BMW Racing Motorcycles: The Mastery of Speed

The Book

BMW Racing Motorcycles: The Mastery of Speed, published by Whitehorse Press, is the intriguing story of how BMW, maker of the best airplane engines during World War I, used their technical edge to win races and become one of the world’s most admired and enduring motorcycle companies. Amply illustrated with archival photographs, this new book follows the designers of BMW’s winning machines as well as the brave and talented riders who raced them.

Early in the twentieth century, winning races proved to be a highly visible and successful marketing technique for all of the motorcycle manufacturers. BMW was determined to focus public attention on the quality of its new motorcycle designs and showcase its envied German technology so it entered competitions of all kinds. As their motorcycles continued to shine in the most prestigious races, the company’s reputation as a maker of high-performance motorcycles quickly gained international prominence. Competition on the racing scene also led to many further innovations and refinements, which kept BMW a winner and a force to be reckoned with. The development of supercharged engines, advanced suspension systems, and many other improvements contributed to BMW’s dominance of various race competitions at different times with many of those technologies making their way into production motorcycles.

BMWs have long been known for reliability and endurance; it is precisely those characteristics that gave the company the deciding advantage in sidecar racing, endurance competitions, and Superbike racing. The determination to showcase the quality of its motorcycles that fuelled BMW’s early forays into the racing scene has endured as BMW remains a formidable competitor in various venues of today’s motorcycle racing.

Authors Laurel Allen and Mark Gardiner combined their knowledge and talent to produce this engaging account of BMW’s racing accomplishments. Both are well known motojournalists who have written extensively about motorcycle racing. Allen grew up in the road race paddocks and became acquainted with both road race legends and many of the fastest competitors racing today. She is now Senior Editor of Road Racer X magazine. Gardiner’s work has appeared in Bike, Classic Bike, Performance Bikes, Cycle Canada, Road Racer X, and Cycle World. This is his second book about motorcycle racing.

Hardcover, 9.13 x 6.8 inches, 176 pages, 130 full color illus and photos, $29.95. Copies are available at your local bookstore, dealer, or directly from the publisher, Whitehorse Press, 107 East Conway Road, Center Conway, NH 03813-4012. Phone toll-free 800-531-1133 or visit their web site at

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