BMW Time Line

1916 Two companies, Gustav Otto's Aeroplane Factory and Karl Rapp's Flugwerke Deutschland, merge to form Bavaria Aeroplane Works.
1917 The company changes it's name to Bavarian Motor Works (BMW)
1919 With the end of WWI and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany is forbidden to manufacture airplanes. BMW turns to manufacturing motorcycle and automobile engines.

The "boxer" engine is designed.
1923 The first BMW branded motorcycle, the R32, is designed.
1935 BMW introduces the first production motorcycle to use telescopic forks.
1937 Ernst Hene rides a supercharged 500 cc overhead cam BMW 173.88 mph. He sets a world record that stands for 14 years.
After WWII The terms of Germany's surrender forbade BMW from manufacturing motorcycles.

Ban is lifted.
1948 First post-war BMW motorcycle is produced.
1951 BMW introduces the first sporting motorcycle, the R68.
1959 John Penton rides a BMW R69 from New York to Los Angeles in 53 hours and 11 minutes, setting a record. (The previous record of 77 hours and 53 minutes was set by some guy on a Harley-Davidson)
1967 BMW offers the last of the single-cylinder models, the R27.

The R69US marks the end of sidecar-capable BMWs.
1970 BMW introduces the R50/5, R60/5, R75/5.
1974 The R60/6, R75/6, and R90/6 are introduced.
1975 The kick starter is eliminated and a super sport model, the BMW R90S, are introduced.

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Time line sources:
Wikipedia and BMW History