Sunday, December 4, 2011
Herborn, Germany

We have received the following request from Lothar Mildebrath of the BMW Veteranen-Club Deutschland e.V. The Veteranen-Club, which includes both BMW motorcycles and autos, is the largest vintage BMW club in the world. Lothar has taken on a project to try to document the BMW RS54 Rennsport machines and produce it in time for their 60th anniversary in 2014. If you have any information about these bikes, we encourage you to contact Lothar (email address below).


From shortly after their start of motorcycle production in 1923, BMW has been involved in racing. The machines used at this time were performance optimized and derived from the production vehicles.

The königswellen (OHC) machines of the 1930s and 1950s, however, were designed exclusively for racing.


BMW Motorrad racing type 253 RS54

These racing machines with a königswelle engine, be it as a solo machine or as a sidecar, with a long stroke motor and four-speed gearbox or a short stroke motor and five-speed gearbox, with an integrated shaft drive in the right swing arm or a torque arm, or fastened at the rear frame, has moved the world for more than half a century in motorcycle minds.

It passed through a long and successful Grand Prix career, especially gathering great fame in sidecar racing. But many aspects of this period are now in the dark. Its enormous presence in the racing circuit from 1954 to 1974 stands in stark contradiction to its low quantity available.

We want to bring more light into the matter and describe the history of this motorcycle, from about 1950 in its first stages of development through its last world championship 40 years ago, until today. This is the opportunity to put everything there is to say about this bike together.

Therefore we ask for support with facts, photos, stories and anecdotes! Vielen Dank! Thank you!

Lothar Mildebrath