Can you believe it? It is now the tenth year that you can stroll into your local BMW Motorrad dealer and pick out a BMW R nineT of your choice. That decade sure has gone quickly, but the sheer number of bikes sold and just how many we’ve seen customised in that time is proof positive that the BMW design team absolutely nailed the brief. A popular bike on every continent, French outfit FCR original has been at the forefront of developing bolt-on parts for the customer who likes to wrench on their own machine. But the talented team are always offering up new builds to inspire the masses, and their latest “Classic Heritage” example of the popular boxer twin aims to please those who have a deep love for the Bavarian brand.
For the best part of ninety years, BMW Motorcycles made brilliant but conservative bikes that were known first and foremost for their reliability. The GS line flew the flag and ensured that these credentials were maintained in the public spotlight. Then in the space of just five years, things took a huge change, with the addition to their lineup of two bikes that have gone on to become legends. First in 2009 came the S1000RR which went to number one with a bullet and proved the Germans could build a true superbike. Five years later the R nineT followed, and literally built to be modified, the company had an instant classic.
They’ve never lost sight of where they came from, and if conservative bikes with great reliability are your thing, they have a host of offerings just for you. But here at Pipeburn we’re all about individualisation and that’s where FCR Original makes their presence felt. The French workshop has also been around for a decade and their R nineT offerings are almost endless, allowing you to transform your own into all manner of styles, but it was their ‘Heritage” line that really had the sales team rushing to fulfil orders.
This latest machine is “created on the same base as its predecessor, an R nineT Pure…, and is more than ever in the neo-retro cafe racer trend of the moment.” Immediately what captures your eye and does the most to transform the look of the bike is the use of the ‘Heritage tank’, which instantly captures the feel of the ’70s R models and helps to create a timeless appeal. To further represent this period, the tank is sprayed in a white from the Bavarian catalogue and the M Sport colours of the time form the graphics, with a vintage knee pad applied for good measure.
The next big change is all about tidying up the look of the bike and ditching the pieces that are really only added so a motorcycle can pass compliance. The rear hoop kit from the company is attached to the rear and with their side number plate affixed to the swingarm, it allows for the ugly standard piece that just wafts in the wind to be thrown aside. Over the top of the reorganised subframe and using a new seat base, the rider’s saddle has that stunning heritage feel with just the right colour and material chosen for the task.
Now the team could unleash a host of their new parts that will be available for anyone around the world to buy from their website. With the engine playing such a big role in the look of the bike, it gets the full treatment and the whole thing is dressed up in black, including the FCR “2V” rocker covers and radiator grille. The factory airbox and battery area are ditched for a more open look and the FCR battery tray and a set of K&N pod filters fill the void and create uber-clean lines so that you can really appreciate the look of the boxer twin.
To crank up the power, those filters sit on FCR’s own intakes that help to improve airflow and bottom-end torque. Before the real fun is unleashed thanks to their handbuilt FCR ‘original’ exhaust system, which runs a pair of black coated header pipes hard to the motor and finishes in a set of booming mufflers. A pair of new mounts in the form of a side support mount and engine mount further clean things up and really let that old-school R aesthetic come through in the full mechanical package.
To further add to the ‘murdered out’ approach, the rear shocks have the springs painted black, the forks get a black DLC treatment and the aggressive TKC 80 tyres go onto black rims with stainless spokes. From here to the customer can leave the bike as is, or upgrade further components with an array of Motogadget lighting and indicator options offered from FCR’s online store that bolt straight up and keep that clean look flowing. This build got all the fruit and the roadster handlebars also support a pair of Brembo master cylinders for good measure.
The finished bike is a beauty, the modifications have an OEM feel and yet you’re transported in style on a modern machine that oozes the very best of ’70s M Sport nostalgia.
[ FCR Original ]