Oct 17, 2013 - 12:49 PM - by NickJ
Jul 08, 2014 - 4:55 PM - by NickJ
Excellent weather and a superb atmosphere at the biggest BMW Motorrad party in 2014. What you missed if you stayed at home.
Munich/Garmisch-Partenkirchen.Anyone who has been to the BMW Motorrad Days at least once is familiar with the basic atmosphere: by day there is a great celebration of motorcycling and at night people on the same wavelength simply celebrate life itself – and both parts are as relaxed and open-minded as is typical of the very best motorcycle parties. This year there were once again some 40,000 two-wheel fans present in Garmisch – the same figure as for the record year 2013.
There was simply something to suit every mood and every kind of motorcycle culture. Those with a rockabilly hairstyle went to see the rock ‘n’ roll bands playing at the Motodrom in the evening. Those in search of party music found it in the beer tent. Those who prefer things to be simple went to see Byron play his guitar by the camp fire.
The trend towards motorcycling as a lifestyle – already clearly in evidence at Hausberg last year – was even more pronounced this time round, with Ace Café, Motodrom and some great BMW conversions reflecting a richly varied motorcycle culture. And in spite of the fact that the show rate at the Motodrom was increased to one every half hour, the shows were full every time.
Old school”You see there’s a growing awareness of this kind of authentic phenomenon”, said Motodrom operator Donald Ganslmeier. “At some point the television gets boring: here spectators can watch at close quarters and see something truly spectacular. I hope we’ll be able to come again next year.”
Mark Wilsmore of Ace Café London would like to come back in 2015, too: “The ride from Glemseck to Garmisch was fantastic: excellent roads, perfect weather. I made sure I brought by rain things with me from London, but I never used them. I hope things work out this way next year: it was a great excuse to have fun.”
New high tech
Mark rode a BMW R nineT on the run from Glemseck – a bike which suited him to a tee both visually and in terms of riding. Guests were able to test ride the nineT as well as all the other current BMW models, but for those who missed out due to the huge interest there was a high-tech solution – the nineT simulator: Oculus Rift VR goggles, headphones, a ventilator and a BMW R nineT to sit on provided such a realistic ride in a 3D film that the user would sometimes hang out into the arms of the onlookers. “This would be great for virtual test rides at dealerships during the winter,” said a BMW helper at the simulator. Or to put it in the words of an 11-year-old test rider: “Again!”
The BMW Concept Roadster was featured on the first floor of the BMW Motorrad exhibition – a show bike that is designed to point the way forward to future BMW roadsters. “It’s a very reduced bike with the masses centred above the front section – just as a roadster should be,” said Edgar Heinrich,... [Read More]
Jun 24, 2014 - 4:23 PM - by NickJ
After building bikes for nigh on 20 years, Unique Custom Cycles has a reputation most builders would die for. The Swedish company is known for its traditional chopper and drag racing builds, but its latest project—nicknamed The Stockholm Syndrome—is very different.
UCC’s Ronna Norén and Gordon Roth like a challenge, and a few weeks ago BMW Motorrad dropped one right into their laps. They were given just five weeks to revamp a BMW R nineT, to enter into the famous Norrtälje Custom Bike Show.
For 35 days, Norén and Roth barely slept. But as you can see, the result was worth it. ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ is a clean and rakish roadster, the naked cousin of Roland Sands’ faired Concept 90 bike. And despite the tight timeframe, this R nineT is rammed with high-end Swedish engineering.
The forks and triple trees are new, built in collaboration with Tolle Engineering. The brake system was designed with the help of ISR, and features radial 6-piston calipers grabbing 320 mm fully-floating disks. The ABS sensors are retained, and on the custom handlebars is an adjustable ISR master cylinder. Öhlins got into the act as well, providing a custom shock and steering damper that we’ll probably see in production soon.
The bike is also a showcase for UCC’s own fabrication skills. The frame has been cut and raked a few degrees, and fitted with inserts from Perka Nyström of Plebs Choppers—the legendary Swedish motorcycle club that includes BMW Motorrad head designer Ola Stenegärd amongst its members.
The super-sano tank is a cut and modified R nineT original, matched to a custom seat from Stitch Sweden and a hand-made rear subframe. The exhaust system is newly fabricated from stainless steel, hooked up to a Burns muffler, and even the oil cooler is a UCC custom part.
Read the rest on BikeExif: BMW R nineT custom by UCC | Bike EXIF
Jun 04, 2014 - 1:39 PM - by NickJ
Motorcyclist: This bike looks like a quick repackaging of the old Oilhead boxer engine in a basic frame. Was it as simple as it looks?
Roland Stocker: This wasn’t an easy project to get started. The feedback from the Lo Rider [a concept bike shown at EICMA in 2008, which served as the prototype for the R nineT] was great, but it took us some time to make a positive business case. When we started calculating and asking, “What does it cost to make it light and not have any fake parts?” then asked the dealers how many they could sell, it actually didn’t work out. The markets were a bit concerned; maybe it was too close to the R1200R or to Harley.
MC: What did you have to do to turn that business case around?
RS: We made a real bike—just one—to give dealers a better idea of what it would look like. They could ride it and feel the difference. Then they started to think again, and the numbers became better. By 2011, the business case was still not perfect, but it was strong enough to start the project.
MC: The final product is surprisingly true to the original Lo Rider concept. What was the biggest challenge translating that prototype into production reality?
RS: We said we couldn’t cheat; we had to do it as we promised the customers. It takes a lot of money to make all the architecture ready for easy customizing. We could have done it more cheaply, of course, but that was never the idea. The price [$14,900] is not that much in the end, and you get the quality and materials we intended.
MC: Easy customizing was a key design criterion for this model. Speaking as a designer, was it difficult creating a design you knew would be changed or altered by the customer?
RS: Not at all. We really hope the customers modify it, and hopefully they will use good quality parts from BMW. I think what they won’t do is destroy anything. They will mostly modify things that can be reversed. I’m sure there will be a lot of ideas coming up, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what people do.
MC: This motorcycle also commemorates the boxer engine’s 90th anniversary, right?
RS: We were lucky with the 90th birthday in 2013 because that just happened to be the date for the final version to come to market!
May 13, 2014 - 10:43 AM - by NickJ
This year has been incredible for the sales of the BMW Motorrad devision. Sales numbers have doubled every month in this year so far. April has once again surpassed the record set by March, making April 2014 the best month that BMW Motorrad has seen thus far.
Year to date numbers are as follows:
The R nineT accounts for 8.88% of the total number of BMW Motorrad motorcycles sold this year. Not too shabby for the inaugural year motorbike if you ask me. Most consumers, myself included are hesitant to purchase the first generation of any motorized contraption, but a strong showing of the R nineT proves that the BMW brand carries with it a sense of trust in their manufacturing, testing, and quality from consumers.
The top model through April was once again the R1200GS; 9,826 of the adventure tourer were sold. Also in high demand were the new R 1200 GS Adventure (5,440 units as of April), the new R 1200 RT (3,760 units as of April) and the newcomers in the BMW model program R nineT (2,024 units as of April) and S 1000 R (1,679 as of April).
What do you think?
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