BMW Fires a Legendary Motorcycle Into the 21st Century

BMW’s bikes have always been an amalgamation of form and function, which makes them more purposeful than pretty. The Concept Ninety finally manages to balance the two.

In celebration of BMW Motorrad’s 90th anniversary, the bike builder teamed up with the racing legend and customizers at Roland Sands Design to create a retro-future tribute to the marque. The result is a stunning bit of two-wheeled kit that takes the best of a bygone era and blends it with new technology and advanced construction techniques.

The Concept Ninety was inspired by the 1973 BMW R 90 S, which back in the day managed a top speed of 124 mph and took home a series of race wins, including the two top spots at the very first Daytona AMA Superbike event in 1976.

That competition-styled inspiration has shown through with the Ninety, with a similar orange hue coating a sculpted tank and tail, and a boomerang fairing equipped with LEDs arranged in a circle to mimic the old-school bike’s flavor.

A air-cooled flat-twin boxer engine is coated in black, with contrast cuts of milled metal peaking through the darkness. That same milling technique was employed on the exhaust and seven-spoke wheels, which looked like they were honed from a solid chuck of metal — because they were.

“Everything just fits together perfectly: the BMW technology, the BMW heritage and our custom parts complement each other beautifully,” says ex-racer and the company’s namesake, Roland Sands.

The Concept Ninety is debuting this weekend at the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este where BMW is showing off another concept: the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé. But the Ninety handily beats it out for Best of Show. And the weekend hasn’t even started yet.

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