Bol d'Or

The Bol d’Or is a 24-hour motorcycle endurance race, held annually in France. The riding of each bike is now shared by a team of three riders.

24 hours of endurance racing on a tough track: the 'Bol d’Or'


The Bol d’Or, first organized by Eugene Mauve, in 1922, was a race for motorcycles, and automobiles limited to 1100cc engine capacity (in the 1950s the limit was raised to 1500cc, and later to 2000cc). Today, the Bol d’Or is exclusively a race for motorcycles, although there are a number of side "attractions", such as races for amateur riders and for classic bikes.[1][2]

Prior to 1953 only one rider per machine was permitted. The record holder with seven victories, Frenchman Gustave Lefèvre, won with an average speed of 107 kilometers/hour riding his Norton Manx for the whole 24 hours.[3] From 1954 to 1977 the teams comprised two riders, and then, in the interests of safety, this was increased to three.

Until 1970 the race was held at various circuits, mainly Linas-Montlhéry and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. From 1971 to 1977 the Bol d’Or was held at the permanent Le Mans Bugatti circuit, which excludes the temporary street circuit section, exiting before the Tertre Rouge esses and rejoining at the Ford Chicane, excluding the section from the Tertre Rouge, Mulsanne, and Porsche Curves. For the next 22 years the event took place at Paul Ricard, after which it moved to Magny-Cours. When the race left Le Mans the 24 Heures du Mans was established, so that when the Bol d'Or returned to Le Mans, there were for a time two annual 24-hour motorcycle endurance events on the Bugatti circuit. Until 2015, the Bol d’Or was held in the spring, while the 24 Heures du Mans was in the early September slot formerly used by the Bol d’Or. In 2016 things changed again: the "24 Heures du Mans" moved to the spring, while the Bol d’Or moved to Circuit Paul Ricard In September.[4]

24-hour motorcycle endurance racing has a strong Francophone base, with the three main events held in France (Le Mans & Magny-Cours) and French-speaking Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps), and the most successful teams and riders are French. In 1970, 1971 and 1992 all-British teams of riders won the races. British rider Terry Rymer has had consistent results. In the 1970s the competitors included Phil Read and Neil Tuxworth, who later headed Honda Racing UK. On occasion, the Mead & Tomkinson racing team fielded "Nessie", a revolutionary bike with hub-center steering.[5]


The race is part of the Endurance FIM World Championship. The 2016 edition was the 80th edition of the race.

The race is accompanied by a motorcycle rally, carnival and other motorcycle related events.


Rider 1 Rider 2 Rider 3 Manufacturer
1922   Tony Zind - - Motosacoche
1923   Tony Zind - - Motosacoche
1924   René Francisquet - - Sunbeam
1925   René Francisquet - - Sunbeam
1926   Damitio - - Sunbeam
1927   Lempereur - - FN Herstal
1928   Victor Vroonen - - Gillet Herstal
1929   Victor Vroonen - - Gillet Herstal
1930   Paul Debaisieux - - Monet-Goyon
1931   Patural - - Velocette
1932   Louis Jeannin - - Jonghi
1933   René Boura - - Velocette
1934   Willing - - Velocette
1935   René Boura - - Norton
1936   Edgar Craët - - Gillet Herstal
1937   Tabart - - Norton
1938   Robert Tinoco - - Harley-Davidson
1939   Edouard Hordelalay - - Motobécane
1940 - 1946: not held - World War II
1947   Gustave Lefèvre - - Norton
1948   Jacques Lenglet - - BMW
1949   Gustave Lefèvre - - Norton
1950   Gustave Lefèvre - - Norton
1951   Gustave Lefèvre - - Norton Manx
1952   Pierre Collignon - - Moto Guzzi
1953   Gustave Lefèvre - - Norton
1954   Johann Weingartmann   Helmut Volzwinkler - Puch
1955   Oldrich Hameršmid   Saša Klimt - Jawa
1956   Gustave Lefèvre   Georges Briand - Norton
1957   Gustave Lefèvre   Georges Briand - Norton
1958   Inizan   Mutel - Triumph Engineering
1959   Jean-Claude Bargetzi   Georges Briand - Norton
1960   René Maucherat   René Vasseur - BMW
1961 - 1968: Not held
1969   Michel Rougerie   Daniel Urdich Honda
1970   Tom Dickie   Paul Smart - Triumph Trident
1971   Percy Tait   Ray Pickrell - Triumph Engineering
1972   Gérard Debrock   Roger Ruiz - Honda
1973   Gérard Debrock   Thierry Tchernine - Honda
1974   Alain Genoud   Georges Godier - Kawasaki
1975   Alain Genoud   Georges Godier - Kawasaki
1976   Alex George   Jean-Claude Chemarin - Honda
1977   Christian Léon   Jean-Claude Chemarin - Honda
1978   Christian Léon   Jean-Claude Chemarin - Honda
1979   Christian Léon   Jean-Claude Chemarin - Honda
1980   Pierre-Étienne Samin   Frank Gross - Suzuki
1981   Dominique Sarron   Jean-Claude Jaubert - Honda
1982   Jean Lafond   Hervé Guilleux   Patrick Igoa Kawasaki
1983   Dominique Sarron   Raymond Roche   Guy Bertin Honda
1984   Jean-Pierre Oudin   Patrick de Radiguès - Suzuki
1985   Alex Vieira   Gérard Coudray   Patrick Igoa Honda
1986   Dominique Sarron   Pierre Bolle   Jean-Louis Battistini Honda
1987   Dominique Sarron   Jean-Michel Mattioli   Jean-Louis Battistini Honda
1988   Alex Vieira   Dominique Sarron   Christophe Bouheben Honda
1989   Alex Vieira   Jean-Michel Mattioli   Roger Burnett Honda
1990   Alex Vieira   Jean-Michel Mattioli   Stéphane Mertens Honda
1991   Alex Vieira   Miguel Duhamel   Jean-Louis Battistini Kawasaki
1992   Terry Rymer   Carl Fogarty   Steve Hislop Kawasaki
1993   Dominique Sarron   Jean-Marc Deletang   Bruno Bonhuil Suzuki
1994   Dominique Sarron   Christian Sarron   Yasutomo Nagai Yamaha
1995   Terry Rymer   Jean-Louis Battistini   Jéhan D'Orgeix Kawasaki
1996   Alex Vieira   William Costes   Christian Lavieille Honda
1997   Terry Rymer   Brian Morrison   Jéhan D'Orgeix Kawasaki
1998   Terry Rymer   Brian Morrison   Peter Goddard Suzuki
1999   Terry Rymer   Jéhan D'Orgeix   Christian Lavieille Suzuki
2000   Jean-Marc Deletang   Fabien Foret   Mark Willis Yamaha
2001   Brian Morrison   Christian Lavieille   Laurent Brian Suzuki
2002   Jean-Michel Bayle   Sébastien Gimbert   Nicolas Dussauge Suzuki
2003   Jean-Michel Bayle   Sébastien Gimbert   Nicolas Dussauge Suzuki
2004   Vincent Philippe   Keiichi Kitagawa   Matthieu Lagrive Suzuki
2005   Vincent Philippe   Keiichi Kitagawa   Matthieu Lagrive Suzuki
2006   Vincent Philippe   Keiichi Kitagawa   Matthieu Lagrive Suzuki
2007   David Checa   Sébastien Gimbert   Olivier Four Yamaha
2008   Vincent Philippe   Julien Da Costa   Matthieu Lagrive Suzuki
2009   Vincent Philippe   Freddy Foray   Olivier Four Suzuki
2010   Vincent Philippe   Guillaume Dietrich   Freddy Foray Suzuki
2011   Vincent Philippe   Freddy Foray   Anthony Delhalle Suzuki
2012   Julien Da Costa   Gregory Leblanc   Olivier Four Kawasaki
2013   Jeremy Guarnoni   Gregory Leblanc   Loris Baz Kawasaki
2014   Gregory Leblanc   Matthieu Lagrive   Nicolas Salchaud Kawasaki
2015   Gregory Leblanc   Matthieu Lagrive   Fabien Foret Kawasaki SRC
2016   Anthony Delhalle   Vincent Philippe   Étienne Masson Suzuki
2017   David Checa   Niccolò Canepa   Mike Di Meglio Yamaha
2018   Freddy Foray   Josh Hook   Mike Di Meglio Honda
2019   Vincent Philippe   Étienne Masson   Gregg Black Suzuki
2020: not held - COVID-19 pandemic
Manufacturer No. of Wins Wins
Honda 17 2018,1996,1990,1989,1988,1987,1986,1985,1983,1981,1979,1978,1977,1976,1973,1972,1969
Suzuki 17 2019,2016,2011,2010,2009,2008,2006,2005,2004,2003,2002,2001,1999,1998,1993,1984,1980
Kawasaki 11 2015,2014,2013,2012,1997,1995,1992,1991,1982,1975,1974
Norton 9 1959,1957,1956,1953,1949,1950,1947,1937,1935
Gillet Herstal 4 1936,1929,1928,1927
Yamaha 4 2017,2007,2000,1994
Triumph 3 1971,1970,1958
Velocette 3 1934,1933,1931
Sunbeam 3 1926,1925,1924
Motosacoche 2 1923,1922
BMW 2 1948,1960
Harley-Davidson 1 1938
Monet-Goyon 1 1930
Motobecane 1 1939
Moto Guzzi 1 1952
Jawa 1 1955
Puch 1 1954
Jonghi 1 1932

Side racesEdit

  • La Tasse d'or (the golden cup), reserved for motorcycle of less than 50cc (known as the coffee cup: "tasses à café")
  • Le Bol d’Or classic (the classic golden bowl): reserved for classic motorcycles
  • Le Bol d'argent (the silver bowl): amateur competition taking place before main competition.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Eugene Mauve was the president of a French Club, Association motocyclecariste de France, but also a driver. After, Maurice Vimont managed the race for motorcycles : Marcel Delaherche and Luc Melua were technical marshals. Today, if the AMCF Club is always existing, Larivière Editions leads the manifestation.
  2. ^ "Bol d'Or site". Archived from the original on 2016-09-13. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  3. ^ The winners of Bol d’Or.
  4. ^ "Bol d'Or site". Archived from the original on 2016-09-13. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  5. ^ Bonham's

Coordinates: 46°51′48″N 3°09′57″E / 46.86333°N 3.16583°E / 46.86333; 3.16583