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 BMW - Paris Dakar
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BMW D2-492-09-17
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 980
Model : Paris Dakar
Production : 1986 -
Category : (Off-Road) Enduro


1000 Paris-Dakar / Gaston Rahier – 1986

An era ends

BMW took part in the second Paris-Dakar rally in 1980 with Fenouil and Auriol as riders, and won for the first time in 1981 with Hubert Auriol, who repeated the feat in 1983. BMW took the first rwo places in 1984 with Gaston Rahier first and Hubert "the African" second, and won yet again in 1985 with Rahier. The German flat-twins prepared in France seemed unbeatable so, to go with the flow, all the other factories hastened to ditch their singles in favor of faster twin-cylinder machines.

The End of an Era

The 1986 Paris-Dakar was a subdued affair, for the creator of the event, Thierry Sabine, was killed in a helicopter accident. It also marked the end of the reign of BMW. The rally, which covered some 9300 miles in less than twenty days, was dominated by the new V-twin Hondas of Cyril Neveu and Gilles Lalay. Out of three competing BMWs, those of Eddy Hau and Gaston Rahier could do no better than eighth and fourteenth positions.

Rahier, the Man Who Never Gave Up

Gaston Rahier, a slightly-built Belgian with a string of motocross victories to his name, took part in his first Paris-Dakar in 1983 and remained one of its stalwarts from then on. He left BMW in 1987 to establish the Suzuki competition department; in 1986 Hubert Auriol also left BMW to join the Italian Cagiva team.


Engine: air-cooled 1050cc flat-twin four-stroke

Power Rating: 82 hp

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: carburettor

Transmlssion: 5 speeds, shaft drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swinging fork (rear)

Brakes: disk (front); drum (rear)

Wheels: wire

Weight: 242 lb

With its Paris-Dakar bikes, BMW invented a monumental machine weighing some 550 lbs, which retained the liveliness and sheer grunt of a motocross bike.

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.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

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François-Marie Dumas

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