BMW R nineT Desert Racer custom at Wheels and Waves

BMW R nineT Desert Racer coming?

BMW Motorrad has debuted a Desert Racer version of its R nineT at the annual Wheels and Waves custom motorcycle festival in Biarritz, France.

The bike is based on the R nineT Scrambler, but with twin high pipes either side of the seat, wide vintage motocross bars, upgraded forks, smaller tank and headlight, a solo vintage-style seat and chunky Continental TKC80 knobby tyres.BMW R nineT Desert Racer custom at Wheels and Waves

While BMW bosses have indicated there will be no more retro models from the R nineT line-up, we’re not so sure.

The R nineT Scrambler was unveiled as a custom at the 2015 Wheels and Waves fest and the R nineT Urban GS was predated by a Lac Rose Paris/Dakar custom at the 2016 event.

So it seems they use the popular French festival to debut upcoming models and get a feel for their popularity.

Black PhantomBMW Coyote Black Phantom custom at Wheels and Waves - Desert racer

Interestingly, they have also unveiled a very retro streamliner model called the Black Phantom which is based on an old R75.

Like other radical BMW custom retro models – the beautiful R5 Hommage, the RSD Classic bobber and their streamliner project – they are not likely to see production.

The Black Phantom was built by German builder Dirk Oehlerking from original 1951-1979 BMW R75 parts.

It retains the original frame and 750cc Boxer engine. But much of the rest of the bike is tailor-made.

R nineT Desert RacerBMW R nineT Desert Racer custom at Wheels and Waves

However, there is still the possibility that the R nineT has more model variations left in the popular family.

A BMW R nineT Desert Racer would be a none-too-original follow-up on Ducati’s more dirt-oriented Desert Sled version of its popular Scrambler.

In fact, Ducati turned up at this year’s Wheels & Waves with another Desert Sled Scrambler custom that is even more off-road with a stubbier tank, Termignoni exhaust, a quick-release pannier and a toolbox under the swingarm.

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled Concept desert racer
Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled Concept

Do you think BMW should go ahead and make their more dirt-oriented version of their Scrambler?

Check out the gallery of Desert Racer photos and leave your comments below.

  1. The R nineT Desert Racer looks ok but I have to wonder about the exhaust pipes. The rider in the pics seems to be have his leg against a pipe in one of the shots. I imagine this bike would be rather uncomfortable in summer in slow traffic. The rider would have to suffer for their fashion art on the way to the coffee shop.
    If this bike were to be road legal, where is the cat converter? How many of these would actually end up off-road?

    The Black Phantom is about the only custom I like the look of. However (yes, there is always a “however”), without a swoopy front mudguard the bike looks a bit unfinished.

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