Engineering Masterpiece: BMW RS 54

One of only 24 examples built by BMW in 1954, this RS 54 was restored to its current condition and configuration by former factory racer Kurt Busch in the mid-1980s.

Using the engine, gearbox, and driveshaft from sidecar racer Gustav Pape’s World Championship motorcycle, Busch rebuilt frame number 549010 to its current proper mechanical condition.

The RS 54 engine is a masterpiece of engineering. The 500-cc DOHC horizontally opposed two-cylinder engine, driven by transverse shafts and conical gears, is specific to this model. The factory riders Walter Zeller and Georg Meier have each won the Tourist Trophy, and BMW won the sidecar world championship numerous times with machines equipped with the incredible Rennsport engine.

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In 1998, this RS 54 was ridden by Kees Koster in the Centennial Classic TT in Assen, as homage to his 500-cc championship attempt on a BMW Rennsport. This motorcycle was sold in 2011 to its current owner, who has dutifully maintained and kept the BMW in proper working order. The Rennsport presented here is a splendid machine whose exceptional quality is clearly apparent.

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