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Memorable MC - 1981 BMW Paris-Dakar Winner Photo Gallery
Unlike most of the other motorcycles in the race, the BMW works bike resembled its bloodline, the R80GS road bikes.
Frank dusts off an oldie but goodie with this month's Memorable Motorcycle, his original report on the BMW beast which won the 1981 Paris-Dakar race. Check out the full story in
Memorable Motorcycle: 1981 Paris-Dakar BMW
At 38 inches tall with rock-solid suspension, throwing a leg over the big Beemer wasn't easy.
Melling was frustrated with the works bike until he started to ride it hard, the way BMW intended it to be ridden.
Bernard Neimer, Hubert Auriol and Jean Claude Fenouil with the three BMW Dakar to Paris bikes, the only three of its kind.
Frank does his best Auriol impersonation.
Auriol was a punishing rider so BMW had to set the suspension as stiff as possible to accomodate his style.
Auriol's nickname 'The African' was derived from his upbringing in Ethiopia.
The giant 9-gallon tank kept Auriol riding while other racers were searching for gas.
BMW was aware early in the game that winning races sells bikes. It built the works bikes to boost the launch of its R80GS.
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