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BMW ISDT winning enduro racer 1980

Submitted by on October 27, 2009

The BMW factory has always had a semi-official interest in ISDT racing, but as a boost to the launch of the R80GS, a full works team was fielded for 1979 that earned its keep by dominating the unlimited class of the ISDT and the European Enduro Championships. A feat the marque repeated in 1980.  Even as it did so, the writing was on the wall for the big BMWs. As ISDT events become increasingly closer to motocross events, the BMWs were at a disadvantage, particularly since the big-bore, two-stroke opposition was becoming more manageable and more competitive every year

The 1980 model pictured won the German and European enduro championships, plus the prestigious ISDT. The big, shaft driven, monoshock, 800cc  beast, pumped out 50 bhp and apparently weighed just 132 kg, which is bit hard to believe, looking at all that steel.

It’s also worth noting that, at the time, the International Six Days Trial was still a reliability trial and it was a big deal to actually get a bike to the finish of the event. Something BMW’s marketing men were quick to seize on and utilised effectively to build the legend of the ultimate adventure machine, the R80GS

Often forgotten when considering  BMW’s wins in the 1979 and 1980 ISDT events was the fact that, back then, the ISDT was organized according to capacity bands and the 500cc plus was, de facto, restricted to big, heavy four-strokes. It was this segregation of the bikes which also allowed the BMW to do so well.

Via Bike EXIF

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