80 years ago, BMW introduced the R5 to the international public, an exciting new technological development that was going to influence motorcycle manufacturing until the 1950s. Inspired by the factory racing machine, it was one of the pioneer sports bikes of the 1930s To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the BMW R 5, BMW Motorrad pays tribute to this icon in the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d’Este 2016 with a special model: the BMW R 5 Hommage, the essence of beauty and simplicity.
80 years ago, BMW introduced the BMW R 5 to the international public, an exciting new technological development that was going to influence motorcycle construction until the 1950s. Inspired by the 500cc factory racing motorcycle of 1935, it was one of the pioneer sports bikes from the late 30s, with a lightweight frame of new design. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the BMW R 5, BMW Motorrad pays tribute to this icon at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2016 with a special model: the BMW R 5 Hommage.
The BMW R 5 Hommage brings the essence of motorcycling to the modern era, combining the world of historic motorcycle design with the modern world of custom motorcycles.
“In its debut, the R5 was not only an engineering masterpiece, the clarity of its lines and the elegance of its proportions also made it stand out from the mass. Until today, the R5 remains one of the most aesthetically appealing bikes in BMW's history, in my opinion, ”says Edgar Heinrich, Design Director of BMW Motorrad. “In my opinion, its fascinating and unique beauty is based on its simplicity,” adds Ola Stenegard, Director of Vehicle Design and Creative Director of Heritage BMW Motorrad. “In today's world, it's very easy to make it complicated, but it's very complicated to make it simple. And the BMW R5 captures the essence of a motorcycle. Our goal was to move that clear and elegant appeal to the modern era, creating a respectful combination of old school and the latest technology with high performance. ”
The vintage is made custom
The BMW R 5 Hommage demonstrates how well they harmonize the world of historical motorcycles with the custom world. In the center is an original two-cylinder engine with 500cc of the motorcycle enthusiast Sebastian Gutsch. This boxer engine was damaged in a race and was the starting point to create the BMW R 5 Hommage.
As corresponds to a custom motorcycle, the motorcycle has been manufactured by hand from scratch. Ronny and Benny Noren were asked to prepare the parts according to the specifications of the BMW Motorrad design team: the two brothers have manufactured custom parts for custom motorcycles for more than 30 years.
Historical heart …
The two-cylinder, 4-stroke boxer engine of the R5 was a completely new design in its time and delivered 24 hp at 5,500 rpm. The valves were handled by two crankshafts controlled by a chain. Thanks to the new frame design, made with electrically welded oval tubes, the light R 5 reached a top speed of 135 km / h, making it almost as fast as R 17 with 33 hp and 750 cc – which is a of the reasons why it was used so often for competition, just like the engine chosen for the BMW R 5 Hommage, which was damaged during a race. For the tribute motorcycle, many components were manufactured, such as the valve cover and the motor housing, with aluminum that gave the historic heart of the motorcycle a modern air.
… in a custom custom suit
Two icons of the world of custom motorcycles, Ronny and Benny Noren, were the perfect collaborators for the BMW R 5 Hommage project to provide a suitable appearance on the outside for its historic heart and manufacture the missing parts for the engine and the change. The rest of the pieces were taking shape in the Noren brothers' workshop based on drawings by the BMW Motorrad design team. All parts, such as the frame, the tank and the rear bumper are unique, hand-made components. And most importantly, the new pieces clearly reflect the original purist character of R 5.
Timeless elegance: the proportions
The result is impressive: even from afar, the proportions reflect the timeless beauty of a reduction to the essential – following the spirit of R 5 – and transfer that idea to the modern era. The frame and the fuel tank mimic the elegant drop form of the original, although in a more modern interpretation. The upper part of the steering, for example, is more inclined, to give the R 5 Hommage a greater presence and an expressive presence and at the same time underline the fact that it belongs to the world of custom motorcycles. As for the frame, the focus there was on the oval tubes that were an important feature in the original. Together, the frame and the tank draw a continuous line from the direction to the rear wheel, giving the side view a touch of elegance. The handmade steel rear bumper continues with the minimalist design.
A modern interpretation of historical details
A feature that especially defined the appearance of the original R5 was the telescopic fork – a novelty at that time – in which the fork covers had been aerodynamically modeled at the headlight. The BMW R 5 Hommage retrieves that element and interprets it with a modern style based on the custom made fork. The upper part of the forks recalls the "wrinkle" in the casing and the valve covers in an interpretation of the typical "R 5 rib". The brake and clutch levers that are activated on the handlebar also blend the past with the latest technology: these custom-made components combine the image of the historical reversed levers with the adjustment options of modern controls.
Exquisite custom crafts: turbo, leaks and suspension
The heart of the BMW R 5 lies in the minimalist proportions of the motorcycle tribute. The outstanding feature of the engine is the specially developed tube, with which the BMW R 5 Hommage greatly increases the delivery of the original 500cc and 26cv engine to achieve a modern level of precision.
A completely new exhaust made of stainless steel ensures that this increase in power is properly reflected in its sound.
Other modern accents are the new rear suspension, the modern piston brake system and the elaborate rear and front wheels. The rear combines the brake system and the spoke wheel in a single unit – a detailed reflection of the minimalist concept that the BMW R 5 Hommage represents.
The color: classic BMW style, but still a real custom motorcycle
The BMW R 5 Hommage is presented in a classic style in terms of color. The basic theme is the typical BMW – black with white lines, but interpreted in a contemporary style. In addition, opaque surfaces, the so-called smoked style in the fuel tank and the rear bumper allow the steel below to be partially shown. Together with the white lines, the black finish of the tank and the bumper is shown in perfect custom style thanks to the metallic finish and the layer effect. The motor housings and the change in aluminum offer the perfect environment for polished aluminum parts such as the valve cover with its “wrinkle R 5”. The soft luster of polished aluminum is especially reminiscent of the original BMW R 5. The joint image is completed with the hand-sewn leather of the high quality saddle.