BMW, Roland Sands partner on Concept Ninety motorcycle

Publish Date: 
May 24, 2013

MUNICH, Germany - BMW and Roland Sands Design have collaborated to build the Concept Ninety, a motorcycle that pays tribute to two anniversaries: BMW Motorrad’s 90th and the 40th of the iconic BMW R 90 S.   

BMW is unveiling the motorcycle this weekend at the famed Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este historical car event in Cernobbio, Italy.

BMW unveiled the R 90 S in 1973 as the flagship model in its “Stroke Six” range. Boasting a top speed of just over 200 km/h (124 mph), it was one of the fastest production bikes of its day and went on to claim numerous prizes. The R 90 S also was the first motorcycle ever to feature a front fairing as standard. Other trademarks were its sporty tail end and Daytona Orange paintwork.

“The BMW R 90 S hails from an era in which bikers were regarded as outlaws,” said Edgar Heinrich, head of BMW Motorrad Design. “There was something rebellious about it — it was fast, loud and wild.”

The BMW Concept Ninety resurrects this spirit. The sporty boxer’s basic proportions take their cue from the forebear: The fairing, tank, seat and tail signal its family bond with the BMW R 90 S.

The BMW Concept Ninety’s 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 orange shade of the BMW Concept Ninety is also a nod to the Daytona Orange paintwork of the original.

Instead of the halogen lights used in the original (cutting-edge then), LED elements light up the face of the Concept Ninety, honoring its ancestor with a round headlamp design.

Below the bodywork sits the air-cooled flat-twin boxer engine that’s entirely black with contrast-cut details.

Many of the parts of the Concept Ninety are the result of a partnership between BMW Motorrad Design and Roland Sands Design of California. The mechanical parts and engine area, above all, bear the Roland Sands imprint. Highlights include the front cover of the engine and the valve covers, as well as the exhaust system. The parts and rims were milled using a contrast-cut process.

“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,” Roland Sands said.

Also designed and made by Roland Sands are the brake and clutch controls, the Paralever arm and the air filter under the seat.

“Everything just fits together perfectly: The BMW technology, the BMW heritage and our custom parts complement each other beautifully,” Sands said.

(Click here to see a 7-minute video BMW produced about the Concept Ninety)

Posted by Arlo Redwine. Images courtesy BMW