published at 10.09.2015, 13:36
Heritage

Legendary BMW Group Classic motorcycles at Goodwood Revival

Goodwood Revival, the biggest event in historic UK motorsport, once again takes place at Goodwood in England this weekend (11-13 September). Goodwood Revival is one of the few occasions where such a wide variety of classic racing and standard motorcycles and cars can be seen in one place in surroundings that replicate the ‘golden days’ of years gone by. BMW Group Classic will of course be there...

Adding even more post-war atmosphere to Goodwood Revival is the way exhibitors and visitors to the event dress in period costume to cover the years 1948-1966. Goodwood Revival takes place within the estate grounds of Goodwood, West Sussex, home of confirmed ‘petrol-head’, the Earl of March. Needless to say this landmark annual event will once again feature classic BMW motorcycles and automobiles to form the BMW Group Classic’s eagerly anticipated exhibition.

This year’s theme for the BMW Group Classic exhibition is based on automotive transport and lifestyle of the fifties and sixties, a time period that saw automobiles gain in popularity and motorcycle sales dip. But despite the closure of many motorcycle manufacturers, BMW’s motorcycle division successfully negotiated and climbed from this trough of uncertainty thanks to shrewd business tactics and the advent of new models such as the 1960 R 69 S. Continued domination of the Sidecar World Championship with the RS 54-powered three-wheelers also helped to maintain desirability for the German brand.

Key to reproducing the post-war era of the sixties will be the March Motor Works garage arena. The BMW Group Classic will once again be stationed within this prominent area with its exhibition space mimicking life in the mid-sixties with careful reproduction of a London mews BMW dealership circa 1965. It was in this period of time when BMW was introducing its Blue Ribbon Service in Great Britain. Carried out by specially trained mechanics, these certified service programmes helped to fuel confidence in the quality and reliability of BMW models.

Alongside the four-wheel BMW machines there will be a fine spread of BMW motorcycles that fans of classic motorcycles will recognise as special examples of German two-wheeled engineering. With the rise in motorcycle collectors around the world, many envious eyes will undoubtedly focus on the display machines in the hope that one day similar such mechanical beauty will grace their own homes – searches for “BMW motorcycle barn finds” has today, without doubt, hit new heights. The Goodwood Revival static display of BMW motorcycles will feature an R 68, BMW 500 Renn’. (ex Zeller Type 253), R 26, R 69 S, and a BMW Kaczor Replica.

Motorsport is a major part of the UK’s automotive history and Goodwood has a long association with this area of sport. The Goodwood estate incorporates Goodwood Racing Circuit, a former relief airfield that first saw motorsport action in 1948 and continues to host competitive motor racing today. Part of the Goodwood Revival experience is watching the on track battles of classic bikes and cars. In the bike corner, the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy is guaranteed close action when stars of today and yesterday do battle on racing machines of the sixties. The two-part race takes place over Saturday and Sunday, with each race lasting 25 minutes and includes a compulsory rider swap within each two-man team.

Vying for the accolade of winner will be two machines from BMW Group Classic. Once again the famed 500 cc (actual 492cc) RS 54 will take to the starting line. Following the decision by the control board to ban ‘Kompressor’ engines at world championship level, BMW revealed in 1953 the RS 54 (based on the legendary Type 253) and immediately it set new standards for a naturally aspirated motorcycle by being powerful and reliable. So good was the RS 54 engine that its racing lifespan lasted for more than 20 years. As a powerplant for racing sidecars it had no equal. By 1974, 20 manufacturers’ world championship titles in sidecar racing had been captured by RS 54-powered sidecars.

The second Group Classic entry is a 1967 BMW R 50 Kaczor – a rare and equally exotic machine. In the mid-sixties, BMW engineer and motorcycle racer Ferdinand Kazcor decided to build a competitive 500cc race bike based on the serial bike BMW R 50/2. With this bike he participated in the German Motorcycle Championship. Kazcor refined the serial engine and doubled the output to 50 hp while cutting the weight (with a special very light and rigid frame) to less than 300 lbs. In 1969 he set a new lap record on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife with his bike. Kaczor made a few of these special frames until his untimely death in 1970.

Both of the above machines will be ridden by renowned racers Troy Corser and Maria Costello MBE. Australian rider Troy Corser and race partner Sebastien Gutsch will be keen to use R 50 Kaczor’s increased power and lower weight to good effect. Corser won the Superbike World Championship twice and competed for the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team for three years until his retirement from World Championship action in 2011. Maria Costello is a British racer and five-time veteran of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. Maria and Claus Clausen will line up on the RS 54 for the battle against Troy and other race greats.

BMW Group Classic’s presence at Goodwood Revival 2015 will also extend to tradition and typical German hospitality and cuisine. Visitors to Goodwood revival will be tempted into a Munich Oktoberfest inspired exhibit to sample some typical Bavarian food. In all, Goodwood Revival 2015 looks to be, yet again, the classic event of the year. See you there...

For further information on BMW Museum and BMW Group Classic machinery, go to: http://www.bmw-welt.com/en/exhibitions/museum/current/index.html

Further details about Goodwood Revival 2015 can be found on the official Goodwood website here.