BMW looks set to go ahead with production of a bike based on the luscious “Concept Ninety”.
The bike was designed in a joint project with Roland Sands Designs of California and unveiled as a tribute to BMW Motorrad’s 90th anniversary and to the 40th anniversary of the R 90 S, their first bike in which a designer was involved!
This week BMW Motorrad sales and marketing boss Heiner Faust announced that bike sales are up 8.4% so far this year, but he also slipped this in: “… on October 16th we will be presenting the eagerly awaited, entirely new flat twin motorcycle which bears within it the genes of 90 years of BMW Motorrad history.”
Surely he could only be talking about the Concept Ninety.
He says it will be presented to the public in November at the 71st International Motorcycle Show in Milan (EICMA) and will go out to dealerships in spring 2014.
The Concept Ninety could be called the “ninT” as BMW has secured that trademark.
But we wonder how much of the Roland Sands prototype will make it into production.
Roland’s designers and craftspeople have retained the original “Daytona orange” paintwork on the handcrafted aluminium bodywork, while adding their own meticulous milling artistry to the engine front and valve covers.
BMW design and lifestyle communications spokesperson Susanne Herrmann told me a few months ago that there were “no concrete thoughts on possible series production of the motorcycle”.
“With the Concept Ninety, BMW Motorrad is demonstrating that tradition is not just looking back at the past, but also inspiration for the future of the brand. That also means design elements from the homage bike could find their way into future models in identical or similar form,” she said.
Is this the start of a series of “retro” models along the same successful lines as Ducati, Moto Guzzi and Triumph?
The idea of retro models may seem anathema to modern-day BMW which has avidly chased younger riders in recent years.
But BMW could also easily produce an R 80 GS or an R 60 naked. Fingers crossed.
If they do delve into their back-catalogue for inspiration, you can be guaranteed the Germans will inject plenty of modern technology as well.
“New technology (or rather the latest state-of-the-art technology) is of course absolutely crucial for us,” says Suzanne.
“By constantly developing and refining our product offer and by our continuous model offensive we manage to be successful in these difficult times.”