1977
 
Page updated 19-Mar-2014
 
April 8th Friday at Brands Hatch: John Cowie 4th on 980 GK BMW in Production Race also entered in 1,000cc Four Stroke race.

April 24th at Zandvoort 600km race: In atrocious weather, with rain and hail, Leon/Chemarin on the Honda won. The GK BMW's fate unknown.

June 18th & 19th at Nurburgring, Coupe d'Endurance: Motocourse reports: John Cowie and Bernie Toleman rode a consistent and at times spritely race on the Gus Kuhn BMW to finish eighth.

July 9th & 10th at Barcelona, 24 Hour race: First non-works supported team were John Cowie and Bernie Toleman of the Gus Kuhn 980cc BMW twin. They had the speed, as their third place in the practice times showed, but the detailed organisation wasn't quite up to scratch. First the grips were covered, then uncovered with tape, a rear tyre wall lifted, a fault which affected several other teams and finally top gear refused to engage. Their seventh place was safe though, the next team were 42 laps behind. [John Nutting, Motor Cycle 16/7/1977]

The best BMW. "The finest BMW I have ridden," was the opinion expressed by West German journalist and racer Hans-George Marwitz about the 980 Gus Kuhn long distance racer after a test session at Brands Hatch. "The handling was the best I have experienced from a BMW and in fact there was little if anything I could fault about the machine's performance." [MCN 5/10/77]

17th July at Paul Ricard, 1,000 km: John Cowie and Bernie Toleman on BMW finished 8th overall.

August 20th at Snetterton National: Cowie is entered on the Gus Kuhn BMW.

September 17th & 18th at Le Mans, Bol d'Or: The Gus Kuhn BMW suffered ignition and gearbox problems before retirement.

September 25th Sunday at Thruxton, 500 Mile Endurance Grand Prix: The toll during the first third of the race included John Cowie and Bernie Toleman on the Gus Kuhn BMW which again struck gearbox trouble a repeat of their Bol d'Or misfortune. [Andrew McKinnon Motor Cycle 1/10/1977]

November 30th in Motor Cycle News: Stand by for a big return to endurance racing from London dealers Gus Kuhn. A link-up with Suzuki looks set and riders John Cowie and Gary Green should have a tailor-made machine powered by one of the latest 1000 engines from the Japanese factory. Ken Sprayson, of Reynold Tubes, has already made a frame but this was designed to take a GS750 engine and will have to be modified for the larger capacity engine.

The racing link started when Gus Kuhn boss Vincent Davey took on a Suzuki dealership and first intention was to run an over size GS750. One was over bored to 850cc and fitted with a special camshaft, but then came the news from Suzuki about the 1000 engine.

During a recent visit to Japan, Suzuki GB's Maurice Knight made arrangements for engines to be supplied and two should already be on the way.

But until they arrive Vincent finds himself in the frustrating position of being unable to get on with the job. An expert at long distance racing, Vincent hopes things will be tied up by the end of the year and something concrete will be finalised in time for January's Racing and Sporting motor cycle show in London.

Although Vincent will be running the team, he is hopeful of attracting some outside sponsorship for a large scale return to endurance events. The machines will be fitted with RG wheel and leading link suspension has been involved in the development of the machine.

There are also plans to make a similar machine to the endurance mount that would be used for Formula TT and similar style races.

December 24th in Motor Cycle: Gus Kuhn go Suzuki for more power. For next year's Coupe d'Endurance series, the Gus Kuhn team will be campaigning a Suzuki powered machine instead of the usual BMW. Says Gus Kuhn boss Vincent Davey: "Shaft drive makes the BMW difficult to adapt to various circuits. And competition is so keen nowadays that we have had to tweak the engine beyond the limits of long-term reliability."

The duplex frame and leading-link fork for the Suzuki engine were made by Ken Sprayson of Reynolds Tubes. Added Davey: "We proved the superiority of leading links when using Dr Geoff Roe's fork on the BMW instead of the standard teles." The Sprayson version is all welded, with extra-slim Girling Gas Shocks inside the stanchions and tapered links pivoting on needle bearings.

The GS750 engine will be replaced by a 1,000cc unit in time for the January Racing and Sporting Show.