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Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank

Custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank
There’s no denying the BMW R nineT’s hit status. It’s fun to ride, comes in six great flavors, and lends itself well to custom work. But here’s the thing: even though it’s unquestionably retro, it cuts a more modern, roadster-like silhouette than the classic boxers it pays homage too.

While that doesn’t make it any less pretty, it has given rise to a new trend in R nineT customization. Builders like Hookie Co. and Unit Garage now have kits out to replace the R9T’s curvaceous fuel tank, giving it the more blocky and utilitarian vibe of its predecessors.

Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank
Here’s another solution, from a custom shop working out of a family garage just southeast of Madrid. TooHard Motor Co. are an eclectic bunch, tackling restoration and custom work across a multitude of marques.

They mostly work with older motorcycles—but here, they’ve turned their hand to transforming a 2015 R9T into a classic cafe racer.

Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank
The centerpiece of the design, and the change that’s had the biggest impact, is a vintage BMW R90S fuel tank. It’s also the part that took the most work to get right and caused the most headaches.

TooHard started with a stock R90S tank (they even considered a newer R100R unit at one stage), but had to navigate around the modern Beemer’s fuel pump and wiring. So they decided to split aesthetics and functionality. The R90S tank is just a shell now, hiding a custom-built stainless steel fuel cell.

Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank
That fuel cell’s been built to house the OEM fuel pump, and both it and the shell sit on modified mounting points. Getting the whole arrangement to fit also meant relocating a bunch of electronic modules, and installing a new battery.

As an added vintage touch, TooHard finished it off with a classy Monza-style gas cap.

Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank
Next, the crew started tightening up the rear end. The R9T’s subframe has bits that can simply bolt off—but the team went a little deeper, by fabricating an all-new seat support and ditching everything else.

The new subframe includes a small integrated LED tail light, with all of the wiring routed inside the frame tubes. A neat cafe-style saddle caps things off up top.

Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank
Then there’s that audacious exhaust. TooHard turned to Spanish exhaust specialists, Escapes GR, to build a full two-into-one-into-two system, terminating in two slash-cut mufflers alongside the tail.

The R9T’s stock catalytic convertor and O2 sensor are gone, and the air box has given way to a pair of K&N filters.

Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank
The new tail arrangement doesn’t leave room for a license plate, so TooHard built a new bracket that mounts to the swing arm, and also holds a pair of Motogadget turn signals.

With the big stuff out of the way, the team focused on fine-tuning the build. The R9T’s tidy front fender and round headlight suited the design, so they stayed on. Likewise, the suspension, brakes and spoked wheels were adequate, so those were left alone too—TooHard simply spooned on new Michelin rubber, squeezing a chunky 190 onto the rear.

Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank
The cockpit was treated to new Rizoma clip-ons, complete with Motogadget turn signals, and the German brand’s swish new glassless m.view mirrors. TooHard covered the original riser mounts with a neat pair of caps from Rizoma, then installed a digital Motogadget dash on custom-made bracket.

It’s a surprisingly sano setup, considering they’ve kept the original triple clamp and controls.

Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank
Dubbed ‘Bavara’ (Spanish for ‘Bavarian’), the R9T was finished off in a chic matte grey scheme, with traditional BMW motorsport stripes. The valve covers are black now—and though the stock gold forks are sure to ruffle some feathers, we like the hit of color they add.

Between the tricky tank swap and the tasteful nips and tucks, TooHard have sent the R9T’s classic appeal through the roof. If this means that old-style tanks on newer Beemers are now officially a thing, count us in.

TooHard Motor Co. | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Miki Poveda and Rafa Dieguez

Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank