New exhibit features rare motorcycles, great stories and never-before shown artifacts from BMW's own archives

PICKERINGTON, OHIO - The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum has unveiled its newest exhibit, "BMW: The Mastery of Speed," a celebration of the Bavarian marque's sporting heritage. The exhibit features seldom seen and historically significant machines from nearly every decade of the company's 80 years of motorcycle production, from a 1927 overhead-valve R47 twin to the recently introduced K1200R in-line four sport bike. Also featured is a valuable, never-before-shown collection of trophies and cups on loan from BMW's own archives in Munich, Germany, as well as memorabilia and historic images from BMW's Mobile Tradition division.

"In addition to presenting some of the finest vintage BMW sports bikes available in the country, we're excited to be the first Museum in the world to show BMW's collection of storied racing trophies," said Mark Mederski, executive director, Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. "Telling the stories of motorcycling legends like BMW racing great and multiple world record setter Ernst Henne - who just recently passed away at the age of 101 - is an import part of our ongoing mission."

"BMW: The Mastery of Speed" has been curated by Peter Nettesheim, an internationally acclaimed BMW historian, aficionado and collector based in Huntington, NY. The exhibit includes seven historic BMW motorcycles from his private collection. "It's tremendously satisfying to share what I've learned and admired about BMW motorcycles with visitors to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum," said Nettesheim. "There's a serious focus on education and preservation here that made curating duties a labor of love. I think visitors will understand that sentiment when they tour the exhibit."

Visitors will enjoy some exceptional early and rare BMW designs. Particularly significant is the oldest motorcycle on display, a 1927 BMW R47, one of 1,720 machines sold between 1927 and 1928. As early as 1921, BMW was producing power plants like the two cylinder 494cc flat twin in the R47, which launched the bike to a then-sizzling top speed of nearly 70 mph. Motorcycles from nearly every decade of the company's history are on view, including the R5, the road-going twin cam sport model based on BMW's consistent race winner, the R5SS (Super Sport). BMW offered a sport motorcycle in each of its eight decades and it is this sporting heritage that enabled them to accomplish their "Mastery of Speed."

In addition, the exhibit includes an illustrative diorama of a BMW factory scene, as well as several technical displays that explore how designs not only contributed to BMW motorcycles' performance cache, but also to the bikes' reliability and safety. Advertising art from early brochures explains BMW's driveline and enthusiasts will immediately recognize the familiar horizontally-opposed twin, direct bolted transmission with a right side driveshaft to a bevel rear drive. Most BMWs use a similar shaft drive layout to this day. The exhibit also presents period photos of BMW's innovators in pursuit of performance.

"BMW: The Mastery of Speed" is sponsored by BMW of North America and Federal Motorcycle Transport. It is on display through June 2006 along with "Motocross America," a colorful chronicle of America's original action sport.

About the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum

The goal of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame honors those who have contributed notably to the sport, and three major exhibition halls showcase the machines and memorabilia that have shaped motorcycling. The Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; and is closed on New Year's, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Adult admission is $10 per person; students 12 - 17, $3. AMA members $5. Seniors receive a $2 discount and members of motorcycle clubs and organizations are eligible for a $1 discount per ticket. A $25.00 family rate and group rates are also available.

For more information, call (614) 856-2222, or visit the Museum's website at

Source: Brandware Group

Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story