Having spent years talking to custom builders the world over, there is one phone call they almost universally want to receive. A motorcycle manufacturer wanting them to take one of their showroom stallions and turn it into something to create buzz and wow the crowds. But, this dream job also comes with enormous pressure, your client clearly knows a thing or two about building bikes. David Widmann and his team, however, were unfazed when that call came from BMW Motorrad Austria, with their years of experience preparing the NCT Motorcycle crew for this very day. The gauntlet was thrown down and they’ve delivered in spades, with a BMW ‘FMXR 900’ that is designed to deliver endless fun, both on the road and in celebration of 15 years of the Club of Newchurch.
In the beautiful eastern Alps, NCT has built an enviable arsenal of custom bikes for clients around the world and has become a true mainstay of not only the Austrian scene but the global movement. In the same vein, the Club of Newchurch annual event is a must-go for the European community, with friendly bikers, bands, test rides, and touring taking place over a full fun packed week. “We have built this bike in cooperation with BMW Motorrad Austria. The whole idea of the bike has arisen because Oliver Balzer (Head of BMW Motorrad Austria) and Christoph Slawik (Marketing Director) approached NCT Motorcycles and asked whether we build together a bike for the Club Of Newchurch in Neukirchen Austria,” David explains.
BMW has a hell of a catalogue of bikes to choose from to be turned into any kind of killer custom, and the F900 series is somewhat of a left-field choice. But it appears that the hard to define member of the BMW family was chosen for this exact reason, to show an enthusiastic audience just what the dual sport Bavarian is really capable of. The modern incarnation of the F is the most road focussed variant yet, and now offers all of the comforts of its more adventure inclined stable mates like the GS range, with rip-soaring performance that makes it as good at short blasts through the twisties as it is on a long-range journey.
As David explains, “The basic idea was to build a fresh bike that also appeals to the younger motorcyclist and so we decided on a Supermoto with Enduro and travel genes.” The FM in the bike build name literally means fun moto, and absolutely everything about the BMW ticks that box. The big change is in the styling which is a radical departure from the relatively vanilla stock appearance and made even more complex by the existing frame and substantial electronics package which needed to stay on board.
“The most difficult task was to design the new fairing. The prototype was built from aluminum and 3D printed in the finished series.” Wanting to have all of these pieces available to the general public in kit form, the computer-based design and construction of the body parts took nearly 2000 man hrs to achieve. The result is striking, the F is instantly given a naked and yet more muscular feel, with the angular lines and high rise fender giving it a true urban assault vehicle vibe. The colour doesn’t miss either, taken from the M3 Competition road car catalogue of the big Bavarian.
With the less than attractive front fairing gone, a new arrangement was required, and diving into the parts bin made perfect sense. “The headlight was adapted from the little brother and adapted with a completely new holder for the speedometer, headlight, and windshield,” David tells us. The front end might have all the drama, but the rear hasn’t been left out either, with the seat given a complete redesign and new cover, to show off the bikes Supermoto like chops. The tail has been tidied up too, with a neat numberplate holder, but it’s the X-shaped taillight that really steals the show.
To give the build some true versatility, the number boards allow you to give a racer impression but are easily removed and serve as very functional travel bag supports. This is definitely a tip of the cap to the versatility of the F series, which is packed with features including having multiple ride modes, LED lighting, TFT instrumentation, Bluetooth connectivity, a quick-shifter, heated grips, cruise control, and the top-spec model even throws in electronically adjustable suspension. To make the most of all of this, the wheel weight is reduced with a gorgeous set of Italian Alpina wheels sourced from Germany’s Hartl.
The engine is equally as impressive, with the parallel twin that is the centre piece of all F series bikes, getting a big step up in recent years. With the best part of 100bhp on tap and 92nm of torque, the power is always there no matter the gear selected when you go to punch it out of a corner. Doing the looks of the FM justice, the lump is perfectly capable of lifting the front wheel high in the air or cruising on the Autobahn using minimal juice. Although that didn’t stop NCT from adapting a MIVV muffler to the exhaust system to let out an almighty sound.
The team had an incredible time working with BMW, and can’t wait to see what their customers will produce with their own F bikes thanks to their new range of Fun Moto parts!