If you’ve ever bought a brand new bike off the factory floor, you’ve experienced the moment when the sales assistant pulls out the accessories catalogue and tries to get you to add a few factory extras. Nice and shiny in the brochure, you start to think they’d all look great on your brand-new motorcycle, until you spy the pricing and your heart sinks. Extortion is an appropriate word in some cases, so this is where companies like France’s FCR come into their own. The highly talented team are custom bike fanatics, but with a full production facility from CAD design to final paint, they offer a catalogue of parts at a much friendlier price. Looking absolutely beautiful in blue, this BMW R nineT Urban shows just what you can achieve for a small and worthwhile investment.

Most people in the world who ride a motorcycle are more than happy with their factory offering, extra parts just never come into the equation. Then there are those of us, who we celebrate on these pages, who want to custom-build just about every last part of their slick steed. But there is a place in the middle, those who want the individual look but still desire all the functionality and reliability of a stock motorcycle. It is for those enthusiasts that workshops like FCR not only exist but seek to serve with well thought out and thoroughly researched and developed parts packages.

For the BMW, the guys offer a host of individual pieces to help you customise your ride, or you can opt for one of their complete packages that bundle up complementary parts so that you can instantly transform your ride. For this build, they’ve unleashed what is known in their online store as the “complete kit”, as well as a few tasty extras to get the desired result. The nineT is the perfect candidate for such a build, with BMW making the bike custom friendly from the factory, but the rear subframe certainly benefits from a change. The new item gives an uber clean hooped appearance, while shortening up the back end and comes with all the hardware needed to bolt it on.

Underneath you get a nice little tray that can be used to hide some of the bike’s endless wiring, and indicator mounts are built in too. It’s a completely reversible modification, but why would you want to go back to stock when the setup also comes with that beautiful dark leather diamond-stitched seat for a luxurious saddle. A blacked-out aluminium plate on the underside of the subframe serves as a minimal fender, while at the front of the bike, the stock item is cut down for a sharper and more aggressive look.

Time to pull out the paint gun, and the classic blue really sets the tone for the elegance and restraint that characterises the build. The solid colour is splashed across the tank, front fender and in classic style, over the headlight bucket too. Black paint is also used across the build to tie a host of parts in together, and again hit that timeless theme. So that meant the shiny gold forks would need a change, and they along with the rear spring, all get finished with a black DLC coating to ensure the colour will never fade. Completing the look are the tidied-up spoked BMW wheels that have been wrapped in Michelin Power 5 tyres for excellent grip.

The iconic boxer engine gets a dresser up with a set of FCR V2 rocker covers that are finished in a textured paint, and instantly give the motor a tougher appearance. To help clean up the lines, the company utilised one of their own battery holders and ditched the airbox, giving the intakes the K&N filter treatment. The final mechanical change for the engine is the best and biggest of them all, a full exhaust system from the FCR catalogue, that not only reduces weight and looks good, but truly unleashes the boxer burble.

There are also some dress-up parts for the engine, with the radiator cover adding to the murdered out, tough appearance of the drivetrain, and also providing some very useful protection from unwanted stone strikes. Some similar support comes in the form of the neat little bash plate, an investment any off-road rider will tell you is well worth the money, and on-road can take the scrapes of speed bumps and other unwanted obstacles. Add the fully blacked-out paint job and the FCR front cover, and a host of small changes really improve the engine package in every single way.

The BMW instruments are about as good as you get from the factory, and with the traditional twin gauges, the looks mean there is no point changing them on a build like this. But the front end still gets an excellent cleanup, with mini Bates indicators in black almost invisible, until they’re flashing LEDs are illuminated. The rear end gets a similar package, with a full three-in-one lighting setup, as well as the FCR hub-mounted number plate holder, all working together to really tidy up the back end of the bike.

The finished result is a beautiful bike that stands out from the crowd in style, and yet will still do years of trouble-free motoring, for many, it’s the ultimate win-win.

[ FCR Original ]