Community Classic and Custom Motorcycles Unique Custom Cycles BMW R 5 Hommage | Timeless Respect

Unique Custom Cycles BMW R 5 Hommage | Timeless Respect

Inside the Unique Custom Cycles BMW R 5 Hommage

In life, there are few tasks that pose greater difficulty than accurately paying respects to your individual influences. It is an unenviable task that all creatives eventually embark upon but once done, and done correctly, the result is nothing short of remarkable.

Ronna and Benna Norén of Unique Custom Cycles in Miami were faced with this exact situation or rather when building a tribute to the classic BMW R 5—a motorcycle that could be a turning point for motorcycling as a whole during its time and, in some ways, still has an influence over motorcycle design today. The Swedish born Norén brothers seized upon the task and created something truly unique to honor the BMW R 5—the BMW R 5 Hommage.

Unique Custom Cycles BMW R 5 Hommage
Unique Custom Cycles BMW R 5 Hommage

Sourcing original parts for a restoration of an original BMW R 5 is a nearly impossible task, seeing as the BMW R 5 dates back to the 1930s. However, with the help of Munich-based lawyer Sebastian Gutsch, the Noréns found themselves upon an original 500cc horizontally opposed flat twin engine that had an output of 24 horsepower at 5500 rpm. For the time period, this was truly groundbreaking and made the powerplant a venerable one when outfitted in race machines of the day.

In fact, the engine within the BMW R 5 Hommage was originally used in racing and suffered damage during its life. With the help of BMW Motorrad Design Team, Ronna and Benna were able to machine and mate new componentry to the engine, breathing life into it once again.

Aside from repairing internal components, a modernized look was bestowed upon the vintage block. A polished chrome breastplate now proudly sits front-and-center on the heart of the R 5 Hommage, along with redesigned valve covers that give the eight-decade old engine a refreshed appearance.

Unique Custom Cycles BMW R 5 Hommage for sale
Unique Custom Cycles BMW R 5 Hommage

The finishing touches to the antique engine came in the form of a supercharger, one developed specifically for this project that would help push the R 5 Hommage’s performance prowess to contemporary levels. A stainless-steel exhaust was then fitted, allowing it to gain a proud engine tone.

From there, the brothers turned their attention to the rest of the R 5 Hommage, developing every component by hand at their workshop. Using specifications provided by the BMW Motorrad Design Team, the brothers developed a frame fitting of the 1930s. A long, elegant, contour frame joins everything together, and only the eye of a purist would be able to distinguish it from an original.

A teardrop fuel tank, hand hammered and joined to the oval bent, sits proudly upon the R 5 Hommage, its design matching perfectly to the original. The classic white pinstripe has a renewed elegance with a silver-flake, metallic finish that makes the Hommage glow with an almost angelic quality.

Though the telescopic fork may look the part, it is a completely custom fabrication, designed to deal with the rigors and demands of a modern rider. To that end, the rake has also been increased to give it a custom build look. The rear shock has been updated as well. And keeping with the times, not to mention the serious increase in horsepower, the braking capabilities have been upgraded to a single radial disc brake in the front and a single disc brake in the rear.

Unique Custom Cycles BMW R 5 Hommage review
Unique Custom Cycles BMW R 5 Hommage

One of the most defining characteristics of the original BMW R 5 is its round, solo headlamp. That proud piece of kit remains on the R 5 Hommage, just as it did so many years ago, only to be paired with the same swept handlebars and elegant hand controls from the days of yore.

From there, our eyes will undoubtedly lead down to the hand-made rear fender, which has an almost bobber quality to it. Accompanied by the wire-spoke wheels, the R 5 Hommage pulls on the threads deeply embedded in the wool of motorcycling.

Ronna and Benna Norén were faced with a nearly impossible task: build a custom motorcycle on par with the original BMW R 5 and to that end, they did so. Even with such strict specifications and requirements, the team built something that easily transcends the decades—fitting in any era, in any time.

Photography by Jenny Jurnelius

Story from our latest issue, available for free at the Ultimate Motorcycling app.

Unique Custom Cycles BMW R 5 Hommage

Nic de Sena
Twin anything, ride everything. No fuss, no muss. Senior Editor.

2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE First Look (5 Fast Facts—Supercharged)

We met the Kawasaki Z H2 last year, and now it’s time to upgrade. The 2021 Kawasaki Z H2 SE takes the standard supercharged...

2021 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-10RR: All New (15 Fast Facts)

Kawasaki has totally revamped its 2021 Ninja ZX-10R and ZX-10RR superbikes. The motorcycles, built with input from Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT), won the past...

2021 Kawasaki KLX300SM First Look with Specs (6 Fast Facts)

Adding to the KLX300R and all-new KLX300 dual-sport, Kawasaki has completed it's 2021 KLX lineup with an unexpected motorcycle. Meet the 2021 Kawasaki KLX300SM,...

2021 Kawasaki KLX300 First Look (5 Fast Facts)

From the moment we rode the 2020 Kawasaki KLX300R, we were crossing our fingers that we would see a dual-sport version. It took only...

2021 Honda Trail 125 Review (17 Fast Facts On- and Off-Road)

Honda continues to mine its archives for fun, approachable, small-displacement motorcycles with the release of their cool-as-a-Swiss-army-knife 2021 Honda Trail 125 ABS. This is...

1957 Gilera Extra Rossa 175 by Machine 1867: The Inside Story

“I really liked the look of the engine,” Edi Buffon of Machine 1867 explains, “and I thought I’d make something really interesting from it.” The...