via Papua New Guinea
First BMW Motorcycle fully built by BMW
BMW began operations as BMW Motoren Werke in Munich, Germany in 1916. Originally an aircraft engine manufacturer, in 1923 the company began manufacturing motorcycles and in 1927 began production of motorcars.
The 1923 BMW R32 motorcycle was a 500 cc cycle designed by Max Friz. Earlier models created by the company, including the Flink (148 cc) and the Helios (500 cc), were chain driven. BMW even experimented with a belt driven cycle before determining that shaft-drive was the most effective and reliable way to power a motorcycle.
Here you will find a photo or two of a 1937 R6 BMW which was ridden on a recent BMW Motorcycle Club of Victoria ride (BMWMCCVIC Dec 2008).
In later years and with advances in technology the BMW F650GS single cylinder was released with chain drive and the twin cylinder F800 S & ST with belt drive followed shortly after with the F650GS (twin cylinder - detuned 800cc motor) and F800GS both with chain drive for off road use.