BMW K-Series Motorcycle
Editor's Note: We thought we'd publish this
interesting speech given by Hendrik von Kuenheim, the
President of BMW Motorrad.
The speech was given at the introduction of the new
BMW K Series at the Intermot 2008 Cologne show on
October 7, 2008.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Let me also welcome you warmly
to BMW Motorrad at the INTERMOT.
I am very pleased to celebrate the world premiere of
three BMW motorcycles here with you. The BMW
Motorrad model offensive continues with undiminished
Before we present the new models in our range for the
2009 season, I would like to look back briefly on this
year’s motorcycle season. In 2008 we launched no
less than six new models. The year began with the
model revision of the most successful BMW models ever.
The R 1200 GS and her sister model, the Adventure,
are still among the most popular motorcycles in the
world. Since March the dream bike of many boxer
fans has been on the market.
The HP2 Sport is the sportiest and most powerful
series production flat-twin of all time. What
makes it so fascinating are its exclusive detail
features which have only been seen in motorsports up to
In March we also launched two further Enduro models –
this time in the middle range. The F 800 GS
combines first-class off-road capabilities and
convincing all-round qualities like no other
middle-range Enduro at the moment.
With the two-cylinder F 650 GS we are continuing the
concept of the successful predecessor model. It is
a light, uncomplicated all-round motorcycle for the road
and the occasional light off-road trip.
And with the G 450 X we have moved into the Sports
Enduro segment for the first time. In typical BMW
style we are offering a highly innovative and
trailblazing sports bike. In line with this we
will significantly expand our commitment in Enduro
motorsports with this bike. We want to ride right
up front next season with a top team of riders.
Ladies and gentlemen, our model offensive will
contribute to BMW Motorrad achieving excellent sales
figures this year, too. This is especially
encouraging since all important motorcycle markets are
downshifting and some very fast indeed.
Markets such as Spain or Italy have shrunk
double-digit and in the US, sales also dropped by a high
single-digit figure. Here on the German market,
too, the downward trend still continues. Amplified
by the worldwide recession tendencies, the motorcycle
market in the segment above 500 cc dropped considerably
by more than 7 %. This development affected us,
In addition we have decided to change our sales
strategy. In future leading the German market in
terms of units sold will no longer be the main
objective, but rather the fact whether the dealer
network and thus also BMW Motorrad is doing solid
That is why we have significantly reduced our direct
sales promotion measures this year. This naturally
affects our sales figures which in Germany are 12
percent lower than last year’s up until August.
Looking at the situation worldwide, due to the weak
important markets, our deliveries to customers have
dropped slightly by 2.9 % compared to last year up
until. In Italy, our second-most important market,
we are 6% ahead compared to the previous year.
In France and Great Britain including Ireland we were
able to sell more motorcycles as compared to the same
period in 2007. However, this growth has not been
able to balance the downturn in other important markets
such as Germany, Spain and the USA.
However, if one looks at the market shares in the
segment above 500 cc, we have gained market share in all
relevant markets. Compared to the overall market,
BMW Motorrad has been able to hold its own very well.
You could almost call it a special BMW Motorrad economy.
In the prognosis for worldwide annual sales we expect
to come very close to last year’s record sales figure.
So we will only be taking a break regarding growth in
Once again the R 1200 GS and the GS Adventure were
the most popular BMW motorcycles. As expected,
middle-range Enduro sales of the F 800 GS and F 650 GS
are very positive. It should be noted here that we
are only currently beginning to deliver these models
Ladies and gentlemen, progress at our second brand,
Husqvarna Motorcycles, is very strong. Operative
business is very robust, meaning that motorcycle
availability in the markets and the spare parts business
are very stable. We have also been able to improve
product quality considerably. Deliveries are
proceeding according to plan.
As announced, Husqvarna will probably be delivering
about 30% more motorcycles than last year before BMW
took over. The plant in Cassinetta is undergoing
The separation of the Husqvarna and MV Augusta
production areas has been completed with the move of
Husqvarna’s engine production. By the middle of
next year the new headquarters on the factory grounds
will already commence operation.
In the meantime we are also making use of our synergy
potential. Husqvarna is cooperating with our
engineers in Munich in the engine development area and
the first BMW Motorrad dealers are offering Husqvarna
BMW S 1000 RR in final form.
Back to BMW: BMW Motorrad has always been a pioneer with
regards to environment protection and safety. We
already introduced the catalytic converter in the early
nineties and today our engines are among the most
efficient in the competitive field.
20 years ago, in 1988, we were the first manufacturer
to present an ABS braking system for motorcycles.
Today every BMW, with the exception of the G 450, is
available with ABS. No other manufacturer offers
such a wide ABS range. Worldwide more than 90% of
our bikes are equipped with ABS. This is unique in
the motorcycle industry and a great success.
We extended this innovation lead in the area of
safety with the first automatic stability control system
for motorcycles in 2006. We will continue to focus
strongly on our innovative power in the area of
environment technology and safety. I can announce
to you today that our S 1000 RR supersports bike will
already include a new generation of innovative control
In addition we are also thinking about other mobility
topics and customer needs of the future. In this
respect we also have our focus on the world’s
metropolitan areas. In the coming years we can
envision that - apart from the combustion engine - the
electric drive could be implemented in a new vehicle
concept at an acceptable price combined with an
acceptable range. Our core business, however, will
remain innovative, thrilling motorcycles which brings me
to our new models at the INTERMOT.
"New" BMW K-Series
You will remember that 25 years ago BMW Motorrad decided
to create a wider base for its model range. With
the introduction of the K Series in 1983 we launched a
motorcycle with four-cylinder inline engine for the
Next to our boxer models this gave our BMW Motorrad
range a second strong leg to stand on. In 2004 we
presented the K 1200 S, the first motorcycle of a new K
generation featuring a transverse inline four-cylinder
engine. We expanded the K Series with the K 1200
GT high-performance tourer and K 1200 R roadster.
We have sold almost 65,000 four-cylinder motorcycles
in the past four years. Now the time has come to
give this attractive model series a new and powerful
This brings me to the world premiere of the new K
model series. I use the term “new K Series” on
purpose because we have conducted profound changes both
with regards to all the technology and visual
Our aim was to significantly improve the three models
in terms of performance, handling, dynamics, visual
appeal and quality.
Allow me to point out a few central points. By
raising capacity to 1300 cc, our engineers have not only
increased output but also torque on all three models.
At the same time the driveline was intensively revised
from air/gas mixture formation right through to the
exhaust system. In this way we have been able to
optimize partial load behavior as well as throttle
Now the clutch can be operated with even less effort
and with greater refinement. Shifting has been
improved tangibly due to constructional changes to the
gearbox and drive. Both the K 1300 S and also the
R will also have the shift assistant - familiar from the
HP2 Sport - available as an option for the first time.
We have also advanced the chassis. The new
lower longitudinal strut is now made of aluminum and is
thus considerably lighter. This makes the front
wheel guidance response even more sensitive. The
result of this comprehensive development work is
superior handling, improved rideability and lower fuel
The electronically adjustable suspension – called ESA
in short – was launched as a world first on the K 1200
S. Now we are presenting the new, well-proven ESA
II as an option for the K Series, too.
Apart from the suspension and damping this unique
system also allows the spring rate to be adjusted at the
press of a button.
In addition to the standard BMW Integral ABS, our
customers can again order ASC Automatic Stability
Control as a sensible extra. The K Series model
revision also heralds a new and innovative generation of
switches and controls.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is simply not enough time
to present all the measures here. Please also see
the comprehensive press material for further details.
Now let me briefly come to the individual models:
With a maximum output of 175 horsepower and a maximum
torque of 140 Newton meters, the new K 1300 S is until
today the most powerful and fastest series production
BMW of all time.
We have changed the chassis geometry for even more
neutral cornering and even greater agility. More
than ever before the “S” combines sportiness, riding
dynamics and easy handling with comfort and perfect
The new design also suits these significantly
improved properties. The K 1300 S now has a much
slimmer and sportier visual appeal due to these numerous
BMW K 1300 R
The K 1300 R is a high-performance bike of quite a
different kind. No other BMW radiates its power
with such force as this naked bike. With newly
designed fairing and trim as well as a more compact
front wheel guard, the new K Roadsters now has a more
stretched dynamic look.
We have also revised the “R” chassis geometry
compared to the predecessor model. The new
settings ensure even greater agility without losing any
ride stability. With 173 horsepower, a maximum
torque of 140 Newton meters and a weight of only 243
kilograms, our extravagant power roadster meets our
customers’ highest demands regarding riding dynamics.
BMW K 1300 GT
Our third new model at the Intermot will extend its
worldwide market leadership among the dynamic tourers
even further. The K 1300 GT has also profited from
the raised capacity and has been significantly improved
in all ride dynamics areas compared to her predecessor.
With an output of 160 horsepower and a torque of 135
Newton meters, the K 1300 GT stands for “Gran Turismo“
at the highest level. In order to emphasize the
touring character compared to the other K models, we
focused more on pulling power at low and medium engine
speeds for the GT.
Like no other high-performance tourer, the K 1300 GT
combines the highest possible level of agility and
sporty dynamics with a travel-suitable overall package.
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s the theory on our new K
Series. Now get ready to experience the three
Ladies and gentlemen, the new BMW K Series.
Here you can see another motorcycle standing next to me.
I think I know what you’re suspecting. I will hand
you over to Peter Müller, the head of development and
model series, and he will unveil the secret. Could
I ask you to step up, Mr Müller …"
Speech by Peter Müller Executive Vice President
Development and Model Lines
October 7, 2008 - "Ladies and gentlemen, I would also like to welcome
you very warmly. Before you look at our K 1300
models close-up, I would ask for a moment of your
attention. We would like to inform you briefly
about our motorsports activities, especially about our
As far as our off-road plans for the 2009 season are
concerned, we will inform you later this year. At
this point I can only say this much: we have a lot
planned next year and a couple of surprises in store.
However, today l want to concentrate on on-road
motorsports. In 2007 and 2008 our factory team
competed against strong competition with the HP2 Sport
in a total of nine international long distance races.
Famous endurance classics such as Le Mans, Bol d’Or
and Daytona 200 were raced. Considering how far
the other teams were ahead of us with regards to
performance and experience, we did very well and
achieved the successes we were aiming for.
The encouraging reactions also clearly showed how the
public welcomes the renewed BMW Motorrad commitment in
BMW in World Superbike
Apart from competing itself these two years were also
important in preparing for the Superbike world
championship. We used the time to update our
racetrack skills and knowledge and gained a lot of
By entering the Superbike world championship we are
taking the next step. The interesting and very
emotional long-distance commitment by BMW Motorrad is
thus over for the time being. However, we are
convinced that the BMW brand will be represented by
private teams riding our S 1000 RR in the Endurance
This brings me to our Superbike project. Let me
say a few words about our S 1000 RR – our series
motorcycle – before I talk about our racing activities.
I can already promise you that this completely new
motorcycle with 1000 cc inline four cylinder engine will
be an absolutely convincing and competitive offer both
with regards to price and technology.
I will point this out by highlighting a few details:
With its compact cylinder head the engine has a very
slim design. The valves are operated by very
small, compact and light cam followers whose dimensions
are at Formula One level.
This type of construction ensures very high engine
speeds and permits the greatest degree of freedom in
designing the engine with regard to torque and output.
The motorcycle will weigh less than 205 kg fully
fuelled. That means we will be right up front next
year regarding output-to-weight ratio. Overall the
entire package is very compact and light. Which of
course mainly benefits the handling of the motorcycle.
And, ladies and gentlemen, thanks to specially
developed electronics components on the S 1000 RR, BMW
Motorrad is once again the trailblazer in this area.
A dynamic traction control will be available for our
supersports bike. The functional principle of this
traction control is taken directly from motorsports.
In addition a completely new Sport ABS will be
available for the series model. We are totally
convinced that we have here exactly what the customer
wants. The S 1000 RR will be thrilling to ride
both on the road and on the racetrack. Handling,
output delivery and output-to-weight will be at top
A great deal of inventive details will contribute to
the S 1000 RR achieving an illustrious place in the
series of four-cylinder motorcycles. The
motorcycle can be ordered from spring 2009.
As far as our motorsports preparations for the
Superbike world championship are concerned we have been
able to win over two real Superbike racing personalities
for our team – Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser.
We are very proud of having these two riders in our
Motorsport Team. With the Spaniard Ruben Xaus we
have a great, aggressive rider capable of enormous
emotion and racing passion who has Superbike WC and
MotoGP experience and is consistently up at the front in
this year’s Superbike World Championship.
I don’t need to tell you much about Troy Corser.
With over 300 races the Australian is the most
experienced rider in the Supebike World Championship.
Two World Championship titles and countless victories
and podium positions speak for themselves.
These two riders are ideal for us. I would even go so
far as to say they are the absolute dream team.
Their long years of experience will be very valuable
especially in the challenging early stages. They
will contribute greatly to us reaching the level of the
top teams as fast as possible.
As we already announced, BMW Motorrad is not joining
the Superbike World Championship just for the fun of
taking part. Our mid-term goal is quite clearly to
win the World Championship title. We are exactly
on schedule regarding the development of the race bike.
As you know our racing activities are carried out in
close cooperation with our partner Alpha-Racing.
The newly built racing team headquarters near Rosenheim
have been operational for some time and will be
officially opened this month. Our racing bike will
be further refined in the workshops there as well as on
diverse test tracks.
The entire team is highly motivated and can’t wait
for the first race. In April of this year we
presented the first racing bike prototype. Some of
you have already witnessed us testing the bike on the
Today we are proud to be able to present to you the
official race bike for the Superbike World Championship
2009. May I ask our head of motorports Berti
Hauser and our model series manager Markus Poschner to
join me up on the stage. Ladies and gentlemen,
here is the (BMW
S 1000 RR) race bike by BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team
Alpha Racing for the season 2009."
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