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From a press release issued by Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum:

PICKERINGTON, OHIO – The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum will celebrate eight decades of BMW sport bikes with an all-new exhibit, “BMW: The Mastery of Speed.” Opening July 20, 2005, this showcase of the German manufacturer’s sporting heritage features seldom seen and historically significant machines on loan from the renowned Peter Nettesheim collection. The exhibit will also include rare images and artifacts from Mr. Nettesheim as well as from Mobile Tradition, BMW's division devoted to preserving the company’s heritage. Together, these elements tell the memorable stories behind BMW’s many technical innovations.

The official dedication of “BMW: The Mastery of Speed” includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 pm, July 20, visits by special guests from BMW Motorrad USA, and a sampling of Munich’s best-loved culinary traditions. The event and exhibit are open to the public (regular admission prices apply). The opening also coincides with the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America 33rd Annual International Rally, held July 21 - 24 in Lima, Ohio, which is expected to bring up to 9,000 BMW enthusiasts to the area.

“BMW understood and mastered the art of performance motorcycle design long before many other manufacturers discovered that performance sells,” said Mark Mederski, executive director, Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. “This exhibit not only traces BMW’s sporting DNA back to its source, but gives visitors the chance to see how it evolved through some of the most significant machines ever engineered and produced by the company.”

The exhibit is created around Peter Nettesheim’s insightful and “consumer-friendly” approach to BMW motorcycle history. A master storyteller with a passion for uncovering little-known facts and stories about the motorcycles he collects and restores, Nettesheim and Mederski strategically selected vintage models that define each of BMW’s most important models, beginning with the Twenties—the period when BMW temporarily ceased their aircraft engine production and transitioned to engineering ground transportation. “BMW: The Mastery of Speed” opens just as BMW unveils the latest chapter in its sport-tuned model line, the 2005 K1200S and the soon-to-debut “naked” K1200R – which will be added to the exhibit upon its arrival on U.S. soil.

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 to these magnificent machines, 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” joins the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum’s equally new “Motocross America” exhibit, opening this month.

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
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