- Concept R nineT recalls first Paris-Dakar
- Steel cradle frame, rally bench seat
- BMW shows passion for brand heritage
BIARRITZ, France – The Wheels & Waves Festival, on now (June 8-12 2016) here on the French Atlantic coast, was started in 2012 by the local Southsiders Motorcycle Club.
Since then it has become one the hottest hangouts for fans of customised motorcycles; indeed, the 2015 event had about 10 000 visitors to its programme of surf competition, art exhibitions, sprint races and cross-border rides into Spain.
BMW Motorrad happens to be the main sponsor and for 2016 is presenting not only a number of custom bikes and R nine conversions but also a BMW Motorrad Concept Lac Rose on its stand.
“The setting,” Motorrad explains, “is laid back, the atmosphere characterised by creativity, individuality and mutual respect with an ingrained passion for motorcycles, and has become a legendary event in a very short time.”
For 2016, to celebrate its Paris-Dakar Rallye heroes and their BMW machines, BMW Motorrad is showing a completely new interpretation of the BMW R nineT that, it says, “is perfectly in line the with spirit of the Wheels & Waves Festival”.
It’s the BMW Motorrad Concept Lac Rose.
Edgard Heinrich, head of design at BMW Motorrad, explained: “The R nine T has become popular with customisers and refinishers; this spurred us to create something special for the festival – something nobody has seen from us.
“The Lac Rose is our laid-back and very individual interpretation of the bike that won the 1985 Paris-Dakar Rallye. It puts the R nineT into an exciting new context and shows our passion for brand heritage, imagination and modification.”
Lac Rose is the French name name for the rose-coloured Retba salt lake 35km north-east of Dakar, less than a kilometre from the Atlantic coast.
The original Paris-Dakar, run annually through the Sahara Desert from 1978 until its cancellation because of a security threat in 2008 and a move to South America in 2009, used to end at the lake.
BMW factory machines modified by the company HPN, won the motorcycle section three times in a row in the middle 1980’s. Gaston Rahier took the third win in 1985 with start number 101.
The Concept Lac Rose, Motorrad says, has the typical features of the victory bike grafted to a modern and street-orientated version with its off-road qualities omitted.
Heinrich added: “Essentially, the bike is a cool and laid-back roadster with a few typical off-road features which allow it to leave the street and follow a dirt track into the unknown.
“The combination of customiszing, coolness and unconventionality make this bike so special.”
The windshield with typical rallye equipment, the headlight design, the high mudguard, a large fuel-tank and a short rallye seat/bench claim to be “reminiscences of the legendary bike”.
“Such elements,” Motorrad says, “were responsible for the characteristic horizontal flyline of the BMW G/S bikes of the time and give the Lac Rose its essential proportions.
“Longer suspension travel and spoked wheels with studded tyres are as mandatory as the colour combination of red on white and the start number 101 – the digits on Gaston Rahier’s winning 1985 machine.”
The hallmark BMW shaft-drive, flat-twin, engine is at the centre of the well-proportioned bike, cradled in a tubular frame with contrasting colours, which also harks back to the successful off-road bike.
Elements such as protection for the headlight and oil-cooler and the distinctively perforated belly guard, Motorrad says, “pick up the uncompromisingly functional design of the race bike and transfer its design features to the modern era”.
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High-performance parts and exclusively-designed details such as the valve covers are meant to illustrate BMW’s claim to workmanship and manufacturing quality “and round-off the high-quality appeal of the Concept Lac Rose”.
“The exclusively designed BMW rider equipment – race suit and BMW enduro-based helmet – gives the Lac Rose design study a further stylish touch.”