BMW Reveals Paris-Dakar-Inspired R NineT For Wheels & Waves Festival

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

BMW's continuing demonstration of the R nineT as a customizer's palette

As the Wheels & Waves Festival in Biarritz, France enters its fifth year, BMW has, again, released a concept bike based on the R nineT. Last year, a scrambler-ized R nineT, dubbed Concept Path 22 after the trail to one of Europe’s most famed surf spots, featured a custom paint by visual artist Ornamental Conifer. For 2016, BMW decided to look to the marque’s Paris-Dakar motorcycles to create the BMW Motorrad Concept Lac Rose.

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“Since it was first introduced on the market, the BMW R nineT has become a popular bike for customizers and finishers as can be seen at Wheels & Waves. This makes us very proud and spurred us on to create something special for this festival, something no one has seen from us yet”, says Edgard Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad explaining the background of the concept bike. “The BMW Motorrad Concept Lac Rose is our laid-back and very individual interpretation of the bike that won the Paris-Dakar Rallye in 1985 – fully in line with the spirit of Wheels & Waves and its visitors. It puts the BMW R nineT into an exciting new context and shows what passion for our brand heritage, imagination and a few modifications can achieve.”

The name Lac Rose is taken from the French name of the rose-coloured Retba salt lake, next to the Atlantic coast about 22 miles northeast of Dakar where the Paris-Dakar rally concluded after its arduous trek across the African continent. Here, BMW factory Boxers, modified by the company HPN, stood at the top of the podium three times in a row in the mid–1980s, with Gaston Rahier taking the third win in 1985.

Wearing Rahier’s 101 race number, the R nineT received the rally treatment of the era. From the windscreen to the round headlamp and oversized tank down to the long-travel suspension, high fenders, off-road tires, and short rally seat, the emphasis was on giving this modern motorcycle the lines of a legendary era of BMW GS machinery. The red on alpine white color combination belonged with the race number and, naturally, were included – as was the multi-colored tubular frame. All of the modifications emphasize the function required of a race machine as evidenced by the crash bars and case guard. Even the exclusive BMW riding gear tie in to the design/color scheme with the helmet featuring the 101 race number.

“Essentially the bike is a cool and laid-back roadster with a few typical off-road features which allow you to leave the street and follow a dirt track into the unknown”, says Edgar Heinrich. “It is this combination of customizing, coolness and unconventionality which make this bike so special.”

Wheels & Waves – Festival

The Wheels & Waves Festival takes place from June 8–12, 2016 in Biarritz on the French Atlantic coast. Created in 2012 by the local Southsiders Motorcycle Club, Wheels & Waves has become one the hottest hangouts of the new custom scene within a very short period of time. Last year, approximately 10,000 visitors flocked to the Cite l’Ocean on the beach of Biarritz. This year, Wheels & Waves, again, offers an exciting programme including surf competition, art exhibitions, sprint races and ride-aways across the Spanish border.

BMW Motorrad is the main sponsor and is presenting numerous further custom bikes and R nineT conversions in addition to the BMW Motorrad Concept Lac Rose

Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

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3 of 8 comments
  • TheMarvelous1310 TheMarvelous1310 on Jun 10, 2016

    Is it blasphemous if I'm not so big on the RnineT? It's not an ugly bike, it just doesn't do anything for me one way or another. Maybe it's the motor-flat twins always remind me of Urals, which make me think of slow cruising and being tossed from a sidecar. Maybe it's just me being down on BMW for the shittiness of their recent cars.

    Still wierd for me not to like a retro bike, though.

  • Gee S Gee S on Jun 10, 2016

    I don't like very many bmw customs.

    But I like this.

    Heck, a GS made with this motor might make more sense than the GS that bmw currently sells. 😀

    And how can you not like the Paris/Dakar paint Job?

    Still, that number plate has GOT to go.