BMW Motorrad is commemorating its 100th anniversary with the release of Special Heritage editions of the R nineT and R18. BMW will produce 1,923 units of each model, recognizing the debut of the brand’s first motorcycle, the R 32, in September 1923 at the German Motor Show in Berlin.
Man, it’s been a while since we managed to get seven baggers together for a real-live comparison, but last time we did, in 2018, this BMW won it against the usual suspects from Harley-Davidson, Indian, et al. They’ve all received upgrades in the ensuing years, but nothing earth shattering to upend the pecking order. And nothing to upset our earlier, semi-collective conclusion that a bagger does not have to be built in America or powered by a big V-Twin.
Just because the candidates for Best Electric Bike this year are rather sparse doesn’t mean there isn’t a motorcycle worthy of an award. Energica’s new Experia certainly appears to be worthy of consideration, but as we mentioned in our opening page, a model needs to be available in dealers by the time of our posting. The Experia is not. This leaves one really excellent motorcycle left to choose. It would be hard not to recognize the Zero DSR/X in the Best Electric category after basically calling it the best motorcycle Zero has made so far. If you look at where Zero started – as essentially a glorified mountain bike – to where the company is now, and in a relatively short amount of time, the DSR/X is very impressive. In a way, you could say the DSR/X is the ultimate evolution of that original glorified mountain bike. Built to capitalize on the ADV craze sweeping the industry, it certainly is the most capable Zero so far.
Earlier this year, reports emerged that BMW had filed trademark applications for “R12”, with many predicting the name would be used on a new cruiser. The logic made sense, as the naming structure was similar to the R18, and BMW lacked a cruiser model in the 1200-ish range. We were a little less bullish on that theory at the time, and we suspected there was more to the story. And now, new evidence has emerged that may justify our skepticism.
Hot off the heels of the newly updated S 1000 RR, BMW today unveiled the 2023 M 1000 RR – the basis of its racing programs all over the world. With the new M model, focus wasn’t placed on increasing power, but rather on making the most of the aerodynamics to use the existing power as efficiently as possible. As you’ll see in the full press release below, countless hours were spent in the wind tunnel and on the track to take full advantage of the aero package – and improve upon it where necessary. BMW says top speed has gone up to “189+ mph” (the legal department surely stepped in and said the actual number couldn’t be published), and so has total downforce from the wings. This helps keep the bike from doing wheelies when it really should be accelerating, so the traction control doesn’t have to work as hard. It also helps mid-corner to keep weight on the front tire for better mechanical grip through the turn.
It’s been nearly two years since BMW first debuted the M 1000 RR, its first motorcycle to carry the company’s high-performance M brand. We knew it wouldn’t be the first, though, after we broke the news that BMW had trademarked the name along with “M 1000 XR” and “M 1300 GS.” What we didn’t expect was for the next M-branded motorcycle to be based on the S 1000 R.
BMW released initial details on its 2023 model lineup, including new colors and minor updates. BMW also announced the base MSRP for most of its models, though that information is rather moot, as it also announced additional packages which will automatically be added on to all models in the U.S.
BMW released its second electric scooter earlier this year in the CE 04, and has made clear it plans to produce more electric two-wheelers in the near future. Oliver Zipse, chairman of the board of management for BMW AG, recently went as far as to say BMW Motorrad will introduce a new electric two-wheeler every 18 to 24 months, with the next model coming in 2023.
BMW is adding a new small displacement sportbike to its lineup, with the company’s Indian subsidiary already accepting pre-orders for the new 2023 G 310 RR. Expected to be based on the TVS Apache RR 310, the G 310 RR should be formally announced shortly for international markets.
Continental Tire is recalling 68,770 motorcycle tires because they may develop cracks that can result in tread separation. The recall includes the popular TKC 80 dual sport tires, ContiGo! tires for lightweight motorcycles, plus K62 and LB scooter tires. The recall may also include tires that were installed as stock equipment on certain BMW, KTM and Husqvarna models. The recall affects tires manufactured between Jan. 6, 2019 and April 30, 2022. The full list of tires and specific sizes affected is posted at the bottom of this article.