Top 5 BMW R nineT Custom Motorcycles

A diverse selection of bikes from some of the world’s best workshops.

BMW RnineT Custom
Over the last few years, BMW has hopped on the custom bandwagon in a big way. In addition to making the “custom-friendly” R nineT, it commissions custom builds of the bike, including this stunner from Heiwa MC in Japan.Photo: BMW Motorrad

When BMW introduced the R nineT in 2014, it insisted that it was designed with customization in mind. Three years later, the R nineT line has swelled to include five derivations straight from the factory and the custom scene is rife with beautiful one-off examples. And we're not talking ubiquitous café racers either. It's been reimagined in innumerable ways, suggesting that the R nineT really is a customizer's dream, or BMW's marketing department really knows its audience. Regardless, these five customs are some of our favorites.

BMW R nineT Classic by Roland Sands Design

BMW RnineT Custom
The classic silhouette of RSD’s nineT was inspired by a 1930s R5. Roland Sands’s racing background ensures that his bikes work as well as they look. Rebuilt front suspension, an Ohlins shock at the rear, and new Brembo monoblocs improve the stock setup.Photo: Roland Sands Design

BMW’s R5 is surely one of the most classic motorcycle shapes of all time, and this Roland Sands Design homage certainly does it justice. This bike is one of several lust-worthy nineTs to come out of the California workshop; RSD throws down gorgeous customs with the speed and consistency of Jorge Lorenzo lapping Jerez circa 2015. In addition to beautiful customs, RSD’s line of custom parts and apparel are always popular. Roland Sands has to be one of the busiest men in motorcycling.

BMW RnineT Custom
Gaping velocity stacks look like sci-fi warp speed thrusters. Check out the sight glass incorporated in place of the BMW roundel.Photo: Roland Sands Design
BMW RnineT Custom
Cristian Sosa of Sosa Metal Works fabricated the beautiful framework featured on the fenders.Photo: Roland Sands Design

R NineT Superbike by Workhorse Speedshop

BMW RnineT Custom
Burly aluminum tank, wide bars, and sponsorship decals: certain elements are just meant to go together.Photo: Thierry Dricot

Brice Hennebert of Belgium-based Workhorse Speedshop knocked it out of the park with an R nineT inspired by superbikes from the ‘70s and early ‘80s. It almost looks like it could line up next to Kawasaki KZ1000Rs and Suzuki GS1000s during one of AMA Superbike’s most storied eras. In fact, the bike’s number plates bear the number 163 in honor of Reg Pridmore, the original airhead-dragging racer who won the AMA Superbike crown in 1976 on an R90S.

BMW RnineT Custom
Endurance racing-style RACEFIT quick filler.Photo: Thierry Dricot
BMW RnineT Custom
Exhaust headers by builder Brice Hennebert snake behind Gilles Tooling rearsets.Photo: Thierry Dricot

BMW X Heiwa Official Scrambler

BMW RnineT Custom
There’s something about the minimalistic seat and the way the tank angles out of it that brings to mind vintage speedway bikes. Whatever it is, it’s working.Photo: BMW Motorrad

Heiwa MC, based in Hiroshima, Japan, was commissioned by BMW and given a 2017 R nineT Scrambler as a donor bike for what turned into a bike that looks classic, but defies categorization. One of the bike’s most eye-catching features is the frame that Kengo Kimura and his team built from scratch. The nineT is Kimura-san’s first BMW build. We certainly hope it’s the first of many.

BMW RnineT Custom
Blacked-out engine. Off-white paint.Photo: BMW Motorrad
BMW RnineT Custom
Cool details like the high-rise pea shooter exhaust, old-school hand grips, and the side panel that conceals the air box don’t distract from the industrial beauty of the opposed twin.Photo: BMW Motorrad

BMW Rennsport Tribute by Officine Sbrannetti

BMW RnineT Custom
Officine Sbrannetti’s celebration of 1950s grand prix racing.Photo: Officine Sbrannetti

In 1956, Walter Zeller finished 2nd in the world championship aboard a BMW Rennsport factory racer. This R nineT is a tribute to both the man and the bike. The yellow aluminum number plates, bumstop seat, and classic flyscreen go a long way in giving the bike vintage racing appeal. In many ways, the stock tank remains the focal point, which goes to show the merit of the original R nineT design.

BMW RnineT Scrambler
MASS MOTO custom built the exhaust system, which gives the illusion of being an open pipe, but apparently passes sound regulations to make it road legal.Photo: Officine Sbrannetti
BMW RnineT Custom
Distressed areas on the tank lend a race-worn look, and the Monza cap and tank pad add period flare.Photo: Officine Sbrannetti

Bavarian Fistfighter by Rough Crafts

BMW RnineT Custom
Just plain mean: the Bavarian Fistfighter by Rough Crafts.Photo: JL Photography

Taiwan-based Rough Crafts design is one of the best-known firms in the industry, having applied its signature aesthetic to everything from Harleys to MV Agustas. The Bavarian Fistfighter R nineT is a noir masterpiece in metal. Head designer Winston Yeh used top-flight componentry to compliment the custom billet wheels and slinky bodywork. The faux carbon fiber paint by Air Runner is flawless. If Rough Crafts can even make fake carbon look good, you know there’s probably not much they can do wrong.

BMW RnineT Custom
Perhaps the designers spent some time at the Arms and Armor Gallery at The Met because that front fairing bears a passing resemblance to a medieval knight’s helmet.Photo: JL Photography
BMW RnineT Custom
Another classic-looking BMW single-seat saddle.Photo: JL Photography

Which one is your favorite interpretation of the R nineT? Comment below and let us know!