In response to a drop in demand for sporting machines, BMW markets its first-ever chopper/cruiser the R 1200 C. It is based on the stripped down "hogs," characterized by the substitution of lighter components and the elimination of unnecessary paraphernalia. Dr. Walter Hasselkus, the president of BMW since 1993 is considered the godfather of the R 1200 C and it is David Robb who brings the project to production. An instant icon, the machine is featured in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. In this same year, the R 1100 RS is voted the Motorcycle of the Year in the United States, Japan and Australia.
After a 12-year absence BMW returns to the Paris-Dakar Rally with F 650 competition motorcycles piloted by four-time Paris-Dakar winner Edi Orioli, 2nd place winner Oscara Gallaro, 5th place winner Jean Brucy and Ladies Cup Winner Andrea Meyer.
The millennium ends with BMW's strongest sales year in its entire history. More than 5,000 machines were sold in the first half of the year beating all of 1996's sales. By year's end a full 10,088 units rolled onto the roads. It was the first time in more than 18 years that BMW sold more than 1,000 units/month. Robust sales were credited largely to the popularity of the K 1200 LT and R 1200 C. In racing, Richard Sainct drives BMW to its 5th Dakar victory and an Optic 2000 championship on an F 650 RR.
Releasing a much-anticipated update of the GS Series, the R 1150 GS boosts power from 1085-cc to 1130-cc without compromising its 10.3:1 compression ratio. 50% of the power gain is attributed to an improved exhaust system. Also released this year is BMWs most powerful luxury-tourer, the 100 hp four-cylinder K 1200 LT. Rounding out the new millennium's offerings is BMW's most powerful motorcycle ever, the K 1200 RS with 130 horses and 86 lb-ft torque. All this attention to power pays off as Richard Sainct repeats his Paris-Dakar-Cairo victory again this year.