Whilst the BMW brand launched in 1916 as an aeroplane manufacturer, it didn't produce a motorcycle under its own name until 1923, the R32. This bike had a 486cc engine that developed up to 8.5 horsepower and was able to reach 100 km/h. The R32 was equipped with an across-the-frame mounted early version of its now legendary Boxer engine, a trait shared with many BMW motorbikes today.
Back in 1932, BMW was the first manufacturer to patent and use telescopic forks on its R12. However, and perhaps ironically, they no longer use them on their big bikes today.
In 1935, a major technological innovation was introduced by BMW - telescoping forks with hydraulic damping. Those revolutionary forks would go on to become the industry standard on motorcycles to this day.
Did you know - The German firm is known not just for its innovation but for its safety features too. In fact, BMW were amongst the first for the early adoption of ABS, standard on many models and optional on almost all.