR blew the judges away and secured the most competitive
award category of all: MCN’s ‘Machine of the Year’, as well as ‘Best Sportsbike
over 751cc’. BMW’s R 1200 RT, the best-selling touring motorcycle in the UK,
also won the ‘Tourer of the Year’ award.
Meanwhile, Down Under, it has recently been announced that the RR has won
three out of four possible prestigious awards from the top two selling magazines
in Australia. Two Wheels Magazine has awarded the RR as its ‘Readers Choice
Bike of the Year’, while Australian MC News has also given the RR awards for
‘Readers Choice Motorcycle of the Year’ and ‘Motorcycle of the Year’.
All these accolades go to show just how big a success story the RR has been
with the media, owners and motorcycle sports fans worldwide. What we’re all
really waiting for though is the RR’s first Superbike World Championship victory.
Roll on 2011…
The first of this year’s big motorcycle shows gave us a glimpse of the future,
when the awe-inspiring six-cylinder K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL luxury tourers
were unveiled at Intermot in Cologne in October. Technically advanced, incredibly
powerful and very attractive to look at, it will seem like a long wait until
the New Season Start arrives and these incredible machines can be seen on
At Milan’s EICMA show in November came yet another welcome surprise, when
the covers were lifted off the Concept C design study that showed BMW Motorrad’s
intention to bring us a range of big scooters in the near future. Clearly showing
that a functional machine such as a scooter can look fantastic and perform
like a sports bike, this sleek, desirable and futuristic head-turner is proof
of BMW Motorrad’s ambitions to continue to enter new market segments.
With a revamped R 1200 R and a second, ‘classic’ variant, as well as a new
G 650 GS single-cylinder enduro bike on the way early in 2011, things are looking
very exciting for BMW Motorrad fans across the globe. The Unstoppable success
story continues apace and many enthusiasts are currently convincing themselves
– and their partners – that there is surely enough room for more than just
one BMW motorcycle in their garage…