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BMW’s Year in Review

A Year to Remember

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 04, 2008
BMW Motorrad has been churning out exciting new product for the past couple of years in an effort to reinvigorate the brand so it appeals to younger riders. To bolster a more stimulating reputation, BMW has been making news around the world in 2007. You’ll find a month-by-month recap below.
-Motorcycle.com

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A Year to Remember

January

Vuelta Al Mundo reaches Chile

The BMW Riders Around the World Relay arrives in Santiago, Chile – the halfway stage of its journey around the planet and each R 1200 GS Adventure having already covered 44,000 miles.

Dreaming of Jupiter

Ted Simon – one of motorcycling’s greatest adventurers – publishes Dreaming of Jupiter, which documents his second circumnavigation of the world, at the age of 70 on a BMW R 80 G/S. It is set to become as popular as his acclaimed book, Jupiter’s Travels.

February

BMW wins at Le Touquet!

For the first time, a BMW rider on an HP2 Enduro wins the ‘holeshot’ prize at Le Touquet beach race. In heavy wind and rain, and at speeds approaching 125 mph on the sand, local rider Jean-Charles Lenain beats 922 other riders to the end of the three-mile straight at Merlimont.

Pfeiffer wins world championship in Zurich

Chris Pfeiffer becomes the first Indoor Streetbike Freestyle World Champion by winning every round of the indoor event at the SWISS-MOTO Motorcycle, Scooter and Tuning Exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland. The 36-year-old German and his F 800 were up against 16 other competitors from nine nations, yet Pfeiffer was unbeaten in Saturday’s qualifying rounds and both of Sunday’s final rounds, posting near perfect results in front of thousands of spectators.

March

BMW success at Sandblast Rally

The MaxBMW team grabs three of the top six places at the NASA Rally Sport 2007 Sandblast Rally in South Carolina. In tricky conditions, the top-placing rider on the Max BMW XPLOR team is Mark Albertson, who earns third place overall and second in the SP1 class aboard his HP2 Enduro. Peter Canning places fifth on his HP2 Enduro, while Dave Hubbard, after getting his G 650 Xchallenge only days before the event, finishes second in his class.

BMW Rider Equipment ‘streets ahead’

The quality of the latest range of BMW Rider Equipment is recognized by the readers of Germany’s best-selling Motorrad magazine, who vote BMW Motorrad as the ‘Best Brand 2007’ in the magazine’s Rider Equipment textile category.

April

Team BMW Ventura takes podium in first race ever

Two Master-Certified Technicians from the BMW Motorcycles of Ventura County dealership in California enter the G 650 Xchallenge in the United States Desert Racing series at Newbury Park. Howard Rantz storms to a podium finish on the single-cylinder ‘hard’ enduro machine, while team-mate Kyle Satterlee finishes a respectable 19th out of over 50 riders who started.

Success at Le Mans

BMW Motorrad marks its return to world championship motorcycle racing with a fantastic result at the gruelling Le Mans 24 hour race in France, ending with a win in their class and a highly impressive 16th overall on the modified R 1200 S sports boxer.

World championship points on debut

BMW Motorrad Motorsport unveils its new 450cc sports enduro prototype at the second round of the 2007 World Enduro Championship in Puerto Lumbreras, Spain. The team continues the development of the new bike with works riders Sascha Eckert and Joel Smets competing in the event – and both scoring world championship points.

May

BMW heroes make it to Dakar

The second Heroes Legend motorcycle race from Paris to Dakar keeps the promises made by its organiser, Hubert Auriol. After covering 4,000 miles through France, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal, the tired but happy contenders reach the Lac Rose in Dakar. Among the 130 participants from Holland, England, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Austria, France and China, were BMW riders Pierre Karsmakers, who finished in third place, and Dave Alexander, who finished in 22nd place on his first African rally.

More race success for R 1200 S

BMW Motorrad USA-sponsored rider Brad Hendry wins the first Motorcycle Roadracing Association event of the season at the Pueblo Motorsports racetrack in Colorado on a near standard BMW R 1200 S. Brad, who works for the Rocky Mountain Region-based Foothills BMW dealership, raced his R 1200 S to success in the Supertwins GTO class against some very tough V-twin competition, including the Ducati 1098S, 999R, 998R and the Aprilia Mille.

First win for the HP2 Megamoto!

BMW Motorrad’s HP2 Megamoto scores its first international victory on its world premier race debut at the Belgian Moto Tour event. The victory is taken by local rider Fred Lejeune against a field of riders and bikes from all the major manufacturers. Compatriot Didier de Radiguès adds to this great result by winning a special stage and finishing in 10th overall on a second HP2 Megamoto.

450cc sports enduro gets its first podium

Factory rider Simo Kirssi competes in the Austrian Cross Country Championship race in Reisersberg. The aim is to test further engine improvements and go full race distance on the sports enduro. However, the ‘Flying Finn’ puts in the fastest lap of the race and even takes the lead before getting caught ‘in traffic’ with a group of lapped riders. At the end, Kirssi ‘only’ manages second place – a fantastic result so early on in the season.

June

Pfeiffer wins at the Isle of Man TT

The multi-talented Christian Pfeiffer adds another trophy to his growing collection of accolades by winning the TT Freestyle Championship for Streetbikes at the100th Isle of Man TT. In front of a crowd of more than 10,000 people and up against some of the world’s top freestyle riders, Pfeiffer wins the TT Freestyle Trophy on the F 800 after three days of near perfect performances.

Team BMW Ventura and Xchallenge take first win!

At the United States Desert Racing round at Red Mountain in the Mojave Desert, Howard Rantz gives Team BMW Ventura its first ever win on the G 650 Xchallenge. The Master-Certified Technician from the California dealership sets an aggressive pace from the drop of the flag and comfortably wins on the 12-mile course.

Show of force at Erzberg

BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory rider Simo Kirssi claims his first twin-cylinder class victory at Erzberg, where he posts the fastest time of this year’s ‘Kings Class’ event on the HP2 Enduro. Simo goes on to prove without question that he is the best rider up the Iron Mountain when he also records the fastest time in both Prologues, leaving 1,376 other riders in a trail of dust.

July

Marvellous BMW Motorrad Days

All roads lead to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the new-look BMW Motorrad Days festival and despite a rainy start to proceedings, the sun shines on more than 34,000 visitors who arrive at the picturesque Alpine resort to experience the world of BMW Motorrad at first hand.

Megamoto shines at Pikes Peak

At the 85th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Gary Trachy grabs the class victory for bikes up to 1200cc in an amazing 11 minutes and 46 seconds on the HP2 Megamoto. He is closely followed by team-mates Casey Yarrow (11:49), Micky Dymond (11:52) and Gary’s brother, Greg, who completes the famous hill climb in 11 minutes and 59 seconds.

Summerfest and track success in Canada

The first ever BMW Motorrad Summerfest festival takes place at Mosport International Raceway in Ontario. This Canadian version of the BMW Motorrad Days festival is a huge success and sweetened even further by the excellent results achieved by the BMW Motorrad Canada racing team, which records three podium positions in the Thunder Series races at the Mosport circuit.

August

It’s a Long Way Down

Best friends Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman complete their 15,000-mile Long Way Down journey aboard two BMW R 1200 GS Adventures. The actors left the UK's most northerly point at John O'Groats in Scotland on 12 May and rode to Africa's most southerly point at Cape Agulhas, where they arrived on 4 August.

Championship success at Oschersleben

BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s two teams record superb results in the fourth round of the 2007 QMMF Endurance World Championship at Oschersleben, finishing fifth and ninth overall on the modified R 1200 S sports boxer, as well as first and second in their class.

Flat out on the F 800

A BMW motorcycle makes its debut in the world of Flat Track racing – a most traditionally American form of motorcycle motor sport. At the West Liberty fairgrounds in Iowa, an F 800 makes its first appearance on the oval dirt track and finishes in sixth place in a ten-lap race. The bike, ridden by Shaun Russell, is the project of dirt track legend Ron Wood.

G 650 Xchallenge wins BTOU

Japanese rider Yoshio Ikemachi wins the 2007 BTOU Ulaanbaatar to Uvs international cross-country rally on a BMW G 650 Xchallenge. Riding for Team X-Challenge, alongside French former Dakar rider Jean Brucy and Japanese counterpart Hidehito Ikeda, the trio also win the Best Team Award at the 10-day, 2,200 mile cross-country rally in Mongolia.

September

Around the World Relay makes it home safely!

After 18 months, 120 riders, 30 stages and a combined total of almost 370,000 miles completed in Europe, Africa, Asia, America and Oceania, the four Vuelta Al Mundo R 1200 GS Adventures arrive safely back in Madrid to a heroes’ welcome. It is truly one of the most ambitious around-the-world rides ever seen and the four motorcycles are joined on the final 43 miles to the center of Madrid by a ‘caravan’ of BMW riders.

BMW Motorrad wins National Canadian Thunder Championship

BMW rider Michael Taylor’s victory at the Canadian Thunder Championship at Shannonville Motorsport Park helps secure the first championship title for the BMW Motorrad Canada racing team, as well as the first National championship worldwide for the R 1200 S.

Salt, speed and success at Bonneville

BMW Motorrad USA’s first XPLOR rally of the year takes place at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. More than 250 BMW riders arrive from various points in the country, with some riding all the way from Virginia and New York (over 1,900 miles) to join the party, participate in the ‘Run Watcha Brung’ event and offer support to Andy Sills’ land-speed record preparations on a turbo-charged K 1200 S.

Success in Sierra Nevada

After some early thunderstorms, the sun shines on the fifth Encuentro BMW Riders 2007 event in the picturesque Sierra Nevada region of Spain, where more than 3,000 motorcyclists ride in from Catalunya, Madrid and even the Balearic Islands to join the party.

GS Challenge debuts in Québec

With inspiration from GS customer activities all over the world, the owner of Montreal-based BMW dealership, Charles Gref organizes a GS Challenge in Canada. The debut event attracts many BMW owners – some from as far away as Ireland and Germany – and all arrive on their own bikes, spanning the complete GS range from an R 80 GS through to the latest 1200cc models.

Another great African Adventure

Papkuilsfontein farm in the Northern Cape plays host to the fourth annual Great African GS Challenge, with 550 off-road enthusiasts descending on the otherwise normally sleepy town, located approximately 12 miles outside Nieuwoudtville. Offering an excellent choice of riding routes and challenges, the wide, desolate expanses of this area offer GS riders the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern inner-city living.

RE3 coming to a cinema near you

The wait is over for fans of the Resident Evil movie franchise, as the third instalment in this multi-million dollar grossing horror fantasy series hits the big screens around the world. Starring Hollywood actress Milla Jovovich and BMW Motorrad’s 163 hp BMW K 1200 R, Resident Evil: Extinction sees Jovovich’s character Alice take on the Umbrella Corporation and try to protect a convoy of uninfected survivors from the deadly T-Virus.

Pfeiffer wins 2007 European Stuntriding Championships

Chris Pfeiffer successfully defends his title at the European Stuntriding Championships in Holland. On the F 800, the German rider wins the three-round event, which took place at Amsterdam harbour and attracted 37 of the best stunt riders in Europe. Brazilian AC Farias takes the runner-up spot, and newcomer Narcis Roca from Spain finishes third.

October

End of season finale results in a spectacular victory for BMW Motorrad

After a long season of development with its 450cc sports enduro prototype, the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team finally tastes victory right at the end of the Cross Country season. Works rider Simo Kirssi saves his best until last and posts a fine victory at the European Cross Country final in Schefflenz, Germany.

Double duel at Daytona

This year’s 8hrs of Daytona truly tests the San Jose BMW Team. The defending champions enter two motorcycles: an R 1200 S and an F 800 S. The R 1200 S team finishes in second place – an unbelievable result considering that rider Richard Cooper was knocked off his bike by another competitor and the team lost a considerable amount of time. The F 800 team comes home in seventh place after eight hours of racing – a great finish for an unproven race bike.

November

BMW ‘out in force’ at the EMAs

BMW Motorrad has a starring role at this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards, which takes place in Munich’s Olympiahalle. Two police-specification BMW F 650 GS machines are used to escort legendary ‘gangsta’ rapper Snoop Dogg to the stage, from where he hosts the prestigious awards ceremony.

BMW K 1200 R joins the big game!

The arrival of faster, more powerful machines from BMW such as the K 1200 R has come to the attention of video game developers, who have noticed the 163 hp four-cylinder machine’s aggressive looks, muscular dimensions and raw potential and used it in the latest instalment of the blockbusting Project Gotham Racing 4 Xbox 360 video game.

December

Pfeiffer to perform at Race of Champions

Chris Pfeiffer is invited to perform his stunt show at the world famous Race of Champions event at the new Wembley Stadium in England, in front of some of the world’s most famous racing drivers, including Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard and Jenson Button.

BMW joins the party at the Super Cross-Over

The Super Cross-Over event at Munich’s Olympiahalle sees the official unveiling and presentation of the 2008 BMW Motorrad Motorsport off-road team, and the participation of factory riders Andi Lettenbichler, Jeff Goblet and Sascha Eckert in Sunday’s 2007 FIM Enduro World Cup race.

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