Sports activities from BMW


Sports activities from BMW

Sports activities from BMW

Incredible change

It’s no secret that BMW has been building ever sportier motorcycles for a number of years. It is now becoming apparent that Bayern will go much further on this path than many thought possible.

BMW Motorrad builds super sports cars? What a thought. Five years ago such a statement would have been rejected by BMW officials with flaming indignation. Anyone who was able to chat with them occasionally had to get the impression that engines with a five-digit rated speed and more than 100 hp were the same as the customs of Sodom and Gomorrah in terms of depravity. The writer of these lines can remember a self-critical BMW man who seemed to regard the 138 hp of the K 1200 RS, which weighed almost 280 kilograms, as a kind of fall from grace.
If it was, it released a lot of positive energy. Everywhere the Bavarians are pushing towards sport and are developing the corresponding motorcycles at full speed. Which, on the edge, probably has to do with the less old-young attitude towards life of the managers at the helm today, but mainly follows an obvious economic calculation. Because with a wealthy, middle-aged, regular customer base and a conservative mindset, BMW has achieved what it can achieve in terms of sales success. Substantial further growth is only expected through the
Development of new customer groups arise? while at the same time carefully maintaining the existing ones. Motorcycles like the R 1200 R serve this purpose. The other is pursued by motorcycles such as the sensational prototype of a competition enduro, which was launched at the start of the Enduro DM, or the recently presented G 650 models. With a cool supermoto and a crisp Enduro, they even show in a model series that BMW comprehensively understands the terms “sport” and “sporty”: as sport on the road and off-road.

BMW future:
Road racing on all slopes The model offensive of the Munich manufacturer in recent years has tied up enormous development capacities that cannot be expanded at short notice and at will. The Italian engineering office Oral Engineering owes this fact an attractive order: Design and construction of an extremely strong technology carrier. It haunted the news under the name “MotoGP prototype” and was widely ridiculed because of its expansive dimensions and its allegedly problematic performance characteristics. Only a few believed without reservation the statement by BMW published with the first photo. It said it was a test laboratory for testing electronic driving aids such as traction control or ABS that is suitable for bends.
And in fact, BMW was probably not pursuing such a broad interest in knowledge with the project as this declaration suggested. According to the motto: We test what we will build into our tourers later. However, it wasn’t as tightly focused on a MotoGP bike as many thought either. As a manufacturer with a solid development budget, you should try unconventional technology when starting from scratch to develop a super sports car. In any case, the orientation to existing models alone does not result in a future-oriented concept.
This is why other prototypes with a wide variety of chassis designs have been and are being tested in parallel to the oral engineering design. There was evidence of a modified Suzuki GSX-R 1000 with Telelever front wheel guidance as well as of individual K 1200 S that took place
of the Duolever, derived from the Hossack fork, had a conventional telescopic fork. Apparently the engineers are carefully investigating whether the criticism that Tele and Duolever lack the feeling for the front wheel in the limit area is justified. Just a few weeks ago, BMW carried out extensive chassis tests with various configuration levels of the R 1200 S, including motorcycles with telescopic forks. The aim was to determine the configuration for use in the World Endurance Championship. You read that right. In the season that has just started, BMW will contest six long-distance races with a modified boxer. Of course, not with the aim of achieving podium positions, but rather in the position of the sympathetic underdog, who should not be underestimated. The first outing will likely be at the six-hour race in Albacete on May 5th. According to reliable sources, the choice finally fell on a near-series chassis. Nevertheless, the endurance boxer starts in the prototype class. Which suggests major engine modifications or the option of using further evolutionary stages if necessary. Or both.
In France in particular, the endurance races will help to profile BMW as a sporty manufacturer; they will help in the development of the next generation of boxers anyway. Just like the use of an R 1200 S for the 1000 kilometers from Hockenheim on Easter Saturday, April 7th. The most important effect, however, will be to strengthen the road racing competence of Bavaria for entry into the Superbike World Championship in 2009. Because the activities described will amount to building a super sports car with a 1000cc four-cylinder, combined with racing at the highest production level. There are reliable indications for this from various sources.

Off-road sport and growth:
KTM as a role model Anyone who wants to understand what BMW intends to do with its foray into the competitive enduro segment must look to Austria and North America. BMW’s neighbor KTM builds what can be successfully sold across the Atlantic: all kinds of off-road motorcycles. Last year the brand in Orange produced just over 80,000 motorcycles, 59 percent of them off-roaders. Of these, 30 percent were sold in the United States.
By consistently strengthening its off-road competence over many years, KTM has worked its way up to BMW in terms of unit numbers, even if the Austrians’ sales are significantly below those of the Bavarians due to a high proportion of inexpensive motorcycles. What could change soon. Because KTM is in the process of tapping into the street motorcycle market. BMW recognizes the potential in KTM’s core business and is going exactly the opposite way. As an aside, it should be noted that Buell will also present a 450cc sports enduro in summer 2007.
In connection with the off-road sport activities, there are rumors that BMW wants to buy the Husqvarna branch of his group of companies from MV Agusta boss Claudio Castiglioni. Despite harsh denials, they are currently receiving new food all the time. At the beginning of March, a BMW delegation is said to have held talks about who will switch from the MV employees to the new Husqvarna owner. It remains to be seen whether the takeover will include the trademark rights in addition to the employees, the production facilities and the existing and developing motorcycles. Because the rights belong to Husqvarna Aktiebolag in Stockholm; Claudio Castiglioni may only use them within the framework of a license agreement and against payment of royalties. On the question of whether BMW and Husqvarna AB were in negotiations, spokesmen for both companies refused to comment. Which usually means they are really negotiating.
But no matter whether under the flag of Husqvarna or BMW, no matter whether the property is only needed in Northern Italy to produce the G models there after the expiry of the cooperation agreement with Aprilia, or whether there is much more to it? the 450 sports enduro and the G 650 Xchallenge are just the tip of the iceberg. A racing kit is already being offered for the Xchallenge and a sponsoring package is being raffled off among interested hobby enduro riders. BMW has hired the former cross professional Bernd Eckenbach as an »ambassador« for its commitment to popular sport. Let’s see what other projects the Ambassador is still working on diplomatically for.

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