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Antigo 12-04-2009, 01:50   #3
lude
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1959.
Dismal sales (production is only at 8,412 machines for the year), surplus inventory and complete depletion of financial reserves leave BMW operating in the red. Competitor Daimler-Benz eyes BMW for a buyout and rumors begin to circulate. But Dr. Herbert Quandt, a banker of some repute and a motorcycle enthusiast himself, backs the troubled company. His confidence proves contagious and soon other investors fund BMW. MAN, a well-known heavy vehicles manufacturer, buys BMW's airplane division in Allach and covers other debts. While this signifies the final end of BMW's involvement in aeroengineering, the company does manage to remain in business.

1960.
This is the year of the R 69 S ("S" for "sport" model). Considered by many to be the "classic" BMW motorcycle, the R 69 S is the fastest Boxer to date, achieving a top speed of 109 mph at 42 bhp / 7,000 rpm. It uses a gear-driven cam and has bearings "everywhere". Also released this year is the R 27 single with its rubber-mounted engine to cut down on vibrations. It will be the last single until the F 650 Funduro, but it sells a healthy 15,000 units in its seven-year production period. The R 50 S is another notable release as it becomes BMW's highest revving 500 cc engine. However, its bark was worse than its bite and the R 50 S never catches on, with sales at only 1,634 machines after three years.

1961.
A big year for BMW, the R 69 S and competitive racing. After setting a new world 24-hour record of 95.6 mph wins at the Barcelona 24-Hour and Thruxton 500 Mile. The year concludes with more record breaking at Montlhery in the 24-hour (109.34 mph) and 12-hour (109.24 mph) respectively. It's no wonder the R 69 S's reputation earns BMW widespread acclaim. In this same year, BMW shifts from handmade cars to assembly line models with the release of the BMW 1500. Another "classic" in the BMW stable, the 1500 would pave the way for future BMW automobile fame, and sales in the automobile category begin to skyrocket.

1962.
Production on the Isetta grinds to a halt; BMW now only builds "proper" cars.

1963.
There isn't a lot of innovation happening in this year, but shareholders in the company are happy nonetheless. For the first time since WWII, BMW pays its stockholders a dividend based on a profitable year. BMW is back on the road.

1964.
The ground lost in motorcycle sports can now be recouped in car sports: the BMW 1800TI wins 27 out of the 28 races which it takes part.

1965.
BMWTriebwerksbau GmbH in Allach, founded in 1955, is sold.

1966.
Production on the single-cylinder models comes to a halt. The successful 02 series stimulates the car business.

1967.
BMW sells its 250,000th bike since WWII. And though the company itself is focusing more on the exploding automobile market (up 133%), motorcycle manufacturing continues to hold its own, if a little quietly (6,000 machines produced this year). No new models are released from 1961-1969, but special United States export versions of the R 60 and R 69 (called the R 60US and R 69US respectively) see BMW switch back to telescoping forks from the Earles-type fork. This change would set the standard for the Stroke 5 Series of 1969.

1968.
With the six-cylinder coupes of the E9 Series, BMW can again preen its sporting image.

1969.
Beginning with BMW moving its motorcycle manufacturing operations to the Spandau suburb of Berlin, 1969 finds the company rededicating its efforts in motorcycle innovation after nearly a decade of relative silence. The Stoke 5 Series has a more modern appearance, electric starters and car-like engineering. It is the first of the light weight production 750 cc engines since 1941 and marks the most dramatic change since the R 32 rolled out in 1923. The R 50/5, R 60/5 and R 75/5 are all released with telescoping front forks. However, the boxer engine is "flipped" with the camshaft now below the crankshaft and the pushrods banished to tubes on the side and below the engine. In 1969 BMW finally begins to offer color options though initially only in the conservative black, white and silver. Sidecar use is no longer authorized on BMW models as the company begins to look to the future.

1970.
No fewer than 12,287 motorcycles come off the lines in 1970. This is the largest production volume for 15 year-but still not sufficient for BMW to meet the enormous demand. Important changes take place in senior management: Eberhard von Kuenheim succeeds Gerhard Wilckes as Chairman of the Board of Management.

1971.
BMW opens its test track at Aschheim to the north of Munich. The motorcycle engineers thus acquire ideal conditions for the development of new models. The number of motorcycles on the roads in Germany reaches an all-time low, at 133,113.

1972.
Munich hosts the summer Olympics. BMW's new headquarters has just reached completion immediately adjoining the Olympic Park. Teething troubles have now been overcome in Berlin, and by year's end the monthly motorcycle production figure tops 2,000 for the first time.

1973.
In BMWs 50th Anniversary year its 500,000th motorcycle is produced. But times have changed and this is apparent by BMWs new R 90 S. A 900-cc 67 bhp racing monster is the company's largest and fastest bike ever, conquering the 50-year-standing 750 cc barrier. At a glance, the full cockpit fairing and smoked gray finish earn this machine its reputation as “Germany's sexiest superbike." 24,000 are produced in the next three years. The Stoke 6 series is also launched this year in 600, 700 and 900 cc guises with 55,000 sold. The Spandau facility is now working at full capacity, cranking out 25,000 motorcycles a year. And BMWs reputation only continues to grow with the recognition of the Maudes Trophy at the Isle of Man tournament that year.

1974.
The /6 Series goes into mass manufacturing and for the first time BMW offers five speed gearboxes on production motorcycles. The R 75/6 becomes the first production machine to utilize a single-disc front break. In true BMW form, Helmut Dahne rides his R 75 from Munich to the Isle of Man Production TT, finishes third and rides it back home.

1975.
Drilled discs are the innovation introduced to BMW motorcycles this year, greatly improving wet braking times. And an old motorcycle archetype, the kickstart, is finally eliminated as a standard component on production machines. Employee Rudiger Gutsch builds his own private enduro motorcycle this year. It is later used as the basis for developing the on-road/off-road BMW offering of 1980.

1976.
BMW upped the ante again designing the Stoke 7 1000-cc R 100/7. Its sporting sibling, the R 100 RS, is also launched. Like the R 100/7, it has a 1000-cc engine generating 70 bhp of power at 7,250 rpm for a top speed of 125 mph. It is the first production motorcycle to offer full fairing. This fairing design will stand largely unchanged until 1993. The R 100 RS is offered in a very untraditional smoked red. Despite an onslaught of four-cylinder competitors, BMW twins hold their own as Reg Pridmore wins the '76 AMA superbike title on his R 90 S.

1977.
The R80/7 attracts the attention of police forces worldwide as a brilliant compromise between the power of the 1000cc engines and the sweet ride of the 750s. To some, it is the best of all the Stroke Series models. Diminishing sales of the twin in the lucrative U.S. market (BMW fell from 6th to 11th in popularity) send a signal to BMW, and the company responds by beginning to look at other designs.

1978.
A trend-setter in luxury-touring motorcycles, the R 100 RT offers the rider a full touring-style fairing in 1978. While racing oriented motorcyclists balked at its bulkiness, long distance riders loved the machine for its comfort. It is offered in the popular smoked-red and some not-so-popular colors too: bottle green and a brown and cream combination. At the other end of the size spectrum is the R 45, BMW's smallest twin, which also makes its first appearance this year. A 473-cc engine with a power capacity of 27 bhp per 6,500 rpm, the R 45 is a hit with insurance companies and a dud with consumers who are hungry for power.
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