Riding in the dirt in the beginning , it was a necessity .
The roads that we take for granted today didn't exist when the first BMW motorcycles were developed today .
Finding good roads isn't a problem .
And the machines we build are better equipped than ever to take advantage of them .
But some of our most loyal customers continue to ride in the dirt .
And our best selling motorcycle ever is a bike designed to be as capable off the road as it is on the road .
2010 marks the 30 year anniversary of the BMW G S motorcycle for three decades .
This legendary machine has been crossing borders and shattering the boundaries of what a motorcycle can be .
But what makes the G S unique and why has it become the icon of adventure riding ?
BMW engines were first tested by legendary fighter pilots like Baron Manfred Von RTO , the infamous Red Baron over the skies of Europe in the early 19 hundreds , renamed the Bavarian Motor Works on July 21st , 1917 BMW S origins began with the Rap Motor works , an airplane engine company established in Munich after World War one , the Treaty of Versailles effectively ended Germany's aero engineering programs and the BMW engineers began focusing on small engines for motorcycles .
At the helm of the company's engine design group was a young Austrian Air force officer named Max Fritz , originally responsible for aircraft engines like the BMW three A Fritz turned his attention to motorcycles .
The bikes developed were used and tested on the soil in which they were created .
The Bavarian Alps , a rugged environment with unpredictable weather and tightly winding roads .
You start in the sunshine , you can get into the rain , into snow , into hail , you get standard good road , you can get on gravel roads and this is the normal motorcycle ride of life .
Everything is offered there from type of surfaces that you have , types of weather that you have and this is basically a neat place to test bikes .
September 28 1923 the day BMW changed the motorcycle industry forever .
At the Berlin Automobile show BMW unveiled its first fully manufactured motorcycle .
The now iconic R 32 in 1923 the first motorcycle with a transverse mounted engine and shaft drive the BMW R 32 BMW S flat twin engine was revolutionary to overcome the heat problems suffered by the rear cylinder in a typical horizontally opposed configuration .
Designer , Max Fritz rotated his engine 90 degrees , placing it at a right angle to the direction of travel , he then mounted the gearbox directly to the engine .
This enabled him to run a shaft to a bevel drive at the rear wheel .
Instead of using a chain drive , the bevel design had also proven itself on airplane engines and Fritz took full advantage of its inherent reliability , lower vibrations and reduced maintenance requirements .
The boxer engine used on today's most powerful GS motorcycle is a direct descendant of the engine used on the R 32 motorcycle of 1923 .
At that time , our machines attained something like the perfect design .
It was with these models that BMW established the reputation of the blue and white badge .
Very soon BMW motorcycles were to dominate race tracks around the world in sporting competitions .
They were among the front runners from the very start .
Second bike was a racing machine .
The R 37 designed by engineer Rudolph Schleicher in 1926 Schleicher became the first German to win gold on British soil when he brought the R 37 to the six days in a row in England .
S most respected racers at the time were equally at home on the track or in the dirt with Ernst 10 being the archetypal all around rider , whether in the mud or through the water .
No challenge was too great for BMW S early riders .
What was perhaps different in those days when it came to people like Ans Tenor was their wide ranging talent , Ans Tenor , not only claimed world speed records , he also competed in off road racing circuit racing and ice racing and was therefore much more of an all round talent than perhaps today's idols can aspire to be .
BMW has always used racing as a platform to push the limits of performance and competition .
As a testing ground for new technologies .
The telescopic front suspension was one of the company's most enduring early innovations and it remained in use on all of BMW S production motorcycles until 1993 when the new tele lever suspension appeared first on a sport touring boxer and then the new R 1100 G S in the 19 forties , BMW began making motorcycles for the German military .
The R 71 model was such a utilitarian workhorse that the United States government asked Harley Davidson to build a model like the BMW and the Russian motorcycle manufacturer makes a similar model to this day .
The ultimate sidecar machine was the R 75 a £925 monster that featured nine gears and could ride over almost any terrain while carrying two people and a machine gun .
It was the King Tiger of the motorcycle battlefield when Germany was invited back to the six days in Duro in 1951 .
BMW continued to make improvements to their off road motorcycles .
This time , the bikes were increasingly different from the production models with larger front wheels , raised exhaust systems , telescopic forks with gators , protective oil pan covers and crash bars compared to the lighter two stroke machines .
Of the day , the heavy BMW models were seen as relics from the past .
In 1963 a new frame and suspension was unveiled which resulted in a shorter wheel base and improved ground clearance .
The new bike won the German off road championship in 1964 and 1965 .
These technological developments led BMW by the end of the decade to release a new model range , the slash five which marked the beginning of BMW S modern era .