End of 1976, under the pressure of the US BMW importer who wanted to counter the Japanese brands increasing their market shares on the US off-road motorcycles market, Hans-Günter von der Marwitz, BMW technical director, decided to contact his friend Massimo Laverda asking him to realize an off-road complete rolling chassis for the BMW boxer twin engine.
Laverda had a good experience in off-road machines with their 125 and 250 models and the Italian factory was more reactive than the German manufacturer for such a project.
Alessandro Todeschini, engineer at Laverda, was in charge to design the framework. Early 1977, after only 5 weeks and with the assistance of the famous frame manufacturer Verlicchi, Laverda presented 3 prototypes of Laverda chassis equipped with the big BMW flat twin. The weight of the bike was only 132 kg.
Subsequently BMW produced its own frames inspired by the Laverda/BMW prototypes. End of the seventies, the BMW off-road bikes that were derived from these prototypes illustrated in various competitions, foreshadowing the famous BMW R80 G/S of 1980.