The R nineT has been a smash hit for BMW. It handles great, straight out of the box, and responds well to a little fiddling. And despite being only three years old, the platform has already morphed into five different models—the base Roadster, Pure, Racer, Scrambler and Urban G/S.
That should be enough to satisfy most folks, but there are some who want an even cleaner aesthetic than you get with the Pure. And if you have the skills or cashflow to really go deep, the results can be spectacular.
This razor-sharp R nineT is proof: The air-cooled boxer twin has been given a sharp new suit of clothes and a subtle suspension upgrade. It’s the work of Berlin’s Urban Motor, for a client who wanted to give himself a fiftieth birthday present.
Shop boss Peter Dannenberg lays out the brief: “A classical-modern crossover, with race track associations.” A 2015-model BMW R nineT was soon on the bench, and Urban Motor’s mechanic Uwe Hanzsch picked up his grinder.
The guys knew just what they wanted to nip, tuck and upgrade—but they also knew that the BMW would benefit greatly from all-new bodywork. So they called in reinforcements: Marvin Diehl from KRT-Framework.
Working off Urban Motor’s designs, Marvin shaped wooden bucks for a new monocoque tank and tail unit. It took a little back and forth to get the design just right, before he shaped everything out of aluminum.
Ditching the stock fuel tank meant finding a new home for the nineT’s fuel pump, but according to Peter, “Marvin had some fantastic solutions!” His handiwork also extended to the headlight and instrument shroud.
Moving to the suspension, the team wanted to trade the stock forks’ gold finish for black, and wanted full adjustability. So they killed two birds with one stone—fitting a set of 46mm USD forks from a BMW S1000R.
The rest of the bike is death—or improvement—by a thousand cuts, with every tiny detail coming under Urban Motor’s close scrutiny.
The clip-ons and foot controls are from Gilles Tooling, the clutch and brake master cylinders are Magura’s gorgeous new HC1, and the grips are from Motogadget. Other Motogadget parts include the bar-end and rear turn signals, speedo and mirrors.
The blacked-out exhaust is from Speed Products, and the rear plate holder is one of Marvin’s own creations. The taillight is a neatly embedded LED, and if you look closely, you’ll notice that the kill switch and start button have been relocated to the right of the fuel tank.
The finishes are sublime. Sven van den Brandt shot the bodywork in a deep blue with white striping, and everything else has been murdered out. Art Sattlerei Berlin handled the upholstery on the surprisingly generous seat.
Peter tells us that it took some time to reach consensus between the client, Urban Motor and bodywork man Marvin. But perfection is never easy, and in the end, we reckon it’s worked out beautifully. It’s a crisp and cohesive new look for the R nineT, and it’ll ride even better than the showroom bike—itself no slouch.
Anyone with an R nineT in the garage tempted to follow the same route?