I ride a BMW motorcycle. I think they may make one of the finest touring motorcycles in the world. Smooth, quiet, responsive, reliable and a joy to ride, that’s my bike. (mine is an 1996 R1100RS)
They’ve been making BMW motorcycles since 1923. Not quite as long as Harley Davidson, but long enough. So, invariably, I’m out riding, meet someone, and they say “I didn’t know BMW made motorcycles.”
Which says to me, someone in advertising dropped the ball.
That’s the sentiments of the people I know who work at BMW motorcycle dealerships- the ads suck. I’ve seen a few, and frankly, I agree. But, what’s even more amazing is that a few years ago, someone caught on to the “universal truth” about BMW motorcycles, and crafted a line for a t-shirt that worked: “I didn’t know BMW made cars until I passed one” BMW motorcycles.
Yeah, every BMW rider who didn’t own a BMW car (and there are quite a few) wanted one. Unfortunately, someone at BMW marketing in the car division thought that this campaign concept was blasphemous. No more t-shirts.
Way to kill a great idea. So, even if I ride the ultimate riding machine, I can’t proudly proclaim my love of my bike in an entertaining way, that solves one of their major marketing problems, because some brand manager just doesn’t get what makes this advertising stuff work.
If anyone at BMW motorrad in Woodcliff Lake NJ is interested in talking to an agency that might be able to explain how to make BMW motorcycle advertising work, give us a call.

What do you think?