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BMW Motorrad Roland Sands Design R 90 S - Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2013

90 Years of two-wheeled BMW history

Ezekiel Wheeler
May 24, 2013

Hardly any other motorcycle manufacturer can boast such a longstanding and successful heritage as BMW - 90 years to be exact. The BMW R 90 S certainly has cause to celebrate: the BMW Motorrad design icon turns 40 this year. As a tribute to both anniversaries, the BMW Group is presenting a special concept collaboration at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2013 - the BMW Concept Ninety. In partnership with the custom bike company Roland Sands Design, the BMW Motorrad design team has come up with an exclusive homage to the BMW R 90 S.

Back in 1973, BMW unveiled its flagship model in the "Stroke Six" range to the global public. Boasting a top speed of just over 124 mph, it was one of the fastest production bikes of its day and went on to claim numerous prizes in a variety of race series. With its sporty tail end and striking Daytona Orange paintwork, it endowed the BMW R 90 S with an unmistakable identity.

BMW Concept Ninety Motorcycle front in motion 3 Photo 8/27   |   BMW Concept Ninety Motorcycle

"The BMW R 90 S hails from an era in which bikers were regarded as outlaws," comments Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design. The BMW Concept Ninety resurrects this spirit of the emotionally charged superbike, translating the emotionality and inspiration of the earlier model into a contemporary guise.

"Today BMW motorcycles stand for perfection and function. That is what we have worked hard to achieve and something we are very proud of," says Ola Stenegard, Head of Vehicle Design BMW Motorrad.

The upper ergonomic and aerodynamic bodywork is visually separated from the black engine and chassis. The bodywork is hand crafted from aluminum. Its brushed areas can be seen in the tinted areas of the front fairing and tank, as well as at the tail. The rich orange shade of the BMW Concept Ninety is also a nod to the legendary Daytona Orange paintwork of the BMW R 90 S. Contemporary LED elements light up the face of the BMW Concept Ninety, honoring its ancestor with a round headlamp design.

Below the bodywork sits the air-cooled flat-twin boxer engine. Entirely in black with contrast cut details this section of the bike symbolizes concerted power, precision and performance. Many of the high-quality parts of the BMW Concept Ninety hail from custom bike specialists Roland Sands Design in California

Particular attention was devoted to those elements typical of a boxer, and thus also of BMW, which were meticulously designed and elaborately finished. Key highlights include the front cover of the engine and the valve covers, that got painstakingly milled, as well as the exhaust system. The parts were milled using a contrast cut process, which strikes an alluring contrast to the black mechanical components. This technology was also applied to the rims, whose classic design recalls the racing triumphs of the BMW R 90 S in the 1970s. The machining and technical implementation of the parts, are state of the art - like all the details on the BMW Concept Ninety. "It was important for me to translate the special statement made by the BMW R 90 S into the present through the use of unique parts - employing emotional design and cutting-edge technology," says Roland Sands of his approach to the bike. Likewise designed and made by Roland Sands are the brake and clutch controls, the Paralever arm and the air filter under the seat. All these meticulously manufactured individual parts blend smoothly into the form language of the BMW Concept Ninety.

BMW Concept Ninety Motorcycle on kickstand Photo 3/27   |   BMW Concept Ninety Motorcycle

"Everything just fits together perfectly: the BMW technology, the BMW heritage and our custom parts complement each other beautifully," comments Roland Sands on the result of this collaboration.

By Ezekiel Wheeler
271 Articles

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