Protar BMW 1000 Dakar 1985

Celebrating the world's most famous race, we then thought to retrace the history of this race, looking at the times when arriving on the shores of Lake Dakar was already a feat and the podium was reserved for a select few. Searching among the proposals offered by the world of modeling, the choice fell on a bike that won four times this race, the BMW 1000. Led victorious in '81 and '83 by Hubert Auriol, he doubled his successes with Gaston Rahier in '84 and '85.

The model we examined is the reproduction of the Bmw 1000 with which Rahier ran in '85, made in Scale 1:9 protar. Numerous details that make up this model, printed in three colors (White, gray and chrome), with black and white skin cuts, a cut of adhesive rubber. numerous screws, springs and, as a last detail, a piece of metal mesh. We begin the assembly from the chrome-ray wheels that house tessted tires on which we pass fine frosted paper to remove the gloss of the print and create the wear effect in the rubber.


The engine, the classic boxer that for so many years has characterized the BMW models, comes well-detailed, with numerous chrome details such as the butterfly for the oil rod and the oil pump. The cylinders are well 22 Pieces (each fin is a detail that is screwed to the carter) And among them the spring, behaved to measure, supporting the drain. Now we move on to the assembly of carburetors, two Bing chrome with its gasoline filter. The petrol pipe made of transparent material is impressive..

The frame, a structure in round double cradle tubes, supports the engine with four screws and the accessories that complete it are the support for the coils, water bottles and the radiator for the oil placed in the back under the steering wheel. After custom-made two more springs, complete marbles are mounted and then tube protectors for cylinders are mounted. Suspensions do not present any particular difficulties, because this model was equipped with a cardano transmission. The rear shocks, with separate tank, need the coloring of the springs; For this purpose it is recommended to clean the spring with thinner to make it easier to hold the paint.

The front fender has a window through which air passes through for cooling the oil radiator, the metal mesh should be cut to size and inserted from the inside. The handlebars, attached to the top plate of the fork with four screws, has been changed by us. In fact, we have added a tool bag attached to the top sleeper and a manual road-book with command placed on the left knob. A further water bottle has been placed inside the dome that supports the headlight. The tank, made in four parts , complete with two chrome caps.

The saddle should be covered at the top with the rubber properly shaped, and the back with white skin. The rear fender, related tables and headlight, needs a hole near the frame fastening that is easily achievable by following the instructions. At this point, armed with scissors, you have to improvise, following the instructions, make with black leather provided the bag to be fixed on the tank with the transparent window to hold the race notes, and the bag to be fastened to the back luggage rack. The only shrewdness is to use a new blade to cut the straps with which to make the fastenings, because the size to be cut (1.5mm) must be perfect to ensure the belt passes into the buckle. A coat of polish to protect decals… from the sand and the BMW 1000 Paris-Dakar is ready.
Text, photo and model by Massimo Moretti.



The “Bavarian rat” of 1985

Text by Nicholas Bertaccini

The Dakar, the one with a capital w, is full of legends and stories. Some are short stories by "fishers", magnified, enriched and made legendary by word of mouth and since. Stories we've come to love and we hold as true. Other tales, generally those most incredible, real are also in commas.
What we have been told by Claudio Towers (6 Dakar from 1984 at 1991) It is an anecdote that falls into those true events, in those who do not need to be colored and flavored to be immortal.

We talk about the “Bavarian Rat”.

We heard it directly from the towers during lunch. When we told our Already had the eyes lit up, like those of a toddler who has combined a mischief but it was proud and seeks understanding from court, If not one off at least a little’ of sympathetic understanding. A rascally light, who years later still feels that he has done a great little tricksy. Hesitate a bit, before you pull out the drawer of memory details but eventually becomes convinced. She smiles and says "now all will be prescribed".

Towers is one of those riders that the Dakar has studied and understood it, that became biker and mechanic km after km, year after year. Every year a little’ of experience, something new included, a change to be made to the project, an improvement to introduce.

In those years the reference in the race of motorcycle was the BMW with its Gelande-Strasse sailed in the desert.

Towers has always had curiosity and inventiveness so typical of the inhabitants of the beautiful country and one initiative that is in the genes of those born in the province of Bergamo. He always fielded everything you need to get the best without ever backing down pursuing his ideas even when they looked like fools, even when proved wrong. Once again understand where is the solution to an age-old problem that nagged his Moto Guzzi to Dakar 1984, the rear suspension, practically ineffective which forced a constant guide standing on running boards.

Decides that there is only one way to shorten the time of study and development: copy from the best. In the end, if they do so the Japanese because you don't do that, you will be asked. Just a hunch in the eclectic mind, inventiveness and brilliant as that of architect Towers becomes a Pioggiadifuoco. And it won't be the first or last. The easiest way to study the best is getting a bike of the best. The BMW. BMW R80G/S of fresh Dakar winner Gaston Rahier 1985. BMW retained, Obviously, in Munich.

When you're used to solve problems in the middle of the desert, Maybe in the middle of the night, When you're hungry, tired and with still hundreds of km to go without knowing precisely what direction, the thought that go to Bavaria to take a motorcycle can be complex won't swipe. And our breaks down not. Reduced to a minimum the plan presents two problems: need a truck and a pretext.

Finds both and so part of Munich, to borrow the bike of Gaston Rahier from BMW. Ok, condediamoci a little’ time to reflect on what we have just read: Towers wants to go to Munich to get the BMW motorcycles dominatrix of the Dakar. Fantastic. The gimmick is a celebratory event, some sort of rally organized by motoclub. Meeting at which it would be nice to expose the bike champion.

Who knows, Maybe because the Germans they goaded the Teutonic pride. I imagine the good towers that comes with the van and two burly and moustached Bavarian warehouse that load the bike on German engineering and mechanical supremacy blathering about van. Of course along the way the bike will be diverted to Modena to take a break and be admired. Not by a group of bikers at a rally but by towers and who will have the opportunity to steal the secret of that rear suspension.


Whatsapp Image 2018-12-04 at 13.01.50

Claudio Towers Dakar 1985

Claudio Towers to the Paris Dakar 1985, as you read from newspaper articles of the time the bike is MotoGuzzi Chad-1985by series, by changing only the drain and reservoir for the occasion, made by Acerbis in aluminium.
Claudio Towers sees Dim dream of reaching Dakar because its battery went to pieces and forced him to retire.
We must remember that on that occasion it self-funded, contributing to the payment of the bike and race registration participating without even a mechanic in tow, providing maintenance of the bike then the first person after each stage.

Curiosity: beyond the official bike of towers, were produced more 15 Baja red requests by the French importer,
While the streets of Mandello for some years around a replica built by mechanics Moto Guzzi experts in.

Eicher Eugen BSA 1985

Eugen Eicher on BSA to Dakar 1985

Eugen Eicher had entered the Dakar 1985 It came from Switzerland, therefore thought fit to shift the utility of the famous Swiss army knife of’ Army, the motorcycle inserting replacement directly on the chassis. The most practical example is the rear sprocket that could possibly serve as protection for the crankcase of his twin-cylinder BSA from 650 CC. Probably many other spare parts were mounted away from the eyes of the uninitiated. I haven't been able to find out more, to my great regret, We appeal to fans of the site to learn more.

If necessary, Eugen was determined to use tools “outdated” like hammer and tongs housed in a leather bag. A photographic evidence that suggests the spirit of adventure that pervaded the competitors of the time.



The Yamaha XT to Dakar 1985

The XT to Paris-Dakar ' 85 Yamaha attending the Paris-Dakar rally were of two types: those officers, prepared directly from the House and managed by the French team Sonauto, who conquered with Olivier second place, and those prepared by Belgarda, that after dominating the competition with Peak have finished third and fourth with the same peak and with Mad. We have analyzed the version prepared by the Italian team because, approaching closer to mass production, lets make some interesting comparisons.

Belg85-12The motion of Belgarda represents a real collage, because it uses parts of the TT600, the XT 600 Ténéré and 490 by cross. The frame is that of TT 600, braced at the rear to support the weight of the extra fuel tanks and tool bag. In particular it has been soldered a reinforced tube that goes from the attack of the swing arm from under the seat. Compared to the standard chassis then added two skid tubes, one on each side, for increased protection, and the Centre stand for easy servicing.


Swingarm “official Yamaha”

The fork and the rear swingarm were provided directly from Yamaha and they equal those of motorcycle officers. The fork has the stems from 43 mm such as the TT 600, but has the sliders with the quick release front wheel. Clear springs are reinforced for extra weight that must endure. The swingarm is an experimental model a bit higher than that of series. The rear shock is to set, While the spring again this is reinforced to withstand greater load.


Rugg YZ derivation

The wheels shall be those of the 490 by cross. The tires were mounted, Depending on the land, with the air Chamber, putting behind a double Te rim to avoid tearing the valve, or the «mousse» solid rubber. The «mousse» in particular has been used on the rocks or on hard surfaces where the risk of puncturing is very high.
The braking system is a cross between what the XT 600 Ténéré and the 490 by cross. On the front there is the hard braking with the Group of Ténéré (pump and caliper) the cross bike which ensures greater reliability. At the rear is the drum brake group are from cross.
The engine is the TT 600, structurally identical to that, the Ténéré but already in the beginning a bit more powerful (about 2 more horses) and above all more generous in low. To earn another shot at low was replaced the camshaft with that preparation kits that Belgarda markets, and has been given special attention in the design of the Terminal part of the free outlet exhaust, which also takes advantage of the OEM manifold. It has also been changed to accommodate the Carburetors calibrated airbox on the tank.

Replaceable air filter located behind the tank so you don't have to remove the seat

Replaceable air filter located behind the tank so you don't have to remove the seat

In the race then you used the barrel of the Ténéré with cane in. cast iron instead of TT with the chrome barrel. Are also standard clutch and gearbox, the latter is how all that as scaling relationships. He spoke instead on the final report, adapting gradually to the characteristics of the route with the Crown replacement. The chain is strengthened, of the type used on dirt bikes.


Tank Byrd from 39 Lt.

The tank has a capacity of 39 litres and is the same as the preparedness kit, Inside is completely blank; the pilots themselves have renounced sponge inside because the half-empty tank of fuel to annoy not shaking the Guide and earns a liter capacity. The side tanks were made specially by Belgarda. The water, required for regulation, has, a capacity of 6 liters, that of petrol by 10.
The superstructure is completed from the saddle of the Ténéré, from a rear fender Acerbis and windshield, enclosing the radiator of the ollo (the Ténéré is set next to the engine). The fairing protects the instrumentation that includes tachometer, speedometer with trip-master and oil temperature thermometer. Behind the fairing are also the compass and a cassette for the roadbook



DKV 750 Dakar 1985

German financing, French and Japanese engine project, This is the combination that you see being born in 1985 the project DKV.
The money for the construction of the bike, hailed by sponsor, the Deutsche Kranvenversicherung AG What was then the largest health insurance in Europe. The idea was to Richard Montel, Head of Normoto of the project and put the Herault Seilles 4 cylinders in line of Kawasaki GPZ 750 ZX.

The project was innovative in its day, and that somehow launched the fashion of cylinders in the race in the desert, so much in vogue in the years that followed.

The engine was changed profoundly. First it was necessary to lower the compression ratio and depower him until a couple more appropriate schemes for racing in the desert. However, to achieve the remarkable allowed care power of about 80 horses. another “small crafts” was made to lighten the weight: the Starter was dismantled, resulting in a lightening of the electrical system. Was mounted on the starter kit Kawasaki Z 650. A home-made air filter Sachs and got "borrowed" from a Volkswagen Golf, a beautiful four-in-one exhaust and voila, you're done!

The soul of the chassis was maintained always the Kawasaki ZX, the double cradle was sawed off in order to add a removable cradle, to facilitate maintenance, claiming the seat and additional tank. For “quench” the 4 cylinder is made of a main tank in sheet 2 mm capacity 45 litres and under saddle there is another tank from 15 Lt.

The fork, a Kayaba crossisitica backgrounds, transplanted from a Yamaha YZ 490, with customized attacks for two disc brake callipers Brembo from 220 mm in diameter. The project, Surely serious and well made is evidenced by the gold anodized aluminum parts, as the strut front and rear brake calipers and spades triangles. Even the swinging arm was mounted ZX and derivation, instead of the system Unitrak, two classic and reliable White Power with external fuel tank. The hubs of the wheels were of Z 650.

The strength of DKV seemed to be the good power at all rpm, the solidity of a reliable engine, and the riders as Yvan GORONESKOUL, Philippe VASSARD and Andre BOUDOU, for sure talent and experience .
Top speed estimated at 200 km/h on road and 180 on sand and with a dry weight of 170 kg does not definitely the bike more maneuverable DKW elected to Dakar ...

N.d. r. Unfortunately this exciting project "European" did not have much luck, Since all 3 riders withdrew.

departure 1985-1

Partenza in linea Dakar 1985

Riders ready for a mass start during the Dakar 1985


Beppe Gualini presents the Dakar 1985

Statistics say that the Paris-Dakar is known from about 58% of the population. What is the secret of this race engine design, the hardest in the world to drive, bikes and trucks will compete on African roads? Definitely the allure of adventure, the common denominator of all things that today affect the general public. Not surprisingly it has earned the reputation of being the ultimate adventure. But perhaps many know only images, and not the mechanism. The Paris-Dakar is a real contest of speed that lasts 22 days, departing 11 January from Paris, and arriving in Dakar, capital of Senegal.

After crossing the France, with boarding Sète, Here's the Algeria with harsh and selective tracks, the Niger Arbre du Ténéré desert where a challenging route puts a strain on the competitors; but overcome these obstacles the race isn't that half. Here's the Upper Volta, Mali, Mauritania, with high and treacherous terrain orientation, Finally the Senegal, where do I start to breathe an air of celebration, Although, to the finish, on the beach of the Atlantic, nothing is ever said. This is the real reason that he brought the Paris-Dakar rally to be known: the unexpected.

For the places where, in the desert or abandoned slopes of Mauritania, the man is continually to struggle not only against the clock, but also against ull that await him in ambush, from losing our way and have to be able to take the right course, to have a mechanical problem and having to settle with makeshift. In a moment the situations tip suddenly: from a ludicrous speed of about 180 kilometers Backcountry hours you pass to deep stall where a small problem, because of the environmental conditions, becomes insurmountable and luck plays a major role in the execution of thousands of stories that take place within the competition.

But who are the participants? We are first and foremost professionals, pilots running to a house officer who comes up with team consisting of motorcycle, cars and trucks and aircraft mechanics support organization.

Are the drivers who carry on the image of a manufacturer, by competitive, that struggle daily with the best result, risk it all to all. Are those that attract the interest of the general public as they are the darlings, the myths. have been, and can be, the possible terrible Marathon winners. Beside them, Here are the stars of the moment who come from all walks of, from the world of song, of cinema, fashion and high society.

Are the names that do not have a fundamental role in competitive field attracts the attention of the mass media. But the real adventurers are individuals, ordinary people but with the passion of the engines, that, After doing the international license (mandatory), invest all their savings, they risk their means and their, holidays to live too, Maybe for once only, immersed in the great adventure. In an absolute sense is the biker who lives the greatest suffering, feelings and joys as everything is always just on his shoulders. Subject to all the inconvenience, from hot, in the cold, Weatherproof, the maximum risk of limb.

Only, physical and mental stress in dividing the big decisions and difficult times. Representing the Backpack, his faithful companion, the biker wears the bare minimum: a mandatory survival kit with radio aerial signal, (once turned on automatically means that it is fuoricorsa), bright flares, aluminium a survival blanket, a compass, a knife, a food ration Enervit, fructose and salt tablets, the sleeping bag, the water bottle cage and a pouch with an air Chamber for repairs to be performed on the fly.

But we see, in principle, How is a day. The morning the alarm clock is at the crack of dawn, the departure may be at six or seven o'clock and then two hours before the camp begins to swarm. Is kicked off every 30 seconds, one after another, leaving before the bikers then the cars and trucks. Each driver has a constant companion: road book that points the way from per-run, the tracks to be taken, the dangers, the degrees of the compass, exact kilometers to arrive without problems in the evening at camp. On average the kilometres are 600 or 700, with minimum stages, by 450 and also maximum 1.100 kilometers to the marathon stages.

After a stretch of transfer (50-100 kilometers) with a time limit, Here is the start of real special stage, kilometres of pure speed where the opponent is not only the time, but also the psychological and physical fatigue especially. The unexpected always lurking puts a strain on not only the means but also the men who must have a good preparation in all areas, the driving technique, to mechanics, the orientation, to survive and make a living. Upon reaching the finish line, starts a second day, the long lines to fill up with fuel, or have a cup of hot soup and steaming.

the night, in the light of lamps powered by generators or front batteries, work hours to tidy up the vehicle to the next stop do not count, often the Sunrise surprise men still intent on working! Nothing should be left to chance, because only a really meticulous preparation can guarantee a successful outcome. The costs of this race are very high, given the technical needs and last about a month.

Two facts that speak for themselves: a biker, just to cover the participation in the Paris-Dakar, spends 15 millions; This figure includes the inscription, the ferries, the planes, the equipment (radio) mandatory, the daily diet (does not include water) and gasoline.

And’ excluded from this figure the cost of the bike, for spare parts and assistance, which means having only one chance in a thousand to get to the finish line. Drive, always not counting the cost of the medium and its mandatory preparation (roll-bar and extra fuel tanks), the cost is of course equal to twice. Here the importance of sponsors is not only for the economy but also for the technical; in fact, participants need special materials highly reliable, both from a mechanical point of view, and clothing industry, the power supply and all accessories. Consequently the market does draw crucial advantage for testing indisputable, for the subsequent large-scale production.

This year, in its eighth edition, the Paris-Dakar rally sees the way beyond 200 bike, 250 cars and all trucks in the race and assistance; a caravan of 1.500 men. The prologue takes place 29 December in Cergy-Pontoise (a few kilometres away from Paris); the means will be exposed then to Versailles where on January 1 will be the actual departure. The Italian participation, increasingly fierce in motorcycle field, with the participation of official houses as the Cagiva, the Guzzi, the Yamaha and Honda Italy. In their hope to be present among that handful of survivors who will see the much desired and dreamed of the beach in Dakar.

Beppe Gauri

Interview taken by Jonathan Size Adventure

A special thanks to Andrea (Gitan) for the material provided

Abdi 1985

William Abdi Dakar 1985

William Amos on XT600 just landed in Algiers during the Dakar 1985

Hau 1985

Eddie Hau Dakar 1985

A prologue from hell what they faced the riders at the start of the Dakar 1985. Eddie Hau in a less Honorable tries to re-emerge with his BMW from a mud puddle. They rearranged the 8th place finish coming in egregiously absolute.