BMW 980 Bol D'or 1975
BMW officially withdrew from world championship speed racing
in 1964, but the German company returned to that field—first semiofficially and
then officially—some years ago. Meanwhile the company stuck with the system of
the two-cylinder opposed-piston engine with universal transmission. BMW went
back into competition with its bigger series-derived motorcycles for endurance
racing—the formidable twenty-four-hour Coupe d'Endurance races.
BMW, a company that had become famous for its extremely sturdy
engine, found that it could not break its commitment to racing, especially at a
time when motorcycle fans were taking the BMW to their hearts.
The racing BMW, developed on the basis of the experience of the fine German
driver Helmuth Dahne, who rode BMWs year after year, was first entered in the
main big-class speed races. It had to stand up to the cornpetition of the
multicylinder Daytona formula motorcycles that were being manufactured by the
Japanese and the Italians. But it was at the Bol D'or, the famous Le Mans 24
Hours, that the BMW 750 (which became a 900 in 1973 and a 980 in 1975) came into
its own. Ridden by Dahne, the Nies brothers, Green, Woide, Gluck, and many
private racers, the BMW 900 copped the leading placings in the Coupe d'Endurance
Motorcycle: BMW 980 Bol d'Or Manufacturer: BMW, Munich Type:
Coupe d'Endurance Year: 1975
Engine: BMW two-cylinder, opposed-piston, transverse, 180°. Four-stroke cycle.
Rod-and-rocker distribution. Displacement 980 cc.
Transmission: Five-speed block; universal shaft final transmission
Power: 80 h.p. at 8,500 r.p.m.
Maximum speed: Over 150 m.p.h.
Chassis: Continuous tubular double cradle. Front and rear, telescopic suspension
Brakes: Front wheel, hydraulic double disk; rear wheel, central drum