Alan Cathcart con BMW 500 KOMPRESSOR TYP255: The supercharged winner of the 1939 TT (THE MOTORCYCLE FILES Book 23)
For its entire 90-year existence as a manufacturer of road vehicles, whether with two wheels or four, BMW has endeavoured to underline the overall excellence, high performance and good reliability of its products by racing them against the best that the rest of the world can offer.
In 1938 and 1939, the European Championship and Isle of Man TT-winning Typ 255 Kompressor twin-cylinder 500cc road racer from the German manufacturer was the first of the company’s products to do so successfully in international competition. Which is why it is the subject of this issue of The Motorcycle Files.
Kompressor is the German word for a supercharger, a device that compresses the fuel/air charge into an internal combustion engine and thereby substantially increases the power output. As a result the supercharged motor of the BMW Typ 255 gave the bike such a power advantage over the British opposition that German star, Georg Meier and his British team-mate, Jock West, occupied the top two places on the 1939 TT podium. The bike remains, and is likely to remain forever, the only supercharged bike to win on the Island.