Villa Erba

27 May 2017

Moto-Icons: From Café Racer to the Superbike

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Lot 119

1954 BMW RS 54

  • Frame no. 549010
  • Engine no. 549010

Sold for €143.325

Documents: Bill of Sale


Please note that this lot is sold on a Bill of Sale.

  • Restored by Kurt Busch, former BMW factory racer
  • One of 24 built in 1954


One of only 24 examples built by BMW in 1954, this RS 54 was restored to its current condition and configuration by former factory racer Kurt Busch in the mid-1980s. Using the engine, gearbox, and driveshaft from sidecar racer Gustav Pape’s World Championship motorcycle, Busch rebuilt frame number 549010 to its current proper mechanical condition.

The RS 54 engine is a masterpiece of engineering. The 500-cc DOHC horizontally opposed two-cylinder engine, driven by transverse shafts and conical gears, is specific to this model. The factory riders Walter Zeller and Georg Meier have each won the Tourist Trophy, and BMW won the sidecar world championship numerous times with machines equipped with the incredible Rennsport engine.

In 1998, this RS 54 was ridden by Kees Koster in the Centennial Classic TT in Assen, as homage to his 500-cc championship attempt on a BMW Rennsport. This motorcycle was sold in 2011 to its current owner, who has dutifully maintained and kept the BMW in proper working order. The Rennsport presented here is a splendid machine whose exceptional quality is clearly apparent.





• Restaurata da Kurt Busch, ex-pilota ufficiale BMW
• Uno dei soli 24 esemplari costruiti nel 1954

Uno dei soli 24 esemplari costruiti dalla BMW nel 1954, questa RS 54 è stata restaurata nell’attuale configurazione, a metà degli anni ’80, dall’ex pilota ufficiale BMW Kurt Busch. Utilizzando motore, cambio e trasmissione dal sidecar da corsa, Campione del Mondo, di Gustav Pape, Busch ha ricostruito nell’attuale specifica, il telaio nr. 549010.

Il motore RS54 è un capolavoro di ingegneria con il 500 cc, 2 cilindri boxer con doppio albero a camme in testa e la trasmissione specifica per questo modello a cardano e ingranaggi conici. I piloti ufficiali Walter Zeller e Georg Meier sono entrambi riusciti a vincerci il Tourist Trophy e, BMW ha vinto numerose volte il Campionato del Mondo sidecar con mezzi equipaggiati con questo incredibile motore da corsa.

Nel 1998 questa RS 54 è stata usata da Kees Coster nella Centennial Classic TT di Assen, come celebrazione del suo campionato 500 corso con la BMW Rennsport. Questa moto è stata acquistata nel 2011 dal corrente proprietario che ha provveduto a mantenerla come dovuto, in perfetta efficienza meccanica. La Rennsport offerta è un mezzo splendido con le sue eccezionali condizioni ben visibili.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more