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Tradition, Innovation and Emotion: BMW Motorrad R Boxer Series

Sinan Özgen , Ceyda Vatan

Within this paper the story of BMW R boxer series' 80 years history will be presented. It will contain the design evolution, product life cycle, technological innovation compared to product-user emotional interaction.

The history of BMW Motorrad is a success story which began with the development of the flat twin "Boxer" engine some 100 years ago and has progressed through to today's state-of-the-art technological innovations. The transformation of R series from engineering object to design subject can be clearly seen in its process. The melding of industrial and Teutonic art, the R's design will likely remain timeless (classical) in motorcycle design world. The product’s classical design will be discussed from the point of view of product and user emotional experience.

The boxer's blend of curves and angles is classic "International style". This genre of design was developed at The Bauhaus, German school of industrial design. The International style was based on the fundamental principle that "art should meet the needs of society” and that no distinction should be made between industrial design and practical crafts. The user always remember the classical design of R boxer during the years even the design changes. This mentality of engineer experienced design is produced different kind of products compared to the other rivals.

For the user, the R Boxer will never be "out of style" since it was never designed to comply with contemporary standards of style. Instead, it uses timeless elements that can always be counted upon to inspire its owner to suit up and ride.


experience, memory, history, emotion