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2010-10-21 "BMW Year-end News Roundup."

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2010-10-21 "BMW Year-end News Roundup."

Posted 12/21/2010

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 to race.

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 clothes.

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’ Award.

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 future
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 the road.

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…

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