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Classic Velocity Blog

Against All Odds

Classic Velocity

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The following are excerpts from Kevin Cameron's article King of the Boomers, which appeared in Cycle magazine in 1979. It was sent to me by friend and enthusiast Todd Trumbore, and then we added some links to round out the full story. The excerpts and the links tell one of those behind the scenes stories that often get overshadowed even at the time, and fade from memory unless they are retold...

 

"In a class dominated, at least on paper, by four-cylinder bikes and six figure budgets, the BMW of Udo Gietl and Todd Schuster almost bagged the Superbike Championship with a two-cylinder bike and hardly any budget at all."

"BMW is the most remarkable and vigorous dinosaur in motorcycling, with fifty years of history behind its boxer twin layout and drive shaft. Precisely made, well-mannered and durable, the BMW has always been valued as the finest of touring machines, but might not be your first choice for the hard world of AMA Superbike racing."

"Their $150,000 was money well spent. The race shop lights burned twenty-four hours a day, the dyno engines fired every evening at five, and an unending stream of refinements poured forth into the three team bikes. BMW dominated Superbike racing in 1976."

"That was that. The company sold the dyno, the flow bench, and the bikes. They would not be tempted further. For them, the decision may have been a wise one. For Udo, however, the decision was a catastrophe he could not accept. After ten years' work he could not just stop his emotional commitment as the company had terminated its program. It was inevitable that he would continue. In his notes and in his head were all the tests, everything that had worked and why."

Now, take some time to read the full story via the following links :

King of the Boomers

The Last of Udo Gietl's AMA Racers 

An Expat's Finest Hour