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 BMW - 500 RS Rennsport
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Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : RS Rennsport
Production : 1954 -
Category : (R) Racing


500 RS "Client” – 1954

Return to racing

As a result of GermanyÂ’s defeat in WWII, the country was barred from competing in international racing until 1951. Then BMW reappeared on the circuits with machines directly derived from the successful prewar blown 500, but with the supercharger removed to comply with the new regulations. It was not until 1952 that the manufacturer was able to produce a new racing bike, the 500 Rennsport, known as the 500 RS.

Works Riders Only

In 1953, the solo RS — noteworthy for its modern frame, with Earles front fork and swing arm rear suspension, in contrast to the telescopic fork and plunger rear end of the sidecar version — was exclusive to the works riders Baltisberger, Mette, Zeller and the Meier brothers.

Available at a Price

Engine-wise, BMW retained its distinctive layout of twin overhead-camshafts acting on the valve stems through short rockers, but the engine had "square" dimensions, and the crankshaft ran in three roller bearings. Engine, gearbox and final drive were far more compact than previously, and the weight was down. In 1954, BMW sold 500 "client competition'' versions of the 500 RS — at a steep price! The main difference lay in the engine which was slightly undersquare. Initially a telescopic from fork was fitted, but it was very quickly replaced by an Earles. A modified version of this production RS became the official mount of Walter Zeller up to BMW’s withdrawal from racing at the end of 1957, but even all his talent could not prevail against Gilera, Guzzi and MVAgusta.


Engine: 493cc (66x72mm) air-cooled flat-twin four-stroke

Power Rating: 45 hp @ 8000 rpm

Valves: two shaft-driven overhead-camshafts per cylinder

Fuel System: wwo Amal-Fischer carburettor

Transmission: 4-speed, shaft final drive

Suspension: Earles forks (front); swing arm with twin spring/dampers (rear)

Brakes: two leading shoe drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 18 inch wire (front & rear)

Weight: 297 lb

Maximum Speed: 121 mph

The RS engineÂ’s power output could be boosted to over 60 hp with different cams and big DellÂ’Orto carbs.

Le fichier Moto Passion réalisé par François-Marie Dumas réunit près de deux mille photos accompagnées d'un historique très complet des machines présentées.
Il sera progressivement mis à jour ici et toute information complémentaire est la bienvenue sur info@moto-collection.org.

Cette documentation unique, qui constitue sans doute l'encyclopédie la plus exhaustive jamais écrite sur l'histoire de la moto, a été réalisée avec l'assistance de nombreux spécialistes dont principalement Didier Ganneau, Christophe Gaime, Mick Woollett, Jean Goyard, Bernard Salvat, Christian Rey, Yves Campion, Helmut Krackowizer, Michael Dregni, Michel Montange, etc. que je remercie ici.

Disponible sur demande :
- Les fiches originales sur papier
- Les photos et archives signées de mon nom en haute définition ou les documents originaux.
Me contacter sur info@moto-collection.org pour les conditions et droits d'utilisation.