Page updated 26-Apr-2011

The team machines were BMW flat twins in 1975. They had two BMW R90/S 900s and for endurance races Dave Sleat bored out a 900 to make 1,000cc. Old fashioned in many ways the Gus Kuhn BMWs went extremely well. "The front end of the rocker boxes used to hit the ground," says Dave Sleat, "so we raised the engines; drilling holes to take the engine bolts through the lower frame rails. After I'd done that the riders used to scrape the back end of the rocker boxes!" [Classic Racer, Spring 1990]


Penthouse, the Glossy men's magazine, has put a shapely leg forward and stepped into the world of motorcycle racing, in conjunction with BMW UK and Gus Kuhn Motors.

Two BMW's will be ridden by Dave Potter and Gary Green, one for production races and the other for long distance events: the four event Coupe d'Endurance series.

Gus Kuhn mechanic Dave Sleat will look after the bikes which have been painted in Penthouse colours: red, black and gold.

Outlining team plans Gus Kuhn boss Vincent Davey said: "We may do the ten lap TT, but what we are really concerned with is the Coupe d'Endurance. We will go to other meetings according to our riders' other commitments." [Motorcycle News, 8 January 1975]


April 13th at Brands National: Production race: 1st T Smith (830 Thruxton Commando), 2nd Martin Sharpe (900 Kuhn BMW), 3rd K Janes (750 GK Norton)

April 20th at Snetterton National: John Cowie is second in both 1,000cc and production races on 900 Kuhn BMW. He also got a third in the second production race.

10th May at Brands Hatch Stars of Tomorrow club meeting: Tim Maton won the Gus Kuhn Trophy as the day's most promising star. In only his 11th meeting since starting last year, the 22 year hustled his immaculate home-prepared 750 Seeley Norton to two skilful wins and a very close second. Also, Keith Janes got a 2nd & a 3rd on his ex-Dave Potter Gus Kuhn 750 Seeley Norton. [Motor Cycle 17/5/1975]

May 18th at Le Mans: 1,000 Kilometres du Mans. Gary Green and Dave Potter are 2nd on the 900 Gus Kuhn BMW.

June in the Isle of Man 1,000cc Production TT: From the start West German Helmut Dahne was first away, and the tall Munich rider in his red leathers was in great form on his 900cc BMW. At the end of the first lap Martin Sharpe (900 Kuhn Penthouse BMW) was 4th. After three laps Abe Alexander took over, having his first-ever race on a BMW following an accident to Martin's original partner, John Cowie, the previous evening. He was lying second, but the GK BMW was in trouble. It was slipping out of third gear and lost a place. By the five lap halfway mark, the second Kuhn Penthouse BMW, ridden by Darryl Pendlebury and Tom Dickie was in fourth spot. But they developed gearbox trouble. Then, with a lap and a half to go, the Pendlebury/Dickie BMW stopped near Ramsey, out of fuel. Starting the last lap the Sharpe/Alexander BMW was third. The final result was 3rd in the 1,000cc class, 7th overall. Second fastest through the Highlander speed trap at 133mph. [Motor Cycle 7/7/1975]

July 5th & 6th at Barcelona 24 Hour Race: Canellas & Grau were overall winners on 904cc Ducati, completing 731 laps. After the Green/Potter Gus Kuhn BMW had wrecked a special 980 engine in practice, and had it replaced with a standard 900cc unit for the race, they looked very promising. By the early hours of Sunday morning they had worked up to second place, six laps behind the leading Ducati. But then tiredness and aching arms slowed them, and later a misfire dropped them down to seventh. The fault cured, they got back to a fine fifth at the finish on 711 laps. Meanwhile, Tom Dickie and Darryl Pendlebury on the other GK BMW circulated practically the whole race in eighth overall, where they finished. Read More >>>>>

August 3rd at Brands Hatch: Hutchinson 100, Production race, Gary Green (900 Kuhn Penthouse BMW) leads for a couple of laps, DNF.

August 16th & 17th at Liege 24 hour race: Splashing through the rain and mist of the tortuous Spa Francorchamps circuit, French aces Roger Ruiz and Christian Hugeut (1,000 Japauto) outlasted their rivals to win the tough Liege 24-hour race in Belgium. In the opening stages, farther back but catching fast, were the GK Penthouse riders of Gary Green and Darryl Pendlebury on a 980cc BMW. After making a massive effort and pulling up to eighth spot they broke a rocker arm two miles from the start. The resulting push lost them over an hour and any chance of a good result. [Motor Cycle 23/8/1975]

20th & 21st September Bol d'Or 24 hour race at Le Mans: The Gus Kuhn BMW of Dave Potter and Gary Green hardly completed three laps before coming in on one cylinder, a valve spring broken. Both the 980cc machines of Potter/Green and the Americans Reg Pridmore and Gary Fisher were out by 10pm with the same big end lubrication problems that had stopped them before. [Motor Cycle 27/9/1975]

September 28th Powerbike International 400 mile Endurance GP at Thruxton: By the 8th lap Martin Sharpe on the Gus Kuhn 980 BMW was 4th. At the 2½ hour mark Sharpe and Howard Robinson were still in contention in third. But by 110 laps the BMW was hit by the same big end failure that struck at the Bol d'Or. [John Nutting, Motor Cycle 4/10/1975] Tony Smith and Tony Holland are also entered by Gus Kuhn on a 828cc Norton. They didn't finish, their fate unknown.

October 25/26 Brands Hatch: 750cc Race: In sixth place came Martin Sharpe on an ex-works Norton now owned by Gus Kuhn. He won a hard tussle against Richard Peckett (Honda) and Ray Jefferies. [MCN 29/10/1975]

[Motor Cycle News, 8 January 1975]

One of the country's leading road race sponsors have moved into the world of drag racing. Gus Kuhn, big bike specialists where many top road racers served their apprenticeships as riders, have jumped into the deep end of this growing sport with a twin-engined Norton dragster.

Looking like something out of the pages of America 's leading drag racer Tom Christenson's homework book, the twin-engined beauty made its debut at the Racing and Sporting Motorcycle Show in London.

Gus Kuhn boss Vincent Davey was persuaded into the world of straight line power by former road racer John McKiernan (31), who will ride it. He designed the bike and expects to fire it up for the first time in March.

Much of the work on the supercharged 830cc engines has been done by Kuhn road race mechanic Dave Sleat. Primary drive is by gears and later a slipper clutch will be fitted with an overdrive unit.

Reliability - Kuhn team secret weapon

After years of support in both the open-racing classes and production machines events, Vincent Davey of Gus Kuhn Motors, South London, decided to ease off this year and take things rather more leisurely by concentrating his efforts on major long-distance events with a brace of BMW's.

"We have concentrated our racing support with Nortons, but having taken on MV and BMW, I thought it a good idea to have a change." says Vincent.

"My first thought was to have a go with a 750 four cylinder MV, but although this sounds an obvious move with the fact that these bikes are clearly derived from the old works racers, they are intended for high speed touring and are really quite difficult to convert for racing.


"So we turned our attention to BMW and quickly realised this was a far better proposition.

"By that," explains Vincent, "I mean that although they have shaft drive, MV do not provide alternative ratios - BMW do. BMW also provide alternative engine equipment to boost power such as racing camshafts and high compression pistons.

"Had we decided to try our luck with an MV, we would have to make too many modifications, not good in long distance racing. I prefer to use standard, readily available components, so that if something breaks it can be immediately replaced without having to go back to the workshop.

"It was the long proved reliability of BMW machines in production racing that finally decided me - and this was confirmed when I saw the first engine stripped down. The quality is superb in every respect. The machining and fit of every component is equal to any works machine.

"We decided to prepare two bikes for this season - and then Penthouse came on the scene to lend a hand, so to speak.

"This was arranged by the Concessionaires, BMW GB. In point of fact both bikes are ours (Gus Kuhn property) but Penthouse came in with a level of financial support, along with a blessing from BMW themselves.

"Both bikes, R90S models, are absolutely standard except for the permitted modifications and to date (before the TT) have had just three outings. Martin Sharpe rode at Brands and was second, then John Cowie went out at Snetterton and was again second with a fastest lap. We then went to the 1,000 kilometres race at Le Mans where our main 'Penthouse' riders, Gary Green and Dave Potter were again in second place.

"This was our first serious outing and it was an event where we learned a great deal for the future. We treated this as a rehearsal for the ten-lap TT where both machines will be raced by Martin Sharpe & John Cowie and Darryl Pendlebury & Tom Dickie.

"Quite frankly," declares Vincent, "they are not fast enough. At the moment the engines are totally standard and there is a great deal to come as time goes on. So far, we have concentrated on getting them handling right and the riders are happy. Our secret weapon for the Island is reliability and the fact that we do not use quite so much fuel as two-strokes." [Charlie Rous, Motor Cycle, 31 May 1975]