“Any bike we show that isn’t a serial version, we wait to see public reaction. If the world was to say that 1 million people would buy such a bike, we definitely would build one. So we are always looking at the reactions to our concept bikes. The R5 Hommage was really intended to be a homage to the classic R5 from the 1930s, and it was aimed more at the individualization than to say, ‘Yes, we are going to build a cruiser tomorrow.’ We wanted to say, ‘Hey, we have a classic bike that’s 80 years old, it’s one of the most beautiful ones we’ve ever built, and instead of just bringing out a modern interpretation, we remade a special version of it to see how much inspiration we get out of it.’” —Christian Pingitzer, Head of Sales & Marketing for Customizing and Heritage at BMW Motorrad
Inspired by the 500cc factory racing machine of 1935, the original BMW R5 was a groundbreaking motorcycle, with a lightweight frame housing a two-cylinder boxer engine that produced 24 horsepower at 5,500 rpm.
Marking the 80th anniversary of the R5 is the R5 Hommage, a truly hand-built custom motorcycle that came together in the European workshop of Ronny and Ben Noren, both 30-year veterans of the bike-building industry.
What makes this project unique is that the brothers managed to accurately convey the character of the original R5 while adding a number of modern touches, including a supercharger and a hand-fabricated stainless steel exhaust system.
The Hommage frame is a modern interpretation of the 1930’s design with a more streamlined profile and increased rake that puts the hand-shaped gas tank in perfect alignment from the steering head to the rear hub.
Particular attention was paid to the fork, which reflects the aerodynamically shaped covers of the original. On the handlebar, you’ll find brake and clutch levers that pivot at the bar ends to blend historical look with modern technology.
The finish on the Hommage is classic BMW with subtle effects that accentuate the traditional styling of the R5. White pinstripes highlight the smoke finish on the sides of the tank while the rest of the metalwork is covered in a coarse metallic black.
To this day, the R5 remains one of the most aesthetically appealing motorcycles in BMW history. With the help of unique builds like the R5 Hommage, historic motorcycles will continue to be talked about for generations to come.