BMW motorbike insurance

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Reviewed 20 May 2022

The information on this page was last reviewed on 20 May 2022

BMW motorbike insurance

BMW offers motorcycle models for most levels of age and experience. They also offer rider training courses for both new and more advanced riders at purpose-built training facilities. The better you ride your bike, the more affordable your BMW motorcycle insurance premiums are likely to be.

BMW Motorrad motorbike insurance premiums will vary depending on factors including your riding history, your age and the value and engine size of your bike.

Whichever insurer you choose, it is good practice to understand at the outset when you are looking to purchase a motorbike what your premiums might cost.

If your BMW motorbike has a really powerful engine and is capable of high speeds, there could be an increased chance of having a motorcycle accident. An insurance provider may take this into account when calculating your premium.


BMW history and facts

Had it not been for World War I, BMW motorcycles might never have existed.

Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) dates back to 1913, but back then the company produced aircraft engines. And as part of a late push to win the war in 1918, the German army ordered 2,000 BMW model IIIa aircraft engines.

A year later, the Treaty of Versailles set out the terms for peace, forbidding airplane manufacture by any Germany company. The strict terms of the treaty meant BMW had to rethink the nature of its entire business – and the result was a shift to motorcycle manufacture.

BMW’s expertise in aircraft engines did come in useful, however. In 1921 the company unveiled the M2 B15 ‘Boxer’ motorcycle which drew on technology used for an earlier aircraft.

In 1923, the legendary BMW designer Max Friz took motorcycle design and capability to the next level with the launch of the 486cc R 32, which reached a top speed of about 60mph.

BMW Motorrad, the motorcycle brand of BMW, continued its development of bigger and faster motorbikes and in 1928 it produced the 750cc R 62, with a top speed of 71mph.

The company’s ability to make fast bikes was soon evident on the racetrack. In 1929 Paul Köppen won the 500cc class at the prestigious Targa Florio road race in Sicily. BMW took first place in the race for the next two years too.

And if further proof of BMW’s speed capability was needed, in the same year Ernst Henne used a supercharged, 750cc ‘Kompressor’ on a closed stretch of Autobahn to set a new land-speed record of over 134mph.

The accolades continued to build over the years. Otto Ley won the Swedish 500cc Grand Prix on another ‘Kompressor’ and in 1939, Georg Meier won the Isle of Man Senior TT on a BMW.

However, the arrival of World War II saw BMW change direction and concentrate on military motorcycles and, once again, airplane manufacture.

In 1941, BMW introduced the R 75, which was designed for war use. With a 750cc engine, two seats and a sidecar, the bike could be fitted with a machine gun.

So impressed was the US Army with the R 75, captured German bikes were sent back to the US for Harley-Davidson to copy.

Initially banned from making motorcycles after the war, in 1948 BMW began manufacturing again.

Innovation in the post-war years included the introduction of the classic R 69 S in 1960. The fastest ‘Boxer’ available at the time, the bike was capable of a top speed of 109mph.

In 1969, to increase efficiency all motorcycle production was moved from Munich to Berlin and by 1973 BMW had produced over half a million motorcycles during its 50-year history. A year later, BMW offered five-speed gearboxes on production motorcycles for the first time.

Introduced in 1977, the R80/7 was significant as it was adopted by police forces across the country and became a very familiar – though, if over the speed limit, not always welcome – sight on UK roads.

In 1991 BMW exceeded the one million milestone in bikes produced and two years later the R1100RS sports tourer was introduced. It was powered by a fuel-injected, eight valve, twin-cylinder engine.

The company continued to develop its offerings to riders and in 1997 BMW introduced its first chopper/cruiser – the R1200C. The bike was immortalised on film when it was ridden by Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies.

Fast forward to the late noughties, and in 2009 BMW launched the S1000RR sport bike. Designed to compete with the major Japanese bike manufacturers, the bike showcased BMW’s expertise in developing advanced traction control systems.

BMW continues to innovate to this day. Its present-day range includes cutting edge design in sports, tourer, roadster and adventure bikes. With its heritage range it incorporates classic shapes with modern tech. And when it comes to urban mobility, its fully electric CE 04 bike offers bags of energy but with zero emissions.

The leading BMW motorbikes

Whether you are a motorcycle fanatic or a new learner who likes the idea of weaving a bike through congested city streets, BMW’s motorbikes offer something for everyone.

BMW R 1250 GS Adventure

With a starting price of £15,500, the R 1250 GS Adventure was launched in 2021 with BMW’s claim that “No destination is too far.” Referring to the motorcycle as the ‘Queen of the touring enduro’, BMW has designed it to overcome nigh-on impassable routes, withstand adverse conditions and enable access to the most remote destinations.

Thanks to the powerful boxer engine with BMW ShiftCam, BMW insists you can reach any destination in the world with ease.

BMW K 1600 GTL

For those wanting a touring motorcycle that offers luxury, the BMW K 1600 GTL ticks most boxes.

Launched initially in 2010 and with several upgrades over the years – including a 2021 model – the BMW K 1600 GTL has a starting price of £21,960.

According to BMW, this high-performance touring motorcycle represents the pinnacle of quality and sheer comfort, boasting the legendary BMW straight-six engine. With plenty of room for a partner on the back, the powerful K 1600 GTL has been designed to handle long distances and any weather conditions.


If you live in a congested city and like the option of a small and emission-free motorbike to get you around, then the BMW CE 04 certainly fits the bill.

For over 10 years, BMW has been developing solutions for urban electromobility and the BMW CE 04 electric scooter encapsulates much of this effort. Launched in summer 2021 and priced at £11,700 upwards, the 31 kw BMW CE 04 offers 130km of travel on each charge, with 0% to 80% charging power taking just over one hour. The scooter is simply charged at 220V domestic sockets.

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