This One-Off BMW R nineT From France Is a Visual Nod to the Good Old Days

BMW R nineT 12 photos
Photo: FCR Original via Pipeburn
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For the most part, the BMW R nineT is one gorgeous piece of machinery to say the least, but there is one cosmetic trait that some people can’t seem to get into. We are, of course, talking about the motorcycle’s fuel tank, whose appearance is understandably not everyone’s cup of tea. Many custom bike builders have found ways to remedy this aspect, like the talented crew at FCR Original in France.
Whereas many workshops in their line of business will be focusing on true one-offs, these Frenchmen found great success employing a different strategy. They build their bikes in series as opposed to fully-fledged customs, while still offering enough room for personalized touches from one project to the next. The bespoke stunner pictured above is part of FCR’s Classic Heritage line, and we find it genuinely mesmerizing.

This thing improves upon the R nineT’s aesthetic in so many ways, thanks in no small part to the classy fuel tank that replaces its original item. A tank swap like the one seen here is a staple feature of the Classic Heritage treatment, radically altering the Beemer’s visual presence right from the get-go. Transplanted from an old-school airhead, it really works miracles in giving the project’s donor a timeless vibe.

Not only does the new fuel cell score highly in terms of looks, but it is also said to improve upon the ergonomic side of the equation. As you can imagine, some intricate modifications were required to make the tank’s underside fit its new host, and that’s just business as usual for the FCR squad. Thus, Sebastien Guillemot and his team had no problem achieving a perfect fit.

What makes the replacement fuel cell even more alluring is the paintwork – a shiny layer of Nurburg Green from BMW’s proprietary color palette. Named after the revered Nurburgring racetrack, this striking hue is joined by white pinstripes, monochromatic BMW roundels, and a neat, flush-mounted filler cap. Flanking the R-model gas tank are custom side covers doing double duty as air ducts.

BMW R nineT
Photo: FCR Original via Pipeburn
The only other bodywork component you’ll find here is a slim front fender, wearing gloss-black paint outlined with white pinstripes. At the rear end, the structural work involved the addition of a bespoke loop-style subframe, whose underside is encased in metal plates. We come across a gorgeous custom saddle placed up top, and it’s enveloped in a mixture of black leather and Alcantara.

Its sides echo the fuel tank’s lines when viewed from the back, a nice little touch showcasing FCR’s attention to detail. The license plate is now located down low on a swingarm-mounted bracket, keeping the motorcycle’s rear end as clean as possible. Not much has changed in the unsprung sector, save for a grippy pair of Michelin tires hugging the R nineT’s rims.

As the bike benefits from sturdy brakes and premium suspension hardware straight out of the box, the project’s authors were happy to leave these as they were. They did, however, wrap the fork stanchions in a coat of matte-black paint, the same finish used on items like the rims, engine covers, and exhaust plumbing. Speaking of which, that pipework is a custom module built from scratch by FCR.

BMW R nineT
Photo: FCR Original via Pipeburn
It looks a lot neater than the factory setup, terminating right below the foot pegs in two compact silencers. On the intake side of things, the stock airbox got ditched to make way for dual aftermarket pod filters from K&N. You'll find a ton of other cool accessories added here, such as the valve covers and oil cooler grille hailing from FCR Original’s proprietary catalog of bolt-on parts.

The sintered billet aluminum foot pegs are a pretty unusual touch for a road-only motorcycle like this reworked R nineT, but they most certainly look the part. Over in the cockpit area, the French specialists fitted a new handlebar complete with Brembo master cylinders, Highsider mirrors, and bar-end turn signals from Motogadget. They retained the OEM dials and switches, though, along with the factory LED headlamp.

We see one notable difference in the headlight housing, it being a color scheme identical to that worn by the front fender. Black is, in fact, the predominant color everywhere besides the gas tank, done in a mixture of gloss and matte finishes for visual depth. It goes without saying that FCR Original found a winning formula with their Classic Heritage offerings, and this particular specimen is a clear indication as to why.

Sebastien and his accomplices took an already-great modern motorcycle and proceeded to make it that much better, all without breaking the bank or doing anything too radical. Now, you might say it’s a lot more fun to build genuine one-offs, but FCR’s series-oriented business model might just be more sustainable in the long run. We’re excited to see what else they’ll come up with in the future.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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