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BMW R100 RS: Personality transplant for Paris-Dakar

When the R100 RS was launched in the late 70s, it was intended as a point-to-point rocket. However, several had their personalities transformed, and were turned into ‘indestructible’, go-anywhere machines which became legendary in the Paris-Dakar rally...

With its wind-tunnel tested aerodynamic fairings, the R100 RS was designed to cover ground in the fastest way possible; however, said ground was not expected to be the ultra-demanding terrain of the Paris-Dakar rally.

As a result, when German rally motorcycle specialist HPN modified several brand-new RSs for entry to the then-young continent-crossing rally, the bikes underwent a stark transformation. Gone were the characterful but unnecessary (in this application) fairings; in came the required rally-spec technology such as a reinforced sump, a lengthened driveshaft swing-arm, and specially-made dampers.

The HPN BMWs became legendary, with many entered in the early Dakar rallies. The example seen here was one of those which took part in the 1980 and 1981 events. It is currently up for sale in the UK.


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This Paris-Dakar BMW R100 RS can be found in the Classic Driver Marketplace



Photos: Unit 56