We have a guilty secret: As much as we love poring over the high-end builds, with their exquisite fabrication and styling, we also love checking out ‘regular’ bikes that have been discreetly fettled with smart upgrades.
There’s something to be said for having a modern bike in the garage that will start on the button every day, and get you to work through torrential rain. And then you can save the beautifully restored vintage cafe racer for sunny weekend rides.
So when Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles sent us the story of this modified BMW R nineT, our interest was piqued. As a finished bike ‘Rewind’ looks superb, but it’s still a practical daily rider.
For many customizers, this is the bread-and-butter work, and Analog’s BMW is a great example of what happens every day in workshops around the world.
“This was probably the simplest customer-to-builder relationship to date for us,” says Tony. “Joel Saban requested a build on his newly-acquired R nineT. He’d be ready when we were, and put down a deposit.”
A few months later, Joel rode his R nineT to Analog’s Illinois shop. “He basically said ‘I would like better hand controls and a better-sounding exhaust, and other than that, do what you want,” Tony recalls. The perfect customer.
When Joel bought the bike, it was fitted with what seemed like every R nineT part in the Rizoma catalog. “It was a bolt on custom when it arrived at the shop!”
So Tony took off most of the Rizoma stuff, leaving just the intake scoop, the blinkers mounted on the oil cooler, and the valve covers. A pair of radial Beringer master cylinders went on, to improve lever feel.
The next step was to upgrade the pipework with Akrapovič 2-into-1 exhaust headers to improve power and sound. Tony fabricated the back half of the system and terminated it with a Cone Engineering muffler.
Those were Joel’s requirements sorted—so the rest was up to Tony.
On went a pair of ABM clip-ons with Lowbrow Customs knurled grips, to button up the control area and front end.
After detabbing and powdercoating the rear subframe, a new tail cover was installed with built-in lighting: Analog’s own ‘Cone’ taillight and Watsen Designs turn signals. There’s new seat upholstery too, with a more contoured design than the BMW original.
The rest is a clean-up job: a tidy license plate mount, a spot of black powder coating, and a Motogadget Motoscope dash on a custom-made mounting plate. Just ahead is a tiny aluminum fly screen attached to the headlight bucket.
The new paint is stealthy: gray and black, with a subtle gold pinstripe. If you’re not sold on the high-contrast black-and-raw-metal look of the stock R nineT, this is a good solution.
“I’m really pleased with how this one turned out,” says Tony. “It sounds like a race machine now, and it’s heading into the dealer for a proper tune.”
We’re sold too. If you want a ‘real world’ bike to park alongside the leaky old veteran in your garage or lock-up, we reckon this is the way to go.