BMW R nineT Custom Builds
One look at the BMW Motorrad sales numbers from the past year, and it’s easy to see the Bavarian company has a hold on the market.
BMW Motorrad has broken record after record, with much of the success attributed to the constant refreshing of models and the release of niche models, such as the R nineT.
This model (read our R nineT Review) enthusiastically speaks to a wide demographic, from hipsters who seek cool to Millennials that crave naked bikes to Baby Boomers who have uber passion for the brand.
The R nineT is also the “in” bike for customizers around the globe. And during BMW Motorrad Days Japan – the largest BMW Motorrad event in that country – held at Hakuba47 Mountain Sports Park last month, four R nineTs were on display.
Each bike was the result of “unique custom conversion by leading Japanese customizing firms” who took on the challenge of transforming the stock R nineT into a their own creation in less than 200 days.
The four bikes included were designed by Go Takamine (Brat Style), Kaichiroh Kurosu (Cherry’s Company), Shiro Nakajima (46 Works) and Hideya Togashi (HIDE Motorcycle).
Following are BMW Motorrad’s descriptions of each custom:
BMW R nineT “Cyclone”
Go Takamine‘s creation by the name of “Cyclone” was welcomed to the stage to thunderous applause, and was presented by no less a personage than the BMW Motorrad acrobat himself, multiple stunt riding world champion, Chris Pfeiffer.
Go Takamine‘s interpretation of the R nineT was in the style of a so-called tracker bike, revealing a light-footed filigree character, crowned by an immaculate color design and paintwork, not to mention numerous chrome components. In Go Takamine’s words, “This street bike is my attempt to combine the past with the near future, in the form of a modern, current motorcycle concealed beneath a nostalgic exterior.”
BMW R nineT “Highway Fighter”
The “Highway Fighter” from Kaichiroh Kurosu was the result of a fine stylistic mixture of both historic and current BMW motorcycle elements. Comparisons with the breathtakingly beautiful BMW R7 prototype from 1934 are fully justified, even though Kurosu‘s creation is essentially a machine that was made in modern production facilities with current styling.
Kaichiroh Kurosu put it this way: “For me the object of the exercise was to look into the future. I imagined what BMW motorcycles might look like ten years from now, and I think that this would still be a pretty cool bike even if the traditional flat-twin engine were to be replaced by an electric motor.”
BMW R nineT “Clubman Racer”
In contrast, Shiro Nakajima‘s “Clubman Racer” was the result of one man’s passion for perfect riding machines, whether on the road or on the racetrack. In terms of lightweight construction and functionality, his interpretation of the R nineT followed on clearly from his previous projects, these largely having been developed for racing use.
In the words of Shiro Nakajima, “What I wanted was to create something a bit more sporty than a cafe racer. A motorcycle that you don’t just take into an urban environment or ride over mountains with but one that you can also really enjoy on the racetrack. This was the reason why I chose above all to make it as light as possible.”
BMW R nineT “Boxer”
Hideya Togashi‘s “Boxer,” on the other hand, is a timeless variation in a classic sport design. Its fairing is reminiscent of the racing replicas of the nineteen seventies, bringing forth both memories and yearnings among motorcycling enthusiasts.
Hideya Togashi himself told us, “The main feature is its slimline aluminum fuel tank. It seems to hug the rider, while the design of the fairing is borrowed from that of nineteen seventies racing models.”
These customs made a major impression on Ola Stenegard, head designer at BMW Motorrad of the R nineT: “I was just blown away! I had very high expectations – we are dealing with some of the very best customizers in the world here – yet I was on my knees. What they have achieved is just mind-blowing. And each bike perfectly reflects the builder.
“My thoughts at the time on their creative elements were these… the overall stance: wow! The innovation and ideas: beautiful and stunning! The details: mind boggling. I make everything on my bikes myself so we spent many hours discussing aluminum welding and hammer-shaping metal and sand casting of parts.
“I appreciate their builds on so many levels. The thing is with the Japanese custom culture, if you need a valve cover they say ok, we’ll make one… You need a full fairing? Ok I’ll make one of those, too. They just never buy stuff – it’s all in the Japanese craftsmanship culture somehow. And I love it. This is next level stuff for sure and a perfect addition to the ‘first nineT family’! A true inspiration for us at BMW Motorrad. And to every R nineT owner.”