Motorcycles

Roland Sands takes BMW's retro bike waaaaaay back to the 1930s with the R NineT Classic

Roland Sands takes BMW's retro...
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: looks the goods as a retro roadster, but still wheelies like the 110-horsepower beast it is.
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: looks the goods as a retro roadster, but still wheelies like the 110-horsepower beast it is.
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: classic styled roadster gets a lot more classic
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: classic styled roadster gets a lot more classic
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: bezeled headlight looks great
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: bezeled headlight looks great
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: draws inspiration from the 1937 BMW R5
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: draws inspiration from the 1937 BMW R5
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: blacked-out forks hide GP suspesion internals
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: blacked-out forks hide GP suspesion internals
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: a striking silhouette
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: a striking silhouette
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: twin exhaust with RSD track pipes makes for a snarling soundtrack
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: twin exhaust with RSD track pipes makes for a snarling soundtrack
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: RSD's own velocity stacks and exhaust are the only engine changes
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: RSD's own velocity stacks and exhaust are the only engine changes
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: custom bar clamps and dash bezels
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: custom bar clamps and dash bezels
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: custom headlight surround
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: custom headlight surround
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: fuel tank has port hole cutouts so you can see your fuel levels
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: fuel tank has port hole cutouts so you can see your fuel levels
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: RSD engine covers
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: RSD engine covers
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: custom rear fender
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: custom rear fender
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: 19-inch front wheel and custom fender
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: 19-inch front wheel and custom fender
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: fender-mounted license pate is a throwback to the 1930s
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: fender-mounted license pate is a throwback to the 1930s
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: very clean design
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: very clean design
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: solo seat melds beautifully into the tank shape
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: solo seat melds beautifully into the tank shape
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: has a touch of the Ducati Scramblers about it
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: has a touch of the Ducati Scramblers about it
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: old-school looks, modern performance
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: old-school looks, modern performance
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: can only be ridden in a Bell helmet. That's the rules.
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: can only be ridden in a Bell helmet. That's the rules.
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: looks the goods as a retro roadster, but still wheelies like the 110-horsepower beast it is.
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RSD BMW R NineT Classic: looks the goods as a retro roadster, but still wheelies like the 110-horsepower beast it is.
View gallery - 20 images

Taking inspiration from 1930s-era classic Beemers, Roland Sands has had another crack at overhauling BMW's massively successful retro roadster. The RSD R NineT Classic is a distinctive looker that goes as hard as any of Sands' customs.

BMW's terrific R NineT has proven itself to be a gift that keeps on giving for custom motorcycle builders. Something about that boxer engine, the simple subframe, the wrong-way-round single sided swinger … it's been a huge success.

BMW itself has turned it into a retro racer and a scrambler. Four Japanese tuners made vastly different bikes out of it. And now it's time for Roland Sands, who had a lot of input on the retro racer project, to have a second crack at it.

Taking the 1937 BMW R5 as inspiration, Sands wanted to channel the style of pre-WW2 Beemers. The teardrop tank, the small black headlight, the blacked-out forks, the oversized fenders and fender-mounted license plate.

RSD BMW R NineT Classic: has a touch of the Ducati Scramblers about it
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: has a touch of the Ducati Scramblers about it

To that end, Sands engaged Sosa Metal Works to fabricate the frame, tank and fender work – the first time RSD has outsourced such a job, because the in-house team was too busy. The forks went to GP suspension for internal upgrades, and the shock went in the bin for a sportier Ohlins model.

Sands plonked a 19-inch front wheel on, as is his wont, but added sticky tires and aggressive brakes, because the man likes to ride his creations hard, no matter how pretty they are.

RSD BMW R NineT Classic: very clean design
RSD BMW R NineT Classic: very clean design

The rest is in the details. The tiny solo seat, the multiplicit covers and bezels and monogrammed bits and pieces, the clear viewing ports in either side of the fuel tank to check your petrol levels, and the custom RSD twin exhaust system (which Sands says runs well without any tuning whatsoever). Sadly the exhausts don't mimic the old R5's fishtail jobs.

The end result looks great, if a little awkward from some angles – but more importantly, it sure seems to ride like a rocket, if Sands' promo video is anything to go by. Check out that snarling exhaust sound!

BMW R NineT Classic by Roland Sands Design

Click through on any of the pics for a huge gallery of close-up detail shots to enjoy.

Source: Roland Sands Design

View gallery - 20 images
3 comments
DavidRogerBrown
What a outstanding work of art.
McDesign
Yeah, but why is the kickstand so short? Do you have to carry the steeld cylinder or find the rock?
Buellrider
Beautiful looking bike.