Motorcycles

R5 custom pays Hommage to BMW’s motorcycle heritage

R5 custom pays Hommage to BMW’...
The hand-made R5 Hommage is a unique custom model built around a boxer engine with a lot of history
The hand-made R5 Hommage is a unique custom model built around a boxer engine with a lot of history
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The BMW R5 Hommage in action
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The BMW R5 Hommage in action
The BMW R5 Hommage in action
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The BMW R5 Hommage in action
The R5 Hommage is a tribute to BMW's motorsport heritage
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The R5 Hommage is a tribute to BMW's motorsport heritage
The hand-made R5 Hommage is a unique custom model built around a boxer engine with a lot of history
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The hand-made R5 Hommage is a unique custom model built around a boxer engine with a lot of history
The round headlight of the R5 Hommage sits between two fork legs that were created by hand in 1930s styling
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The round headlight of the R5 Hommage sits between two fork legs that were created by hand in 1930s styling
The R5's single seat draws inspiration from the original Pagusa seats that BMW used in its production models for decades
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The R5's single seat draws inspiration from the original Pagusa seats that BMW used in its production models for decades
Carved out of billet aluminum, the reverse levers of the BMW R5 pay Hommage to the classic original design
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Carved out of billet aluminum, the reverse levers of the BMW R5 pay Hommage to the classic original design
The supercharger sits on top of the engine block, where usually BMW would put the airbox
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The supercharger sits on top of the engine block, where usually BMW would put the airbox
The wheel hubs of the BMW R5 Hommage are machined from special ISR parts
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The wheel hubs of the BMW R5 Hommage are machined from special ISR parts
Every aluminum cover of the R5 engine was fabricated according to original drawings
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Every aluminum cover of the R5 engine was fabricated according to original drawings
Beautiful classic clamps, also custom-made to the original R5 specs
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Beautiful classic clamps, also custom-made to the original R5 specs
The shape of the R5 Hommage is in fact a tribute to every classic BMW motorcycle ever made
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The shape of the R5 Hommage is in fact a tribute to every classic BMW motorcycle ever made
Simple and elegant, the BMW R5 Hommage is a modern take on a classic theme
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Simple and elegant, the BMW R5 Hommage is a modern take on a classic theme
Håkan Lindberg from Sweden undertook the task of painting the R5 Hommage, opting to create a scaled effect that allows the steel to shine at the center
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Håkan Lindberg from Sweden undertook the task of painting the R5 Hommage, opting to create a scaled effect that allows the steel to shine at the center
The engine donor, Sebastian Gutsch, enjoys the honour of kickstarting the R5 Hommage
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The engine donor, Sebastian Gutsch, enjoys the honour of kickstarting the R5 Hommage
Raked-out forks and that short rear fender give the impression that the R5 Hommage is moving even when parked
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Raked-out forks and that short rear fender give the impression that the R5 Hommage is moving even when parked
The engine is one of the very few parts of the R5 Hommage that come from the original era. The cases needed a lot of work to remove the marks of time, while the front cover, cylinder blocks and heads are handmade reproductions
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The engine is one of the very few parts of the R5 Hommage that come from the original era. The cases needed a lot of work to remove the marks of time, while the front cover, cylinder blocks and heads are handmade reproductions
Custom-made blower, two original Amal carbs and racing intakes make sure the R5 Hommage breaths in properly
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Custom-made blower, two original Amal carbs and racing intakes make sure the R5 Hommage breaths in properly
The team that designed and constructed the R5 Hommage had to recreate by hand the majority of the bike's parts, based only on old photographs and drawings
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The team that designed and constructed the R5 Hommage had to recreate by hand the majority of the bike's parts, based only on old photographs and drawings
BMW Motorrad head of vehicle design, Ola Stenegard (center), worked closely with the Noren brothers for the making of the R5 Hommage
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BMW Motorrad head of vehicle design, Ola Stenegard (center), worked closely with the Noren brothers for the making of the R5 Hommage
Ronna Noren while finalizing the supports for the Ohlins rear shock absorber
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Ronna Noren while finalizing the supports for the Ohlins rear shock absorber
Pin striping was essential in reproducing the classic BMW Motorrad styling
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Pin striping was essential in reproducing the classic BMW Motorrad styling
Custom-made stainless steel exhausts and old school Allstate tires complete the retro look of the R5 Hommage
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Custom-made stainless steel exhausts and old school Allstate tires complete the retro look of the R5 Hommage
The rear part of the frame with the oval sections and the characteristic round connection to the wheel hub were essential in recreating the R5 visual identity
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The rear part of the frame with the oval sections and the characteristic round connection to the wheel hub were essential in recreating the R5 visual identity
Two BMW Hommage specials at the Concorso d' Elegenza Villa d' Este: The 2002 on the left, the R5 on the right
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Two BMW Hommage specials at the Concorso d' Elegenza Villa d' Este: The 2002 on the left, the R5 on the right
The R5 Hommage was one of the stars of the Concorso d' Elegenza Villa d' Este 2016 on the shore of Lake Como in Italy
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The R5 Hommage was one of the stars of the Concorso d' Elegenza Villa d' Este 2016 on the shore of Lake Como in Italy
The BMW R5 Hommage poses with an original R5 in the background
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The BMW R5 Hommage poses with an original R5 in the background
Ola Stenergard designed on paper many parts that could not be found anywhere and had to be fabricated for the BMW R5 Hommage
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Ola Stenergard designed on paper many parts that could not be found anywhere and had to be fabricated for the BMW R5 Hommage
The BMW R5 Hommage followed closely Ola Stenegard's initial sketch
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The BMW R5 Hommage followed closely Ola Stenegard's initial sketch
Designing the seat drew inspiration from the classic Pagusa of the original model
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Designing the seat drew inspiration from the classic Pagusa of the original model
Several designs for the upper clamp, in order to come up with the best one for the BMW R5 Hommage
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Several designs for the upper clamp, in order to come up with the best one for the BMW R5 Hommage

Among the rare classics that traditionally populate the motorcycle class of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, this year BMW unveiled a one-off supercharged custom called R5 Hommage as a tribute to the original production model that set the sportbike standards some 80 years ago.

In the mid-1930s BMW was at the forefront of motorcycle technology, introducing the first production motorcycles with hydraulic telescopic front suspension. At the time BMW was racing a supercharged version of its 500 cc boxer engine; throughout the second half of this decade the infamous Kompressor racers conquered the Isle of Man TT and set world speed records that would stand for many years.

In 1936 the R5 was introduced with looks that mimicked the racing boxers and a technological arsenal that set the standards for sportbikes of the era. Lightweight and potent, the 24-hp (18-kW) R5 soon became the entry-level racer's weapon of choice, managing top speeds of 140 km/h (87 mph) in stock form. One year later BMW responded to popular demand with the R5 SS (Super Sport), adding a few extra ponies for a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph).

World War II put an abrupt end to motorcycle evolution and racing but, as soon as normality gradually returned, BMW employed the R5 design as a prototype on which it built a series of production models. Practically every boxer-powered motorcycle designed by BMW during the 1950s was more or less based on the R5.

The BMW R5 Hommage poses with an original R5 in the background
The BMW R5 Hommage poses with an original R5 in the background

Eight decades after the initial launch of the R5, BMW decided to recreate a custom motorcycle as a tribute to the iconic 1936 model. The task was undertaken by the Noren brothers, Ronna and Benna, from Sweden, who are custom builders with more than 30 years of expertise in creating tailor-made customer bikes.

The modern interpretation of the R5 was built around an original engine, supplied by Sebastian Gutsch. The team set off to rebuild the 500 cc boxer that was used and damaged in racing a long time ago, using whichever spares BMW could supply and fabricating everything else by hand in the Norens' workshop.

The supercharger sits on top of the engine block, where usually BMW would put the airbox
The supercharger sits on top of the engine block, where usually BMW would put the airbox

The same meticulous process was employed for everything else on the bike, including the steel frame. Most of the parts of the R5 Hommage have been constructed by hand, based on sketches provided by the BMW Motorrad Design Team.

The final design is much more than just a reproduction of a classic, as the team decided to equip its custom with modern suspension and brakes, including discs with a six-pot radial caliper up front and a four-pot at the rear, as well as a rear monoshock suspension – in stark contrast to the hard tail original. Finally the R5 was armed with a supercharger, making for a welcome power boost that doubles as a tribute to the Kompressor racers of the '30s.

The R5 Hommage is not the kind of motorcycle we expect to see in production; instead it is a very special one-off custom model that rightfully earned its place under the spotlight – next to the BMW 2002 Hommage – in an event that is traditionally dominated by very elegant, rare and expensive classic cars.

Source: BMW Motorrad

1 comment
wendorms
Were it's valve covers borrowed from an old 4 cylinder Honda Gold Wing?