Anniversary models are limited to 1,923 units in recognition of the year of BMW’s first bike
December 16, 2022 at 15:00
by Chris Chilton
For BMW fans, 2022 has been all about the company’s M performance division, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. And next year the baton passes to BMW Motorrad, as the company’s motorcycle arm marks its centenary and remembers its first bike.
That machine was presented to the world in September 1923, but the story really begins 100 years ago this month, in December 1922, when BMW chief designer Max Friz pulled out his drawing board and started work on the air-cooled, two-cylinder boxer-engined R32.
Now BMW has produced a pair of heritage motorcycles to commemorate that anniversary, each limited to 1,923 units as a nod to the year the finished bike was launched.
In the cruiser corner there’s the R18 100 Years, which relies own the same trusty 90 hp (91 PS) 1.8-liter boxer engine as the stock R18, but gets a visual makeover that combines black paintwork with high-gloss chrome, plus double white pinstriping and a 100 Years badge.
Related: New BMW Motorrad R18 Magnifica Chopper Is A Piece Of Art
Chromed Akrapovic silencers with a very cool BMW propellor motif in the tailpipe will give you plenty to polish, and to keep all that chrome dent-free you get modern luxuries like Headlight Pro with adaptive turning light, reversing aid, electronic cruise control and heated grips.
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Riders looking for something a little more athletic will prefer the R nineT 100 Years, which is finished in the same 1920s retro style as its R18 brother, but adapted for the sporty naked chassis and its 108 hp (109 PS) two-cylinder boxer motor.
As with the R18, the chassis frame and engine crankcase are finished in black that’s contrasted with the chrome on the exhaust headers, gas tank and seat hump, and also the oxblood red leather seat itself. Some of the pieces that contribute to the overall look are available on any R nineT by selecting the Option 719 Shadow I and II packages, but there’s no way to replicate the 100 Years without buying one of the anniversary bikes.
Of course, you could just go out and buy an original R32 for a genuine 1923 BMW Motorrad experience, but with just 8 hp (8.5 PS), don’t expect to get anywhere quickly.