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BMW Motorcycles [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Darwin Holstrom
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 2010
Fully-updated history of best-engineered performance motorbike in the world 12 new pages with the latest BMW models featured Insightful text provides fascinating insights into a company and it s quest for two-wheeled engineered perfection History of all featured BMW motorbikes, technical specs, improvements, glorious colour photography Now in paperback, fully-updated, this new edition chronicles the history of this famous motorbike know throughout the world for its engineering excellence, for making beautiful bikes that are a joy to ride. Always looking for ways to improve their machines, BMW are at the forefront of motorcycle technology introducing ABS systems, sliding windshields on touring bikes, electronic ignition, strengthened frames, telescopic fork, and telescopic rear suspension, the pivot frame on the RS racing bike, and this is shown in all their machines, be it the R1200GS, the DOHC Boxer HP2 Sport, BMW 645OX off-road racer, F-series parallel 800 cc bikes, G-series single-cylinder, or the later boxer engines. Filled with brilliant colour photography and text that examines these bikes in more than facts and figures, this is a must-have book for any motorcycle rider.

Frequently Bought Together

BMW Motorcycles + The Art of BMW: 90 Years of Motorcycle Excellence
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks International; Upd Exp edition (1 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760337489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760337486
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 22.8 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 560,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


At first sight and after a quick flip through the pages, my first assumption was that this book was little more than a coffee-table book, but after spending some time with it I find that it is far more than that and I found it to be both an enjoyable and informative read. Whist it may not be a comprehensive history of the BMW factory, it does make good attempts to give the reader a fair grounding of both then company's history and its motivation in launching a new brand of motorcycle to the world along with a basic history of the introduction of many models, up to and including the G series machines. It also gives a good insight into many of the trials and tribulations that the factory has suffered over the years. This 192 page softback book is written by Americans so you do have to accept that some of the references relate to US issues that may or may not be relevent to you and I, and of course you have to accept that American's don't know how to spell...and that the talk of the factory producing machines in various colours only relates to the uS market and isn't relevant to the rest of the world. My feeling is that this is a book both for the coffee-table and for those wishing to learn something abouth the BMW marque. I actually counted 180 glossy colour photographs to drool over and it does make a book that a BMW enthusiast should have on the shelf. Unusually, I'd rate this book as one well worth having on the shelf for both reference and the joy of looking through it now and again. --BMW Rider magazine, February, 2010

...an excellent book ....Cycle World, January, 2010...Few motorcycle manufacturers have a heritage as rich as that of bMW, and a new book by Darwin Holstrom and Brian J nelson celebrates it admirably. The updated and revised edition, published by Motorbooks, traces how bikes grew from a sideline to become a major part of the manufacturer's business and how tha machines evolved from 'stodgy touring bikes' to 'cutting-edge machines', blending tradition with modern styling. How right the authors are! And how skilfully they bring the marque to light, with fine photography, and nicely observed detail. good reading for almost any motorcycle fan. --London Evening Standard, march, 2010

Fans of BMW motorcycles will love the newly-revised paperback version of BMW Motorcycles, a book all about, yes, BMW motorcycles, published by Motorbooks. The book chronicles the history of BMW two-wheelers and highlights the company's numerous innovations such as the first motorbike ABS systems, electronic ignition, and telescopic forks. Author Darwin Holstrom looks at the personal forces that created BMW's motorbike line and explores how the bikes grew from a sideline to a major part of the company's business, and how the bikes have evolved over the years. |The book is filled with stunning colour photos and enough facts and figures to keep even the most die-hard fan happy. --BMW Car magazine, March, 2010

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A general and enjoyable relaxed narrative 25 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It doesn't say so on the cover but this is pretty much a history of, or story of BMW motorcycles. The difference is that it is told in a more relaxed manner than most. Still broadly covering the model ranges through the years.

Although paperback, the quality of paper and print is excellent along with decent photographs of the machines. It doesn't tend to go into technical specifications and is more of a story or narrative and as such is worth having alongside other books which, while all essentially providing historical context, do it in a different way. The photos are shot differently too. Again, in more relaxed fashion.

As a general and enjoyable relaxed narrative I'd say 5 stars, but as some may find the lack of specification detail a dissapointment 4 stars is probably a fair appraisal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coffee Table Collection 13 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lots of pretty pics, but lacking in-depth information. This was clearly written by Americans, for the US market, but still relevant for the UK and a good addition to your collection. Nice one to leave out for a browse or as a conversation starter, but not good for data / techno nerds (like me?)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for BMW Motorcycle Fans 23 Sep 2010
The book is softcover and printed on high quality paper. The book is excellently researched and is a must for anybody who wants to know how the brand started, almost folded and then made its remarkable recovery. Most model ranges are well covered and excellent photographs capture the beauty of these machine.

My reason for not giving it five stars is because the pictures do not always coincide with the bikes described on the particular pages.

I have ordered more copies for my other BMW friends and I can highly recommend it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Incon Of Motorcycling 2 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In my youth when I first started riding motorcyles some 30+ years ago BMW's were somewhat fuddy duddy. Usually black, always shaft driven and somewhat sluggish in performance. They were the marque of the older, more refined rider.

Then in 1975 came the R90S which stood in stark contrast to the "rice burners" of the time: it just oozed style, its paint work was beautifully appointed with understated performance. It also had a VDO quart clock in the bikini fairing. Not a head to head match for the "rice burners" of the day, a gentlemen's express. Younger guys took note and I still recall my first ride on one.

Then in 1977 came the R100RS with it's wind tunnel developed full fairing and serious purpose. More people sat up that Beemers were evolving and they were eaking out more performance from the "air head" Boxer Twin.

And then in 1980 came the R80G/S which in its GS form has become a world leader in its class. I have had four in various forms. What a bike.

I have been in the fortunate position of having owned twelve Beemers in one form or another in the last tweleve years so to be able to read how it all started and where it is going to has been great. This book might well not be "the definitive" work but it a great reference and sets out the history of the BMW motorcycle marque and is essential reading to anybody who owns a BMW or considers themselves interested in motorcycles in general on Beemers specifically.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book made me switch from Harley to BMW 3 Dec 2004
By Spike the Biker - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this book after reading David Edward's "Cycle World" editorial column in which he called it "an excellent book." He was right--the writing is gripping. I read it from cover to cover twice. There's not as much nuts and bolts stuff in here as in some other BMW books, but that stuff bores me anyway. I really don't care what the valve timing was on a 1963 R50/2. What I do care about is the history of the bikes and of the company. I care about what it is like to ride these bikes. I care about the people who created them. That's what's in here. It makes those other books read like parts lists. And the photography is top notch.

I liked this book so much that this fall I traded my Harley Softail in on a R1200GS. I've been riding Harleys since 1978, so that's saying something.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Blew me away! 26 Nov 2003
By Darryl Holmgren - Published on Amazon.com
I expected another boring book about BMWs, but instead of the mind-numbing parts lists that pass for books on the subject, this one was actually a blast to read. I even laughed out loud. The history was there, and I learned a lot I didn't know, especially about the bikes that were exported to North America, but what struck me was how entertaining the book was. I bought it because of the great photography and wasn't even expecting to read it, but once I started, I couldn't put it down. This is by far the best BMW book ever published.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best BMW bike book available, so far? 2 Feb 2003
By A reader from - Published on Amazon.com
Having on my shelf just about every BMW motorcycle book available on Amazon[.com] (and I did not pay the high prices currently showing for some titles, even though I bought them via Amazon[.com] vendors!), I must say, as far as quality of photographs, this is the best!
Text is also very good. Some books on BMWs that are/were available are very slight - at least one of the ones I bought via Amazon is a remainder from England - a "packaged" book; part of a series on various makes of bike, with little text and photos used in several titles.
Having owned a BMW (R100RT) when I lived in London, England, and now a R1100RT, I can attest to their being fine machines -bikes that deserve such a worthy book on them.
I agree with the author's review that many other books on BMWs focus on the early history and concern earlier types and do not contain much on the later models. I think the author is arguably not stating the obvious reason here. This is maybe because they were written before the current "oilhead" twins were produced so understandably could not cover them, or if revised then the books were merely slightly updated after these newer types arrived on the scene so include only a chapter or so on them?
This book being recently published is (obviously)as a result more timely on its coverage.
As a rider of Triumphs some years ago, I'm saving up to buy the similar volume covering that historical make as well - not seen it but I'm sure it will make a fine companion to this title.
A great book at a reasonable price, considering the wealth of color photos, for any motorcycle fan and especially for BMW riders.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good BMW resource 3 Dec 2004
By Unknown - Published on Amazon.com
I'm a big fan of these bikes, and there's no better history and no more entertaining of a book than this one. Holmstrom tells a "warts and all" story and Nelson glitzes it up with excellent photos. It's the kind of book you want to put out on the coffee table when you invite the fellas over for tea and monkey-wrenching in the garage...fun stuff.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informal, yet informative read 8 Dec 2009
By Gjdada - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book does a great job walking us through BMW Motorcycle history through both the approachable writing style and the liberal use of excellent photos. Even if you're a BMW übergeek, you'll still probably learn some interesting facts about the models, what got them there, which improvements were effective, and how they came about. Übergeek or not, you'll be coming back to this book for some fine, well-organized reading and photography for years years to come, especiallly during those frustrating times you're not able to be out riding.

The photography has to be commented on again; it's simply that good. Great use of lighting, perspective and background. The photographer definitely knows how to frame a shot to emphasize aspects of the bike that only we motorcyclists would notice.

A great gift for anyone interested in BMW motorcycles, and wants to learn more about them, from their post WWI inception, to the present. Both the writing and photography are a job well done!
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