History of BMW Boxer Twin Motorcycles

History of BMW Boxer Twin Motorcycles

See also:
History of the BMW Roundel

BMW Motorcycle Name History

BMW GS Series – a brief history

Purely by chance (it was on a German motorcycle forum and I don’t speak any German!) I came across a link to this superb document/write-up by Hans Jud on the history and development of BMW Boxer twin motorcycles. Whilst there’s a number of books and websites publishing information on the history of BMW motorcycles this is 58 pages of information with many photographs, diagrams, schemtics etc compiled by one individual (enthusiast!) out of personal interest (and for no gain!). Well worth a read, make sure you’re sitting comfortably, as I said before….58 pages 😉

Many thanks to Hans (www.judweggis.ch) for his kind permission to publish the translated version of his document here, he’s Swiss so the original was written in German, and of course for all his efforts in puting the document together in the first place!

 German language version: BMW Zweizylinder ­Boxer (BMW Boxer Twins) 

Also many thanks to my friend KeithT (aka BRG – www.zen50505.zen.co.uk) for the many hours spent in translating the document into English, made all the harder/more time consuming as the German language spoken in Switzerland is quite different from the official German language spoken in Germany and even varies between various regions of the country!

 English language version: BMW Boxer Twins (10mb PDF)

(See below for document contents;-)

*** NB: Please do not distribute or reproduce this document elsewhere without express permission….please link to this page or contact me thank you ***

Introduction by Hans
I live in Weggis, in the middle of a motorcycling paradise in the middle of Switzerland. I’m an electrical engineer and am self-employed since 1990 as ‘Jud Computer Consulting. For a long time my main focus has been Internet programming and reproduction technic.

Although I grew up with motorbikes, they didn’t really hit me until 1996 at the ripe old age of 48, but when they did, the effect was total. To recapture all the lost years, I travel about 30,000 km (ca 20,000 miles) with my passenger each year. I’ve also expanded my stable; at the moment I have five bikes: BMW R1200RT, R80, R90S, R25/2, 1948 Moto Guzzi GTV. The old BMWs motivated me to do a bit of research. To start with, it was just a few notes, but it grew and grew until at some point, I decided to pull it all together in a Word document. It continued to grow, requireing chapters and a contents list. This purely personal document continued to grow to the state where it seemed a shame to keep it to myself. So I then published a link to my document, first in www.boxer-forum.de then in www.2-ventiler.de. The document was well received and got a mention in the [German magazine] MO special issue ‘BMW Motorcycles’.

It was never nor is it now my intention to publish the document to an open audience. It’s simply a small insight for those interested.

1 The Birth of BMW – 1917
2 Unusual: Single cylinder bikes – 1925 to 1966
3 Classic 2-Valve Boxer engines 450cc to 1000cc
3.1 Pre-War period
3.2 World War 2
3.3 Early 50s
3.4 Swinging arm 1955 to 1969
3.5 /5 – 1969 to 1973
3.6 / 6 – 1973 to 1976
3.7 / 7 – 1976 to 1985
3.8 “Small” Boxers – 1978 to 1993
3.9 Mono- / Paralever 2V-Boxer 1980 to 1997
3.9.1 Monolever 1980 to 1996
3.9.2 Paralever (no oil bath) – 1987 – 1996
4 Modern 4-Valve Boxer – 850 to 1200cc
4.1 First generation 4V – 1993-2006, 850 to 1200cc
4.2 4V, Second Generation “EVO-Boxer”, from 2004 / 1200cc
4.3 Sport and records
4.4 Café Racer
4.5 Bobber
4.6 Projects
4.7 Crazy stuff
A Links and bibliography
B Boxer technology
C Engines
D Mono / Paralever, from G/S 1980
E Segmented frames from 1993 4V
F Telelever – from 1993 4V
G ABS, Full / Part-Integration / Duplex-Function
H CAN-Bus – from 4V-EVO 2004
I ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment)
J ‘Q’ ???
K Maintenance Rules – Murphy’s Law
L Table: Prices for 2-valve Boxers
M Table: Model differences
N Model changes 1969 – 1986
O Production period, numbers etc. 1923 – December 1983
P My bikes