1963 BMW R60SS
Lot 112
1963 BMW R60/2 Rennsport Replica Frame no. 624994 Engine no. 564907
€22,500 - 26,500
US$ 30,000 - 35,000
Lot Details
1963 BMW R60/2 Rennsport Replica
Frame no. 624994
Engine no. 564907
BMW motorcycles had been raced since the company's arrival on the two-wheeled scene in the early1920s, but it was not until the late 1930s that they began to make a significant impact outside Germany. The development of supercharging technology in the late 1920s had enabled Ernst Henne to set a string of motorcycle speed records for BMW, so forced induction was a logical choice when the company decided to go road racing. When the new 500cc Rennsport (RS) appeared in 1935 it was powered by an advanced double-overhead-camshaft engine complete with Zoller 'blower' mounted on the front of the crankcase. Also new was the telescopic front fork, soon to be seen on BMW's roadsters, and when plunger rear suspension was added to the package in 1936 the Rennsport was ready to challenge the British Nortons and Italian Gileras for Grand Prix honours.

Targeting the Isle of Man TT, BMW made its first official appearance at the world's most prestigious road race in 1937, works rider Jock West finishing 6th in the Senior race. West followed up this promising performance by winning that year's Ulster Grand Prix but BMW would not achieve its ultimate goal until 1939, when Georg Meier brought the coveted Senior TT trophy back to Munich.

With supercharging banned after the war, the Rennsport engine was reconfigured for normal aspiration and found its true métier as a sidecar power unit, winning 20 Manufacturers' World Championships between 1954 and 1973. Although redesigned with a Norton Featherbed-style frame, the solo Rennsport was outclassed at Grand Prix level, Walter Zeller's win at Schotten in 1953 - an event boycotted by the major title contenders - being the sole World Championship victory. Technological innovations pioneered on the Rennsport sidecar engine, including fuel injection, duly found their way onto Zeller's works bike, which by 1956 had reached the peak of its development. At that year's Isle of Man TT Zeller finished 4th in the Senior event before going on to claim 2nd place at both the Dutch and Belgian Grands Prix, finishing the season 6th in the World Championship.

Intended for supply to selected private owners, the Rennsport, although subsidised by the factory, was an expensive purchase and relatively few were sold. With most either in private hands or in museums, the only option for many enthusiasts is the creation of a replica, such as the machine offered here, which was commissioned by the late Claus Bäte, former proprietor of BMW dealership Autohaus Bäte of Hannover. The machine was constructed in 1995 by Pietersmeier Motorrad-Technik of Bielefeld in RS54 style using a duplex loop frame, BMW '/5'-Series front fork, 19" wheels with aluminium rims and an R50 roadster engine incorporating aluminium cylinders, RS camshaft, lightweight aluminium flywheel, aluminium sump, magneto ignition and a DC generator. Intended for road use, the Rennsport replica is also equipped with a kick-starter, lights and a speedometer. Only 1,382 kilometres have been covered since delivery in May 1996 and the machine is presented in virtually 'as new' condition. Accompanying documentation consists of assorted Pietersmeier correspondence, sundry invoices and German Fahrzeugbrief.

Obwohl BMW mit Zweirädern seit Anfang der Zwanziger-Jahre Rennen bestritt, gelang der internationale Durchbruch erst in den späten Dreissigern. So konnte die mit Kompressor ausgerüsteten 500er 'Rennsport (RS) grossartiger Erfolge erringen. Nach dem Krieg wurden Kompressor-Motoren untersagt, und die 'normal beatmeten' BMWs fanden ihr Bestimmung in Seitenwagen-Konfiguration. So wurden 20 Hersteller-Weltmeisterschaften im Zeitraum 1954 bis 1973 gewonnen. Für ausgesuchte Privatfahrer bestimmt, war die 'Rennsport' eine kostspielige Anschaffung. Daher wurden nur wenige Maschinen gebaut und verkauft. Die Meisten waren bei Sammlern oder in Museen zu finden. Der Weg zu einer eigenen Maschine war häufig nur über einen Nachbau zu bewerkstelligen. Die hier angebotene Maschine wurde 1995 von 'Pietersmeier Motorrad-Technik', Bielefeld im Stil RS54 gebaut. 'Duplex'-Rahmen, der Tank der '/5', 19 Zoll-Räder mit Alu-Felgen, der Motor einer R50 mit Aluminium-Zylindern, RS-Nockenwelle, 'erleichtertes' Aluminium-Schwungrad, sowie eine Ölwanne aus Aluminium kamen zum Eisatz, ebenso wie Magnetzündung und Gleichstrom-Lichtmaschine. Für die Strasse bestimmt, wurde die 'Rennsport Replica' mit Beleuchtung, Kickstarter und Geschwindigkeitsmesser versehen. Lediglich 1.382 km wurden seit der Auslieferung im Mai 1996 zurückgelegt, und die Maschine befindet sich praktisch im 'Neuzustand'. Zu einer grossen Anzahl von Unterlagen gehört auch ein Deutscher KFZ-Brief.
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