RSD and BMW Create the Concept Ninety

May 29, 2013
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

BMW Motorrad celebrates the 40th anniversary of its R90S with the BMW Concept Ninety, designed and built in partnership with Roland Sands Design. The original BMW R90S was first released in 1973 as one of the fastest production motorcycles on the market at the time, claiming a top-speed of over 124 mph. BMW claims the R90S was the first motorcycle to feature a standard front fairing and was the flagship model of the brand’s “Stroke Six” range. It originally came in “Daytona Orange” and was the mount Reg Pridmore piloted during the inaugural AMA Superbike Championship in 1976, which he won.

Design drawings of the BMW Concept Ninety.
Roland Sands  left  with Head of BMW Motorrad Vehicle Design  Ola Stenegard.
BMW tapped Roland Sands because hes known for creating stylish  ready-to-ride bikes that honor the past.
From the early design stages to the first ride, Roland Sands and BMW collaborated to make the Concept Ninety a ready-to-ride bike with top performance in mind, all while paying homage to the 40th anniversary of the R90S.

“The BMW R90S hails from an era in which bikers were regarded as outlaws,” said Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design, in a company PR announcing the concept. “There was something rebellious about it – it was fast, loud and wild. Pure emotion. And it has retained its fascination to this day.”

Forty years later much of the original R90S design remains apparent in the Concept Ninety, though the RSD touch is clear throughout. The rounded, bubble fairing on the front is a clear nod to the R90S of old, as is the orange paint scheme, hand-crafted aluminum bodywork and curved tail. This time, however, the tail is cut short in café-racer style and the rear fender is gone. The front faring is more sleek and modern and the Flat Twin Boxer wears the RSD logo on the front and valve covers. Dual RSD exhaust pipes jut off the left side while Ohlins suspension and gas forks handle the inevitable bumps in the road. RSD brake and clutch controls, wheels and an under-the seat air-filter were created for the Concept Ninety as well. LED headlights, Brembo radial-mount brakes and big Dunlop slicks add to the modern race-style amenities on the Concept Ninety.

This bike pays homage to the past while utilizing current technology and novel collaboration to make a ready-to-ride race bike. Roland Sands worked with BMW staff from half a world away to help turn concept designs to reality.

“It was important for me to translate the special statement made by the BMW R90S into the present through the use of unique parts – employing emotional design and cutting-edge technology,” said Sands in BMW PR.

Heinrich added, “The BMW Concept Ninety is sheer enjoyment in every respect – from the development of the idea to the sketching stage to the construction process. But above all when you’re riding it. It’s an absolute riding machine – just like the R90S was in its time.” Unlike other custom bikes, the BMW Concept Ninety can be – indeed begs to be – ridden. The motorcycle and all its components have been designed with top performance in mind.”

Check out the video below, provided by BMW Motorrad via YouTube, to get a behind-the-scenes look at the design work and collaboration it took to make the Concept Ninety a reality.