A 15-way, six-month-long pitch toppled German agency Feuer from the business it has held since 2001.
However, 180 will take on an enhanced role as BMW Motorrad attempts to strengthen its central marketing steer to its national subsidiaries and their agencies, and also to appeal to a new, younger market with more rapid product development.
McCann Erickson's two-year hold on the UK creative account is unaffected by the move.
BMW Motorrad is also considering launching its first global branding campaign, said Jurgen Korzer, the Munich-based head of marketing who led the pitch. Currently, its international campaigns focus purely on model launches.
Korzer said 180 was chosen primarily for its international capabilities and creativity. The agency impressed with its work for Adidas -- another German company with decentralised structures -- and the 25 different nationalities among its Amsterdam headcount.
Korzer said: "Creatively, it proved with its solutions that it will bring us one step ahead.
"We need to conquer the Japanese, Italian and UK brands and others and we need a different approach to get younger people," he added. A "more radical, cooler, more dynamic product" will aim to appeal to "younger people who are more emotionally led in their purchase decisions".
The business will be run mainly from Amsterdam, with creative input from 180 LA in Santa Monica. Online media is expected to feature strongly alongside traditional print, and outdoor advertising, PR, events, trade marketing and sales literature.
First work is scheduled for the autumn to promote the launch of new models for 2008.