Just a moment after RealRiders revealed that BMW would be adding three further modern classics to the R nineT and Scrambler line-up, this Concept Lac Rose was unveiled at the Wheels & Waves custom bike festival in France. A bike almost identical to this – in terms of mechanical elements – will be launched at either the Cologne or Milan motorcycle show this year and will go on sale early in 2017.
Our sources also confirm that it will be put into production specification almost unchanged. The biggest difference between Lac Rose and the final production bike will be the fuel tank, which will not be the large-capacity Dakar style tank seen on this concept model, but will be the same 17-litre tank used on the on the R nineT Scrambler, which is made of steel rather than the expensive two-piece aluminium version used on the original R nineT.
Other than that, changes will be few. The chunky off-road tyres are likely to be made optional but everything else you see here will either be on the bike as standard, or available as a genuine BMW Motorrad accessory.
Concept Lac Rose is based around the legendary Paris-Dakar Marlboro-sponsored racing GS of Gaston Rahier who took the firm’s third Dakar win in 1985 on a bike that was heavily modified in order to win the race. That actual bike was brought out of the BMW Museum in Munich to sit alongside the new concept machine to show the clear link back to BMW’s rich heritage.
Officially BMW representatives are sticking to the company line of this bike being nothing more than a concept; as they did with the Concept 90 (which became the R nineT) and the Concept Path 22 (the Scrambler). But last week, in an exclusive interview with the boss of BMW Motorrad, Stephan Schaller, We was able to get his confirmation that we can expect three new R nineT-based heritage models to appear later this year.
Now we know for sure that one of the three models is going to the Dakar GS tribute machine, we still believe the other two models are going to be a half-faired version and a pared-back, cheaper variant of the R nineT that does away with its expensive componentry to offer customisers a perfect platform from which to build bespoke bikes.
Head of BMW Motorrad Design Edgar Heinrich said: “The R nineT has become a popular bike for customizers and finishers. The Concept Lac Rose is our individual interpretation of the bike that won the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1985. It puts the BMW R nineT into an exciting new context and shows what passion for our brand heritage, and a few modifications can achieve.
“I have an HP2 Enduro of my own which I ride off road as often as I can. The boxer engine is really well-suited to being used in a bike like this and the Lac Rose is based on a bike that is one of the best BMW have ever created.”
BMW’s Ola Stenegard added: “When you look at the original bike, as we did in great detail to make this bike, the changes made for racing are just amazing. We wanted to try and capture as much of the spirit of that bike as we could in something that was modern and could be ridden every day.
“We are lucky to be able to look back on the history of BMW and see that there is almost a bike for everything at some point in the heritage of BMW,” he added, hinting at the further heritage models we expect to see soon.
BMW aren’t pitching this bike at serious off-road riding but it keeps the style of the GS Dakar bikes and
the original R80G/S Dakar and later R100GS bikes, while offering modern reliability and 110bhp of road-going performance from the 1170cc air/oil-cooled boxer twin.
Heinrich added: “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.”