The BMW R NineT Customized Japanese Style

Did you noticed? During the last decade more and more major motorcycle manufacturers all over the world have chosen reputable custom builders to reinvent some of their factory models. Objective is always to expand the brand awareness by using builders belonging to the same generation and lifestyle than the potential clients. In this scenario, for the benefit of providing a brand new motorcycle and often some expert technical assistance to the builder, the motorcycle manufacturer is in the position to request a result much more than visually very attractive, a machine still functioning at least as good as it was imagined by its engineers. As a matter of fact, this feature is a good illustration of “how art challenges motorcycle technology while the same technology inspires the art of motorcycling.”

Launched by BMW Motorrad in 2014, the BMW R NineT got a well deserved reputation for being a very nice riding retro styled roadster moderately priced and offering clients a relative easy blank canvas for customization. Mixing German technology with Japanese aesthetics can produce great results. And BMW Motorrad Japan knows well having already collaborated with some of the best Japanese customizers: Shiro Nakajima, Brat Style, Hidemo, Cherry’s Company, Ken’s Factory and Hot Dock.

In September 2016, BMW Motorrad decided that Kengo Kimura from Heiwa Motorcycles in Hiroshima would be the next one to be challenged at creating a very inspiring custom for its legacy clientele. Working for the 1st time for a manufacturer and on a BMW caused Kimura a few weeks of panic until he became familiar with the R nineT by riding it daily in town to his shop also doing some touring. “It turns out that it is much easier to handle than it appears. The engine has a rather flat torque, making it easy to handle, and surprisingly light. Controls are light, and it is simply easy to ride. I have no problem keeping up with friends who ride four cylinder Japanese bikes when touring.”

“The presence of the horizontally opposed two cylinder engine was significant compared to the many two cylinder engines and single cylinder engines on older model British made bikes and Japanese bikes that we had worked on. At first I remember that something felt off about the strong presence of the engine, but after riding the R nineT Scrambler many times, that feeling turned into realizing it was one of the best points.”

Builder Kengo Kimura explains that his focus was on normal everyday street riding, but was careful not to fall in the trap of “as much custom as possible” at the expense of handling and performance. “ What I wanted to express with the R nineT Scrambler was not that this was a completely unique bike, but to create a bike with possibilities, one that new customers would want to ride, and maybe base their bike on with a few modifications. That’s why although we remade the frame from scratch, we didn’t venture into the same area as we did for show bikes. However, we did change two thirds of the rear frame.”

“On the rear frame we connected the area near the swing arm pivot, seat bottom and the triangular cast aluminum parts, and the rear of the cylinder to create a triangular shape. However, the line connecting the rear of the cylinder to the seat bottom and cast aluminum parts is low toward the front. Although we wanted to add the signature Heiwa Motorcycle touch of utilizing new bike features while achieving a classical design, this lowered front end frame line made it impossible. We then remade two thirds of the frame without changing the position of the swing arm pivot or engine mount, changing the balance of the triangular shaped frame, resulting in a linear tone for the rear frame.

“Also, we made the air cleaner box an upward-facing U-shape, with the electrical system set in between. We made it so that it isn’t obvious simply from a glance of the side silhouette that the function and frame line have been modified. How to interpret the sense of volume in the horizontally opposed two cylinder engine was tough. I thought long and hard before coming to a conclusion. When removing the exterior and stripping down the body I got an even stronger sense of the engine’s presence. Designing an even more compact exterior makes it impossible to scale down the engine’s presence. I then changed the way the exhaust pipe was handled in order to shift the volume to underneath the engine. This resulted in a simple, compact finish around the exterior and handlebars.”

“After announcing the start of the R nineT Scrambler custom project in Instagram, everyone from regular customers to new customers came to look at the bike, and sent messages, saying they were looking forward to the finished product.

Regular customers who saw the finished bike commented on how it had the signature Heiwa look. I personally don’t know which parts have our signature look, but I did my best to create lines that I thought looked cool, and I’m satisfied with the results. Hearing that it has the Heiwa look really made me happy.” Heiwa Motorcycle Japan.

Bike Name:Heiwa R nineT Scrambler #001
Builders Name:Kengo Kimura / Heiwa Motorcycle
・Aluminum one-off Air cleaner box
・One-off exhaust headers
・One-off exhaust silencers
・One-off sub fuel tank including standard fuel pump
(Fitted under the seat on the right side of the body
・Frame:Front part/Standard、Rear part/modified
・Seat Rail:Loop processing
・Front Fork:Standard
・Top Bridge:Standard
・Steering Stem:Standard
・Swing Arm:Standard
・Rear Suspension:Standard
・Rear Suspension:Standard
・Around Front Brake
Master Cylinder:GRIMECA
Brake Caliper:Standard
Brake Disk Rotor:Standard
・Around Rear Brake
Master Cylinder:Standard
Brake Caliper:Standard
Brake Disk Rotor:Standard
・Wheels:Cross-spoke wheels / R nineT Scramble Genuine option parts
・Wheel size : F 3.00×19、R 4.50×17
Front 120/70 R19
Rear  170/60 R17

・Fuel Tank:Aluminum one-off (panel beating)
・Front Fender:Aluminum one-off (panel beating)
・Rear Fender:Aluminum one-off (panel beating)
・Handle:One-off 7/8 inc
・Step & Pedal:Standard processing
・Headlight:Case / One-off(Aluminum die casting), Lens / Lucas(Vintage)
・Rearlight:Heiwa Tail-lump 001
・Turnsignals:Small type
・Paint:Six Shooter


15 Responses to “The BMW R NineT Customized Japanese Style”

  1. 1 Robert Filla Jul 17th, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Well executed.

  2. 2 Big Russ Jul 17th, 2017 at 8:22 am

    I think I’m turning Japanese…..I really think so.

    Very Nice!

  3. 3 GrowUp Jul 17th, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Fugly , disparate and completely lacking balance , continuity and design : focusing on the pretense of hipsterism irony rather than genuine aesthetics .

  4. 4 Zundap Jul 17th, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Tough too make a BMW look good. Boxer engine is always the problem. Lot’s of work here well done.

  5. 5 CalBob Jul 17th, 2017 at 9:08 am

    One of the nicest customs I have seen in a while.

  6. 6 Xenu Jul 17th, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Very sweet paint and sheet metal, but the tractor tire/mini fender fad is getting old.

  7. 7 Blind Man Jul 17th, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Nasty Bimmer. well done!!

  8. 8 BobS Jul 17th, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    This bike makes the Scout look good.

  9. 9 Mack Jul 17th, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I’m thinking id have an easier time getting a Volkswagen between the trees on an off road trail

  10. 10 JohnnySpeed Jul 17th, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Looks like alot of fun to ride! The sporty tank seems a little outnof place, but the build quality is top notch.

  11. 11 Pat h Jul 17th, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    The r9t is a pretty nice bike stock this seems a little over the top the long left bank pipe knobbbies for off road no protection for lower end ect. Guess that’s the new age of hipsterism

  12. 12 Al Gajda Jul 18th, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Awesome bike

  13. 13 Francesco Jul 18th, 2017 at 7:39 am


  14. 14 Tom Jul 18th, 2017 at 8:37 am


  15. 15 nicker Jul 18th, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Fun looking scoot…..


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Cyril Huze