RS 54: Michael Nelson
493cc M253/1 Boxer Twin 45 hp @ 8,000 rpm
In 1954, BMW introduced its RS 54 customer race bike, which used the short-wheelbase frame, twin-shock rear suspension and Earles forks from the factory race bike of 1953. The boxer engine had twin Fischer-Amal TT30 carbs, a rigid crankshaft, polished connecting rods, cylinders cast in Dural alloy, and 45 horsepower. RS 54s won all but one 500cc German national championship from 1954 to 1962, including the 1961 title won by Hans- Günther Jäger. The RS 54 seen here was sold by Jäger’s family to Michael Nelson in 2004.