George Meier's 1949 Isle of Man-winning RS 225 Kompressor fronts Michael Dunlop's 2014 TT-winning S1000RR at BMW's Group Classic Museum. Photo courtesy of BMW
BMW Motorrad has become the first mainstream manufacturer to establish a separate division targeted at owners of its classic models with the establishment of its New Heritage department to develop more ways of mining the company’s rich 90-year history.
BMW’s historic vehicle subsidiary, BMW Group Classic, has just moved into new headquarters in Milbertshofen, north of Munich on the site that housed the company’s very first factory. The BMW company archive and the vehicle collection, workshop and customer center, together with the parts service for classic cars and motorcycles are now located together in an array of buildings that includes the original factory gatehouse, now preserved as a protected National monument and the gateway to the company’s history. The former engine production hall provides display space for a selection of the vast collection of historic vehicles the company owns, including milestones from its motorcycle history.
“We have a dedicated motorcycle workshop in our Group Classic building, which repairs and/or restores motorbikes for our own collection, and for customers as well,” says BMW Group Classic spokesman Benjamin Voss. “Together with our car partners we offer a wide range of spare parts for obsolete models, with over 55,000 separate items already listed, and more being added every week as we identify which components are sufficiently in demand to justify remanufacturing them. And there is also a growing network of certified BMW Group Classic Partnership dealers — we already have 38 in the USA. So there will be dedicated staff at these dealerships supporting the customers of vintage bikes with both parts supply and repairs.”
Now that BMW has taken this step, what company will be next to follow its lead and begin catering for the needs of owners of its older models? Triumph? Ducati? Harley-Davidson? Moto Guzzi? Place your bets. — Alan Cathcart