For years now, the motorcycle industry has had to design its motorcycles and their exhaust systems to stay below government-mandated sound levels, particularly with off-road motorcycles. The burgeoning electric vehicle industry may bring about the opposite now, with governments proposing minimum sound levels for the mostly silent-running electric cars and motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic […]
BMW Concept Ninety Marks Motorrad’s 90th Anniversary and 40 Years of BMW R90S
BMW revealed a new concept to mark the company’s 90th year in the motorcycle business while also paying tribute to a classic: the BMW R90S. (UPDATED with video.)
The product of a collaboration between the BMW Motorrad Design studio and Roland Sands Designs, the BMW Concept Ninety will be displayed alongside other classic BMW motorcycles at the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, May 24-26 in Italy.
The Concept Ninety carries many styling cues from the R90S, BMW’s classic superbike. Like it’s forebearer, the Concept Ninety sports a bikini fairing and Daytona Orange paint. The fairing wraps around a round headlight, but unlike the original R90S’ halogen bulb, the Concept uses a modern LED light. The overall aluminum bodywork is sleek and, seen from the side, the fairing, tank and tail forms a wedge shape resembling the cross section of an airplane’s wing. This effect is further strengthened by the contrast of the engine which is blacked out except for the valve covers of the iconic boxer engine.
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Another modern touch is the instrument cluster, pictured in the video above at the 5:57 mark. Twin analog tachometer and speedometer dials sandwich an orange backlit LCD screen while various multi-colored icons identify various features such as ABS (apparently BMW’s decision to make ABS standard on all new models extends to concepts too.)
Roland Sands Design produced a number of custom parts including the engine front covers, valve covers and rims which were milled using a contrast cut process to stand out against the blackened components. RSD also crafted the exhaust system, brake and clutch controls, Paralever arm and the air filter under the seat.
“It was important for me to translate the special statement made by the BMW R90S into the present through the use of unique parts – employing emotional design and cutting-edge technology,” says Roland Sands. “Everything just fits together perfectly: the BMW technology, the BMW heritage and our custom parts complement each other beautifully.”
The original R90S was one of the fastest production bikes of its era, claiming a top speed of 124 mph. Reg Pridmore rode the BMW R90S to win the first ever AMA Superbike Championship.
“The BMW R 90 S hails from an era in which bikers were regarded as outlaws,” says Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design. “There was something rebellious about it – it was fast, loud and wild. Pure emotion. And it has retained its fascination to this day.”