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BMW Motorrad hit the scene in a big way in 1923 with the R 32, a machine designed by Max Friz which featured the first ever flat-twin boxer motorcycle engine (read the BMW Motorrad Boxer Twin Motorcycle Engine History article). The remaining years of the decade saw the brand expand its offering with bikes like the single-cylinder R 39, the 750cc R 63, and the iconic R 11.
During the ’30s, BMW introduced the first telescopic fork on a motorcycle and further refined its chassis and engine design. A decline in the ’40s as a result of World War II led to a resurgence in the ’50s with machines like the R 25/3, which was one of BMW’s bestselling models ever, and the R 50, which marked a step forward in motorcycle design for the brand. Later models like the R 50/5, R 60/5, and R 75/5 can all trace elements of their build to the R 50.
Subsequent decades saw BMW reach impressive milestones with the R 90 S, the brand’s first model larger than 750cc. It introduced the first G/S model in 1981 and launched the first-ever motorcycle to feature ABS in 1988. It has since grown the GS platform into one of the most popular motorcycle lines worldwide, designed race-dominating sportbikes, luxury touring machines, and heritage-inspired cruisers. It remains an innovative leader in new motorcycle technology and safety systems and garners plenty of interest from riders around the world thanks to models like the S 1000 RR, the R 1250 GS, the R 18, K 1600 B, and many others.