‘BMW: Motorcycles of the Century, Guide to Models 1923-2000’

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Cover courtesy Rizzoli Publications
A reference book written by collectors for collectors, "BMW: Motorcycles of the Century."

A reference book written by collectors for collectors, BMW: Motorcycles of the Century, is an exhaustive examination of every production BMW motorcycle made from the first R32 of 1923 up to 2000. Written by Massimo Bonsignori, a prominent European vintage motorcycle specialist and BMW restorer, and Claudio Somazzi, a BMW enthusiast and motorcycle journalist, the book is a sequel to their first effort, BMW Passione d’altri tempi, which was only available in Italian.

In the decade-plus following their first book’s publication, the authors continued to collect information on BMWs, resulting in this new title. Featuring 400 color photos and period black and white images from the BMW archives, this book provides useful advice and suggestions for future owners, as well as in-depth analysis of each model’s characteristics.

Models are examined by decade, with technical specifications and history for each model examined. There’s also a “Collectors’ Corner” for each model featuring useful information for potential buyers, with general strengths and weaknesses examined. Each section ends with a full data sheet listing every bike produced in a given decade, along with production years, numbers made, chassis and engine number ranges, and an assessment of spare parts availability, collector value and price ranges.

The book opens with a history of BMW from the company’s inception in 1916 to the first production R32, and closes with special sections on BMWs and sidecars and the BMW racing team. Extensively researched, beautifully illustrated and coherently organized, this is a book that belongs in every BMW collector’s library. Rizzoli Publications: 272 pages, $60. To order a copy, visit the Motorcycle Classics store: BMW: Motorcycles of the Century. MC

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