BMW R 5 Hommage Custom Motorcycle – Photo Gallery
Meet the BMW R 5 Hommage – a modern custom motorcycle that celebrates the 80th anniversary of the original 500cc BMW R 5 that was launched in 1935.
The BMW R 5 Hommage, which was unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2016 May 20, was hand crafted from scratch by some notable names in the world of BMW Motorrad, including Sebastian Gutsch, Ronny Noren and Benny Noren. The bike screams historic design, but is updated with all the latest in BMW technology.
“At its debut, the R 5 was not only a masterpiece of engineering, the clarity of its lines and the elegance of its proportions also made it stand out clearly from the masses. To this day, the R 5 remains one of the most aesthetically appealing motorcycles in BMW history in my view,” says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad.
“In my opinion, its fascinating and unique beauty lies in its sheer simplicity,” adds Ola Stenegard, Head of Vehicle Design and Creative Director Heritage BMW Motorrad. “In today’s world it is very simple to keep it complicated, but very complicated to keep it simple. And the BMW R 5 captures the very essence of a motorcycle. Our aim was to transport its clarity and elegant aesthetic appeal to the modern era – creating a respectful combination of old-school and high-tech with a dash of high performance.”
Powering the BMW R5 Hommage is an original 500cc boxer twin, donated by moto enthusiast Gutsch. This engine was damaged long ago during a race, but was brought back to life for this project.
Speaking of the engine, BMW Motorrad says “the Two-cylinder 4-stroke boxer engine of the R 5 was completely newly designed at the time and had an output of 24 base horsepower at 5,500 rpm. The valve drive was taken care of by two camshafts powered by a timing chain. Thanks to the likewise newly designed frame made of electrically welded oval tubing, the light R 5 reached a top speed of 84 mph, making it almost as fast as R 17 with 33 base horsepower 750 cc – which is one of the reasons it was so frequently used for racing, just like the engine selected for the BMW R 5 Hommage, which was damaged during a race. For the homage bike, numerous components such as the valve cover and the breastplate of the boxer engine were machined from billet aluminum based on sketches: they give the historical core a dash of modern flair.”
To help boost the R 5’s power plant to modern horsepower numbers, the a supercharger was added; the new horsepower numbers were not disclosed.
Next came design, which was easily trusted to two names in the custom-motorcycle scene – Ronny and Benny Noren. The Norens crafted all the missing parts for the engine and gearbox, and the remaining parts were built based on sketch designs from the BMW Motorrad Design Team.
BMW says “The result is impressive: even from a distance the proportions convey the timeless beauty of a consistent reduction to the essentials – entirely true to the spirit of the R 5 – and translate this idea into the modern age. The frame and fuel tank echo the elegant drop shape of the original, though in a more modern, streamlined interpretation. The steering head is slightly more tilted, for example, so as to give the R 5 Hommage greater presence and expressive stance while at the same time underscore the fact that it belongs to the customer bike world.
“As far as the frame is concerned, the focus here was on the oval shaped tubes which were such a striking feature of the original. Together the frame and fuel tank draw a continuous line from the steering head to the rear wheel hub, giving the side view a touch of elegance. The hand-made steel rear fender perpetuates the minimalistic layout.”
The BMW R 5 Hommage’s front suspension is based on the original R 5’s telescopic fork and its original aerodynamically shaped headlight. BMW says the leading edge of the forkcovers echoes the “crease” on the breastplate and valve covers with a suggested interpretation of the typical “R 5 rib”. The brake and clutch levers activated from the bar-end likewise blend the past with state-of-the-art technology: these custom-made components combine the look of historical reversed levers with the adjustment options of modern controls.
Minimalist but modern in design, the BMW R 5 Hommage arrives with stainless steel exhaust, revised rear wheel suspension, a modern piston brake system and the gorgeous redesign of the front and rear wheel hub. The latter combines the brake system and spoke mount in a single formal unit – a detailed reflection of the minimalistic concept embodied by the BMW R 5 Hommage, BMW says.
Last is color – the BMW R 5 Hommage keeps things simple with black paint with white pinstripes. The paint has metallic finish with a slight flake effect. The engine cases and transmission, along with various other engine parts, were finished in glass bead aluminum. The entire package is completed with a hand-stitched leather seat with embossing.
Check out the photos below of this custom motorcycle that keeps modern simplicity in mind.
BMW R 5 Hommage – Photo Gallery