Best of the Museum in the Last Seven Months
Continental collaborates with the BMW Car Club of America Foundation, a museum about the Bavarian motorcycles that each month present their best model after a vote.
This monthly competition for two-wheeled vehicles began in June 2023, so there are seven motorcycles of the month, so far. This museum dedicated to the German brand is open to the public and is located just outside Greer, South Carolina.
June – R 90 S BUTLER & SMITH (1976)
The inaugural winner of this contest was: BMW R 90 S Butler & Smith of 1976. A very exclusive motorcycle. Butler & Smith was the sole US Importer of BMW Motorcycles in the early 70s. The dealer sponsored BMW R75/5 based motorcycles from 1972 to 1975 in the AMA Formula One series. In 1976, they moved to campaign the R 90 S in the AMA Superbike Championship. This R 90 S was based on the road going motorcycle but was modified by Udo Gietl and Todd Schuster. With its discreet sponsorship on the tank and its characteristic racing tail, as well as its front end with the racing number, this BMW is a real gem.
July – R 17 (1935)
A legendary motorcycle. The BMW R 17 was introduced to the public on February 14, 1933, at the German Automobile Exhibition in Berlin. The R 17 was a successor to the R 16. This bike continued the line of BMW motorcycles that had a pressed-steel frame. The R 17 was equipped with 735 cc M60 boxer twin engine, which produced 33 horsepower and a top speed of 87-mph. A very simple bike at present, but worthy of being seen up close to appreciate the attention to detail, from its aesthetic fenders to its seat of the characteristic boxer bike.
August – R 69 (1969)
Painted Full red! This beautiful motorcycle is the 1969 BMW R 69. A model that stands out for its dominant red color in practically all its parts, except for wheels, engine, exhausts, seat and some other details. Even though The R 69 US was only produced from 1967 to 1969, the U.S. version was a well-loved motorcycle and is considered a favorite among collectors. This motorcycle was regarded as a gentleman’s cruiser that had a top speed of 109 mph. The US models had a 594cc overhead valve, air-cooled M268/3 Boxer twin engine that produced 42 hp. The R 69 US came with telescopic forks, on the 68-69 models (later used on the BMW R-/5 series motorcycles). In a twist that finally favors the US, the US version was available in colors that were not available in Europe.
September – R 32 (1926)
One of the most classic motorcycles in the entire museum. The BMW R 32 was manufactured after the First World War, between 1923 and 1926. Period in which 3,090 units were manufactured, which makes it a very coveted model. This model was designed by Max Friz, who studied the M15a engine used in the Victoria motorcycles. Max Painted Friz created the M2B33 opposed-piston twin engine and mounted it in the new BMW R 32 motorcycle. In 1923, the R 32 was the first BMW badged motorcycle. Very old and rudimentary, but really attractive. It stands out for its particular tank.
October – R 1250 RT-P (2019 – 2023)
The first 21st-century model in this contest T: BMW R 1250 RT-P, police version. This R 1250 RT-P is decorated with BMW Riders Academy graphics and rides on Continental tires. A bulky but safe, practical and powerful motorcycle. With 136 hp and a top speed of 124 mph, these motorcycles were really useful for the police force in the United States. It also stands out for its two side cases and top case perfectly adapted to transport the material they need. BMW Authority motorcycles are designed to deliver the highest levels of performance, safety, and technology in the industry, so it is no wonder that BMW motorcycles are used by law enforcement agencies in over 150 countries. BMW is the largest provider of authority motorcycles in the world with over 80,000 units in service.
November – R 1100 S BoxerCup Replica (2004)
The sportiest bike of the month in this motorcycle of the month contest. The BMW R 1100 S BoxerCup Replica is ready for any track. This model is the BMW’s first new sport bike since the R 90 S, the 1998 R 1100 S installed the oil-head boxer engine in a frame with major sections in cast aluminum attached directly to the Paralever rear swingarm. The S got BMW’s first clip-on handlebars and (on a motorcycle) ellipsoid headlights, plus an aggressive seating position behind aerodynamic bodywork. The R 1100 S spawned the one-make BoxerCup racing series, followed by the BoxerCup Replica with carbon fiber cylinder head covers, Öhlins suspension, and a shorter Paralever.
December – R 61 Deutsche Post (1938)
Finally, we return to the twentieth century to close the year 2023. The last winning motorcycle of this contest this year is the BMW R 61 Deutsche Post, manufactured between 1938 and 1941, and is also the first with a sidecar. The red and black color match perfectly on both the bike and the sidecar, making this model not go unnoticed at all. New for 1938, the R 61 touring bike used BMW’s fully suspended tube-steel frame powered by a side-valve engine. The four-speed gearbox was foot-shifted, with a hand shifter optional. The R 61 was ideally suited to sidecar duty. This motorcycle was delivered new to the German postal service and fitted with a utility sidecar built by Royal.