The Want Files: The BMW Concept Ninety
Up until 1973, BMW produced the kind of motorcycle that appealed to people who wore tweed jackets with elbow patches, smoked pipes and bought flashlights based on Consumer Reports ratings. They were Conservative with a Capital, Boldface, Italic "C." That shifted significantly in 1973 with the introduction of the BMW R90S. In 2013, BMW Motorrad celebrated its 90th anniversary with an homage to that motorcycle, and fills us with all kinds of want. BMW's 90th anniversary coincided with the 40th anniversary of the BMW R90S, so it was a natural for Roland Sands to look to that bike for inspiration. Roland Sands Design is based in California. Sands raced motorcycles professionally for a decade, eventually becoming the AMA 250GP champion in 1998. Motorcycle racing is tough on the body, though, and after 32 broken bones, Sands hung up his leathers and started designing and building motorcycles and custom products.
Roland Sands Design put the Concept Ninety together for the 2013 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este on Lake Como in Italy, less than an hour's drive from the Moto Guzzi factory in Mandello del Lario.
PHOTOS: Full Galleries of the BMW Concept Ninety
"The aim of the BMW Concept Ninety is to show how reduced and pure an emotional BMW motorcycle can be," explains Ola Stenegard, Head of BMW Motorrad Vehicle Design.
Its basic proportions are clearly geared towards the original: the fairing, fuel tank and tail all evoke the BMW R90S, as does the Daytona Orange paint scheme. That scheme came from the 1975 edition of the R90S, rather than the Smoke Silver of the 1973.
RELATED: MAX BMW Motorcycles Builds a New R90S Out of A Catalog
Halogen reflected the technological state of the art for lighting in 1973, cutting-edge LED lighting elements give the BMW Concept Ninety its face today.
It's a very cool machine that unfortunately never had any hope of production. The BMW R NineT that eventually made it to production is more of a naked roadster ala the Ducati Monster.
RELATED: See images of the VX950 Pure Sports