GERMAN automotive scientists have successfully taken the DNA of a 1984 Ducati Pantah and a 1974 BMW R90S and mixed it with a 110hp, six-speed dash of modernism to breed a bastard child cafe racer — the BMW R nineT Racer.
The creature has broken cover at BMW headquarters, proving yet again that designers back in the 70s and 80s were not the kitsch knuckle-heads some people would have us believe, but were actually artistic geneii.
The Racer has the unmistakeable front-end-rear silhouette of an airhead Boxer, and a fairing, front fork’n fender that would look right at home on a Pantah or an SS Ducati.
Major stats published by BMW include a weight of 220kg, acceleration of 0-100kmh in 3.5 seconds, a top speed of 200kmh, fuel consumption of 5.5l/100km (and a 17-litre tank), and a seat height of 805mm.
BMW describes the bike as “an old-school sports motorcycle designed for dynamic riding fun on winding roads”.
“The R nineT Racer deliberately arouses memories of the sports motorcycles popular in the early 1970s,” the company says.
“Crouched, compact and elongated, it conveys a sense of old-school sporty aspiration with its strikingly short half-fairing, hump seat, stub handlebars and set-back footrests, combining this overall impression with modern technology.”
A seemingly endless list of optional accessories allows for a lot of customisation fun and a breath-taking whack to your bank balance. (See the list at the end of the story).
BMW waxes lyrical about the Racer, as you might expect.
Here’s the company blurb:
“Today, the R nineT Racer brings to a serial production model what the BMW Concept Ninety captured as a design study: purist athletic flair, emotional design and uncompromising styling as a classic sports machine that not only inspires boundless motorcycling pleasure but also instils a desire to customise.
“Frame-mounted half-fairing, hump seat and set-back footrests in the style of the sports bikes of the early 1970s.
“Crouched, compact and elongated, the R nineT Racer conveys a sense of old-school sporty aspiration with its strikingly short, frame-mounted half- fairing on the steering head, and combines this impression skilfully with modern technology.
“In combination with the set-back footrests made of forged aluminium, the stub handlebars positioned deeply and mounted directly on the aluminium-forged, clear anodised upper fork bridge force the rider into a dynamic seating position. This is just what many motorcyclists in the early 1970s were looking for, resorting to the appropriate conversion parts at the time.
“An absolute must in this type of conversion was the hump seat – just like the one featured on the R nineT Racer. Modelled on the racing machines of that era, the hump seat not only made for a very sporty style but was also designed to give the rider optimum support when accelerating dynamically.
“This function is performed in the very same way today by the one-man hump seat of the R nineT Racer with its aluminium hump, and just as in bygone times it is combined with the low, narrowly shaped half-fairing and the elongated 17-litre fuel tank to create a particularly sporty line. What is more, the front view of the R nineT Racer is especially slim and squat in style, determined by the classic circular headlamp with the BMW emblem positioned centrally on the bulb cover.
“The typical café racers of the 1970s always featured analog circular instruments, and this detail is faithfully reproduced in the R nineT Racer. In their simplicity, both circular instruments follow the classic principles while still making use of modern technology. For example the R nineT Racer has an on- board computer as standard which provides a large and clear display on a segmented screen of the most important information such as time, active gear, remaining range, trip distance, service interval and average speed and fuel consumption.”
Here’s the options list:
Automatic Stability Control ASC.
LED turn indicators.
Hand-brushed aluminium fuel tank with ground/visible weld seam.
Air filter housing cover right/left in hand-brushed aluminium.
Radiator trim right/left in hand-brushed aluminium.
Aluminium fuel tank, hand-brushed with ground or visible weld seam.
Knee pads for fuel tank side surfaces.
Hump cover, aluminium or hand-brushed aluminium.
Back pad cover fabric as for R nineT seat or in Alcantara.
Scrambler Urban single seat (R nineT Pure only).
R nineT rider seat for R nineT Racer.
Comfort passenger seat with grab straps (for the R nineT Racer only in conjunction with passenger frame).
Passenger seat in conjunction with passenger frame.
Custom rider seat.
Aluminium handlebar end piece.
Main frame cover (without passenger frame).
Engine speed display (R nineT Pure only).
Barrel-type instrument cluster, chrome matt.
Protective grille for headlamp (R nineT Pure only, not for use on public roads).
Windshield in hand-brushed aluminium (R nineT Pure only).
Ignition lock cover in Granite Grey.
HP Carbon parts: ignition lock cover, intake snorkel cover, throttle body cover, front wheel cover, hump cover, belt cover, cylinder head covers.
HP sports silencer.
R nineT rear silencer.
Cylinder head covers in 2V style.
Cylinder head covers, chrome-plated, black or silver.
Cylinder head covers, aluminium or plastic.
High-end steering damper (adjustable).
Fork bridge with integrated stub handlebars (R nineT Pure).
Mechanically processed parts: footrest system (adjustable), passenger footrests, hand lever, belt cover, cylinder head covers, oil filler cap, swinging-arm pivot mount cover, headlamp cover, handlebar end cover, rear axle bearing cover.
Tank rucksack and rear bag.
Saddle bags on passenger seat.