• Bol D’Or - The “Other” 24 Hour Motorcycle race

    Pit stop
  • BMW
  • Winning Yamaha
  • Running start

Anyone in the motorcycle world knows or has heard of, the 24 hours of Le Mans, both cars and motorcycles versions. The race was made even more legendary after Steve McQueen starred in the 1971 movie “Le Mans”.

Bol D'Or - The “Other” 24 Hour Motorcycle race
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The motorcycle version of this race is as impressive as its car counter part. But did you know there’s another, equally impressive, 24 hours motorcycle race in France. Organized since 1922, the “Bol D’Or” (translated means “Gold Bowl”) used to be a combined motorcycles and cars race, lasting 24 hours, but now it’s “only”a motorcycle endurance race.

Part of the Endurance World Championship, the race is always held in the 2nd week of September. For a quarter of a century, the race was held at the Paul Ricard race circuit in the South of France, but since 2000, the race is held on the Formula One circuit of Magny-Cours, closer to Paris.

Big names have participated in the race, many of them winning the epic race. Carl Fogarty, Dominique Sarron, David Checa to name a few. Suzuki GSX-R1000 used to dominate for many years until last year, when David Checa, Sebastien Gimbert and Olivier Four brought their Yamaha R1 over the finish line.

The race starts the way they used to with Le Mans; the racers need to run to their bikes. It’s always a fascinating start, since even if you qualify as first, if you can’t run fast, you’ll end at the end of the pack.

Each team fields 3 riders and there usually are some 60 teams present. The circuit often shows “ SOLD OUT” signs at the cash registers. The circuit itself seats 100,000 spectators plus another 50,000 around the circuit.

It’s a major event for spectators, not only the race, but all the activity, especially at night. Camping is free, and the motorcycle parkings are well guarded and the rock concerts mythical. For the weekend there is a fair/carnival and a motorcycle village with all major motorcycle and accessory manufacturers present.

This year the race is held 13-14 September. Entrance fees will be approximately €50 for the whole weekend. If you’re an endurance fan, this is a race not to be missed.

Bol D'Or - The “Other” 24 Hour Motorcycle race
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Winning Yamaha


Bol D'Or - The “Other” 24 Hour Motorcycle race
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Bol D'Or - The “Other” 24 Hour Motorcycle race
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Running start


Bol D'Or - The “Other” 24 Hour Motorcycle race
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Pit stop

Source: boldor

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