Classic BMWs tend to be defined by their fuel tanks—from the bulky Hoske tanks to the elegant, chromed ‘toasters.’ But the most famous name of all is Karl Heinrich, who was the go-to guy if you wanted a new Kraftstofftank from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Heinrich has leant his name to this remarkable new R nineT custom, constructed by Jeremy Tagand at Deus Customs‘ Sydney headquarters for BMW Motorrad Australia. In stock form, the R nineT is the quintessential neo-classic—but at first glance, the Deus version could easily be mistaken for a vintage 70s machine.
According to Deus Customs creative director Carby Tuckwell, the project was “a coming together of like minds and shared visions. And a desire to evoke the spectacular.”
The biggest drawing card is that exquisite tank, which dominates the lines. Master coachbuilders Motorretro were given the tricky task of turning the Deus sketches into Heinrich-worthy aluminum.
Vaughan Ryan and Georgio Rimi specialize in hand-shaped timber frames and bespoke fabrication of alloy and steel, and their traditional metal-shaping methods have worked a treat.
“The tank is a work of art,” says Carby. “It’s scaffolded on an internal labyrinth of alloy channels, to offset the considerable fuel load. Which would slosh around like a drunk at Happy Hour if not for surge baffles aplenty.”
Some Heinrich tanks would have a toolbox built into them. In this case, Deus opted for a suede-lined cover that pops up, revealing the ignition and fuel cap.
Matched to the tank is an alloy tail unit with a brown suede-covered seat. The subframe underneath it is also new—fabricated from square and round section tubing. A neat rear wheel hugger rounds off the bodywork.
Deus ditched the R nineT airbox in favour of K&N filters, and installed a Power Commander to keep perfect tune. The exhaust headers have been reworked into a two-into-one-into-two setup, capped with a pair of stainless steel mufflers from Cone Engineering.
To simplify the cockpit, a Motogadget Motoscope Pro dash was installed. “It offers all the benefits of the standard unit,” says Carby. “But it’s more compact and handsome to the eye.”
Jeremy fitted a set of clip-ons, and he’s moved the foot pegs and controls slightly further back to perfect the riding posture. He’s also replaced the front turn signals for more compact items; an LED strip flushed into the tail nows handle both taillight and turn signal duties.
A simple white livery was settled on, applied by Dutchy’s and subtle enough to highlight the craftsmanship that went into the bodywork. The BMW’s stock headlight, front fender bracket, fork legs and rear spring all got a dose of black.
For a final touch, Deus enlisted the help of their good friend Andrew Simpson of Vert Design. Together, they melted down all the alloy components discarded during the tear down, and sandcast a set of badges: traditional BMW roundels for the tank, and a Deus logo for the alternator cover.
It’s a neat touch that perfectly sums up the vibe of The Heinrich Maneuver: a world-class workshop celebrating BMW’s illustrious history. Check out the video to see this magnificent maschine in action.