Ecureuil - ERS
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Ecureuil D2-492-10-19
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 1000
Model : ERS
Production : 1987 - 1989
Category : (Off-Road) Enduro


1000 ERS - 1988

Building the smart cycle

Conceived in 1986 by Joël Guilet on the initiative of the rider/journalist Pierre-Marie Poli, the Ecureuil ERS made news during the Paris-Dakar rallies of 1987-89. True, Team Ecureuil (named for a savings bank whose emblem is a squirrel) was playing a bold hand by testing its revolutionary construction techniques during the world's toughest rally.

Modular Concept

The ingenious nature of the ERS's construction resided in its modular concept. It was made up of three quickly demountable elements – a monocoque body/chassis, the engine-transmission-rear wheel assembly and the front suspension. It only took six minutes to remove the engine and transmission; the ease with which the front suspension could be changed allowed the use of interchangeable modules with ideal suspension geometry for each stage of the event. It was even possible to vary the mounting point of the engine-transmission unit to achieve an ideal weight distribution and alter the wheelbase.

Carbon Fiber Frame

Like a modern Formula 1 car, the 1000ERS was built around a compact chassis monocoque in carbon-kevlar fiber. Weighing less than 14lbs., the monocoque housed the foam-filled aviation-type rubber fuel cell. Bolted below the monocoque were twin aluminum honeycomb cradles carrying the big twin-cylinder BMW engine/transmission unit. The wager almost paid off; in three years Ecureuil demonstrated the validity of its concept but it never achieved its ultimate aim of victory.


Engine: air-cooled 1020cc BMW flat-twin

Power Rating: 80 hp @ 6500 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 5 speeds; shaft

Suspension: reversed telescopic fork (front); swinging fork with twin damper units (rear)

Brakes: disk (front/rear)

Wheels: Michelin Bib Mousse tires - 18, 19 or 21in (front); 17in (rear)

Weight: 375 lb .

Maximum Speed: 121 mph

Racing is a tough school to learn in, and the Ecureuil bikes were pulled out of competition before their development was complete.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

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François-Marie Dumas

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