BMW Announces Online Database of BMW Motorcycle Photos,
Historical Information and More
The new BMW Historical Archive includes information,
photos and details on motorcycle and automobile history, biographies of
famous motor racing personalities and more.
The information is categorized in several different
ways, and is available through individual keyword searches or by
selecting a year from an historical timeline.
We found the server to be very slow, but with patience,
the user can find reams of information and photographs covering the
entire BMW motorcycle history.
BMW claims that the Historical Archive makes the BMW
Group the only vehicle manufacturer in the world to offer fans of the
BMW brand, owners of historic BMW and Mini models, journalists and
agencies a freely researchable archive on the internet in this complex
format. The archive is available in both English and German.
Including the early days of the factory in Eisenach, the
company's history covers a period of around 100 years. The goal of
the Historical Archive is to gather together all documents of
significance to the company in one place in an organized fashion.
Important documents from the founding days of the
company to the year 1975 can be researched, and nearly 16,500 images are
available for viewing and ordering. "Thanks to the electronic
archive we are now able to offer all Internet users the possibility of a
virtual tour through the history of the BMW and MINI brands," says
Johann Raiger, who heads the BMW Group company archive.
The database is designed to enable users at all levels
of technical expertise and knowledge and with different objectives to
find what they are looking for as quickly as possible. In all,
there are four search functions to choose from: a simple search for
users without previous experience, a field and text search for
experienced database users, a thesaurus search for researchers, and an
One special feature of electronic searching is that all
the data is linked up. For example, if you are seeking information on a
particular model, you will be shown not only photos and technical data,
but also links to key personalities who played a role in the development
of the model.
Online Photo Purchase Available
The image database will be useful to journalists,
researchers and private customers. A simple guest login allows any
user to research the archive. A user name and password are only
required for ordering images. Photos can be ordered using a
shopping basket system.
A further service consists of a so-called "lightbox"
that activates after login and allows accessed data or entire lists of
hits to be deposited in working folders. These entries remain
stored and can be accessed again at the next login.
BMW Certificates of Authenticity
The company archive also offers owners of historic BMW
models the option of ordering certificates of authenticity. These
certificates are made of forgery-proof paper and list individual
specifications along with the exact completion and delivery date, the
engine and chassis number and - if available - details on equipment
levels of the relevant car or motorcycle.
Good Tip From
Visitor "M.M.": "Long time enthusiast here. Two
updates for your BMW stuff. I tried using the
Historical Archive site and it does not work outside of Europe for
vehicle certificates. There IS a place where the folks in the USA
can order the Certificates:
At the home page, click on SEARCH at the bottom. Enter certificate
in the search box and hit enter. There you can order the official
certificate of birth for just about any BMW car or motorcycle.
For online parts catalogs, go to
RealOEM.com and enter the last 7 digits of any car or motorcycle and
get the BMW ETK parts catalog instantly. It's a GREAT resource.
I worked with this guy (Rusty) to get the motorcycle pages working and
he has done a fine job. He does NOT sell parts, just provides the
reference data. Editor's Note: Thanks for the
tips, M.M. - the parts catalog is fantastic, let's hope BMW lets him
keep this site going, they haven't been too keen on non-BMW dealers
providing this information in the past!
The archive can be accessed on the internet in an
English and German version.