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The Art of BMW: 85 Years of Motorcycling Excellence Hardcover – September 15, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Since Max Friz first mounted his innovative M2B32 opposed-twin engine in a motorcycle frame in 1923, the history of BMW motorcycles defines a constant and relentless quest for perfection. Over the next 85 years the company would create the most innovative and technologically advanced motorcycles produced anywhere on earth.

 

But there’s more to a BMW motorcycle than just innovation and technology. Even though the company earned a reputation for doing things differently than other companies, the company’s motorcycles are not different just for the sake of being different. Each difference represents a brilliant and elegant solution to a real problem, leading BMW to be the first company to introduce many of the features that are later adopted by other manufactures. For example, BMW was the first motorcycle maker to offer anti-lock brakes. As beautiful as BMW motorcycles are in their totality, they may be even more beautiful when broken down to their details.

 

Art of BMW: Eighty-Five Years of Motorcycling Excellence captures the elegant beauty of these amazing machines, both in their details and in the sum of their parts, through the masterful photography of Henry von Wartenberg and the brilliant writing of author Peter Gantriis.

 

The Art of BMW Motorcycles features the motorcycles of the Peter Nettesheim collection—one of the world’s premier collections of BMW motorcycles. These wonderfully restored motorcycles exemplify the design and engineering prowess that define of the BMW motorcycle tradition. Peter Nettesheim’s collection showcases the progressive engineering refinements integrated into each successive BMW model.

From the Back Cover

For 85 years BMW has been building some of the world's best motorcycles--an accomplishment that Art of BMW: Eighty-Five Years of Motorcycling Excellence duly celebrates with exquisite studio photographs along with a concise history of the legendary company and its classic motorcycles.  From the first model, the R32, through the bikes that catapulted BMW out of the ruins of World War II, to the latest motorcycles with the revamped opposed-twin-cylinder "boxer" engines that brought the company its first fame, to the radical new twin- and four-cylinder motorcycles that fill out today’s BMW lineup—these are the bikes that made BMW great.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks; 1st edition (September 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760333157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760333150
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,401,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Mustapich on October 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The bikes are wonderful, The photos are great but the print quality is poor.
I been in the printing biz for 30 years and to see a book with so many quality issues get shipped to a customer is upsetting. I guess for the money it's not bad but I would have paid more for better quality.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a must have for any gear head, motorcycle fan, or fan of beautiful engineering. The art in this book is simply incredible, and even the most die hard fan will find out something they did not know.
I originally purchased this book intending it to be a gift, but have enjoyed it so much that I refuse to give this one away! Ordering more to give as gifts to friends and family!
I cannot recommend this item highly enough. Way beyond my expectations!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of an interest in BMW motorcycles. I was primarily interested in the photos, but the narrative/commentary proved to be very helpful in understanding the development of the machines. The photos are a of a single collection of a New York state collector, and so, are not as comprehensive as something might have been if BMW itself made its collection available for photography. In any case, it's well worth Amazon.com price for those who want to see some interesting BMW motorcycles.
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Perhaps the title should have been The Art of Vintage BMWs or Classic BMWs, as one reviewer was not happy that some of the more modern 80s and 90s BMWs were not in this book.
But there are other BMW books for those bikes. This one focuses on the true classics, which are as much art as they are machines of transport.
So if you are looking for a book on the first BMWs up until the 70s and 80s, this is the book for you.
The photography is excellent, and I have no issues with the printing of the text or the photos in my book like another person reported. Perhaps he had a bad print for some reason. This book is very nicely priced for what looks like a museum quality coffee table book.
Also, the bikes are almost perfectly authentic, except for maybe a few stainless bolts here and there instead of the original cadmium plated bolts. This is totally acceptable as these bikes were obviously ridden and are not merely show bikes.
In comparison, another BMW coffee table book I purchased here on Amazon had a big spread on a /2 BMW from the 60s, and the author didn't even notice that the engine was from a very different /5 BMW! This is called a conversion bike and something this obvious should not have been overlooked. You won't see things like that in this book.
Just pure, original, classic BMWs.
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Format: Hardcover
I really appreciated the quality of the photography. And being a layman with no experience in printing, but who's married to someone with quite a few art and photo books, I don't see the problem with the quality of the paper used. The photos look clear and detailed, and the paper is adequately thick.

I too was disappointed to see a paucity of models, but then again, as described, these are bikes from a private collection, and pretty darn impressive nonetheless. The book is not intended to represent every era or technological/aesthetic change. No one will be completely happy with the selection of bikes. I'd personally like to have more airheads in the collection, with the Kompressor as an added bonus, but that's me. It is a book I'll continue to come back to, and one all my motorcycle friends love to look at whenever they come over. A must for just about any BMW motorcycle fan.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book to be used as a gift 3 times and each time, i was sent a copy that looked like it had been hanging around in a warehouse for about 10 years, cover yellowed and scratched. definitely not gift quality.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for the visual feast this is it. Motorcycles are presented like art subjects.Big format, glossy paper, beautiful photography - a must for BMW collector.I love this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very very nice book if you like BMW motorcycles and pictures of them.
Containing BMW's from the early start till 2008, nicely written text
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