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BMW enters GP race

Published: 29 April 2002

Updated: 19 November 2014

This is the bike that will change the way you think about BMWs. It is a totally new three-cylinder four-stroke designed to compete in GPs.

You can get the full story on the new BMW GP bike in MCN, out April 24 but here’s our first impressions:

*Sources in Germany claim the Bavarian firm is well under way with the development of its 990cc race bike and that it will be on the grid next year.

*The bike is believed to be a joint development by BMW and Italian engineering firm Oral Engineering, which has also been linked to MZ’s GP project.

*Oral refuses to reveal details about its customers, but has confirmed it is working on the development of a MotoGP engine for " one or more " German clients.

*Our artist’s impression shows how BMW could break with convention by using a reversed cylinder head, allowing shorter, straighter inlet tracts for better gas flow. Such a design would mean repositioning the fuel tank to give more space for the ram-air airbox – here the tank sits under the engine, a system tried before by Honda on the 1984 NSR500.

BMW may use its unconventional Telelever forks.

*BMW already has a proven GP winner in the form of Luca Cadalora. According to the firm, he is simply under contract to ride an R1100S in the Boxer Cup, but insiders reckon he’s on-side to develop the GP bike.

*BMW has already established itself a major player at the highest levels in motorsport with its successful V10 Formula 1 engine.

*There are persistent rumours of a new, sportier road bike under development, and a high-profile race effort would certainly help create the right image to make it a sales success.

What do you think of BMW’s GP effort? Will it change the traditional image of BMW bikes? Click on the link on the right to comment on this story.

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