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BMW R 5 - Custom meets heritage at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

80 years ago, BMW presented the BMW R 5 to the international public - an exciting new technological development that was to influence motorcycle construction right through to the 1950s. Inspired by the 500 cc factory racing machine of 1935, it was one of the groundbreaking sports motorbikes of the late 1930s with its newly designed light frame. To mark the 80th anniversary of the BMW R 5, BMW Motorrad is honouring this icon at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2016 with a special model: the BMW R 5 Hommage.


The BMW R 5 Hommage translates the essence of motorcycling into the modern era, combining the world of historical motorcycle design with the modern world of custom bikes.

“At its debut, the R 5 was not only a masterpiece of engineering, the clarity of its lines and the elegance of its proportions also made it stand out clearly from the masses. To this day, the R 5 remains one of the most aesthetically appealing motorcycles in BMW history in my view,” says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad. “In my opinion, its fascinating and unique beauty lies in its sheer simplicity,” adds Ola Stenegard, Head of Vehicle Design and Creative Director Heritage BMW Motorrad. “In today’s world it is very simple to keep it complicated, but very complicated to keep it simple. And the BMW R 5 captures the very essence of a motorcycle. Our aim was to transport its clarity and elegant aesthetic appeal to the modern era - creating a respectful combination of old-school and high-tech with a dash of high performance.”


Vintage meets custom.


The BMW R 5 Hommage shows just how well the world of historical motorcycles and the custom scene harmonise. At the core there is an original 500 cc Two-cylinder engine provided by motorcycle enthusiast Sebastian Gutsch. This boxer engine was damaged in a race and provided the starting point for creating the BMW R 5 Hommage.


As befits a custom bike, the homage bike was elaborately hand-crafted from scratch. Ronny and Benny Noren were called upon to produce the parts according to the specifications of the BMW Motorrad Design Team: the two brothers have been building tailor-made customer bikes for more than 30 years.


Historical core ...





The Two-cylinder 4-stroke boxer engine of the R 5 was completely newly designed at the time and had an output of 24 bhp at 5,500 rpm. The valve drive was taken care of by two camshafts powered by a timing chain. Thanks to the likewise newly designed frame made of electrically welded oval tubing, the light R 5 reached a top speed of 135 km/h, making it almost as fast as R 17 with 33 bhp 750 cc – which is one of the reasons it was so frequently used for racing, just like the engine selected for the BMW R 5 Hommage, which was damaged during a race. For the homage bike, numerous components such as the valve cover and the breastplate of the boxer engine were machined from billet aluminium based on sketches: they give the historical core a dash of modern flair.


... in a tailor-made custom outfit.


Two doyens of the custom bike scene, Ronny and Benny Noren, were the perfect partners for the BMW R 5 Hommage project when it came to providing a fitting outward appearance for the historical core and producing the missing parts for the engine and gearbox. The remaining parts gradually took shape in the Noren brothers’ workshop based on sketches by the BMW Motorrad Design Team. All parts such as the frame, fuel tank and rearfender are unique, elaborately hand-crafted components – making this a genuine custom bike. And most important of all: the newly fashioned parts clearly transport the original purist character of the R 5.


Timelessly elegant: the proportions.


The result is impressive: even from a distance the proportions convey the timeless beauty of a consistent reduction to the essentials – entirely true to the spirit of the R 5 – and translate this idea into the modern age. The frame and fuel tank echo the elegant drop shape of the original, though in a more modern, streamlined interpretation. The steering head is slightly more tilted, for example, so as to give the R 5 Hommage greater presence and expressive stance while at the same time underscore the fact that it belongs to the customer bike world. As far as the frame is concerned, the focus here was on the oval shaped tubes which were such a striking feature of the original. Together the frame and fuel tank draw a continuous line from the steering head to the rear wheel hub, giving the side view a touch of elegance. The hand-made steel rearfender perpetuates the minimalistic layout.


A modern interpretation of historical details.


A particularly defining feature in terms of the appearance of the original R 5 was the telescopic fork - new at the time - whose characteristic fork covers were aerodynamically shaped at the level of the headlamp. The BMW R 5 Hommage invokes this element and interprets it in modern style based on the custom made fork. The leading edge of the forkcovers echoes the “crease” on the breastplate and valve covers with a suggested interpretation of the typical “R 5 rib”. The brake and clutch levers activated from the bar-end likewise blend the past with state-of-the-art technology: these custom-made components combine the look of historical reversed levers with the adjustment options of modern controls.


Exquisite custom craftsmanship: supercharger, exhaustpipes and suspension.


The heart of the BMW R 5 rests within the minimalist proportions of the homage bike. The technical highlight of the engine is the specially developed supercharger, which in the BMW R 5 Hommage now significantly boosts the output of the original 500 cc power unit of 26 bhp to achieve a contemporary accurate level.


A completely newly built stainless steel exhaust system ensures that this increase in power is appropriately reflected in terms of sound.


Other contemporary accents are provided by the new rear wheel suspension, the modern piston brake system and the elaborately designed front and rear wheel hub. The latter combines the brake system and spoke mount in a single formal unit - a detailed reflection of the minimalistic concept embodied by the BMW R 5 Hommage.


The colour: classic BMW style yet still a true custom bike.


The BMW R 5 Hommage is presented in classic style when it comes to colour. The basic theme is typical BMW – black with white pinstripes, though interpreted in contemporary style of course. In addition to the opaquely finished surfaces, the so-called smoke finish on the fuel tank and rearfender allow the steel underneath to partially show through. In addition to the white pinstripes, the black finish on the fuel tank and rearfender especially comes into its own right, in perfect custom style, due to the metallic finish and a slight flake effect.  The engine cases and gearbox in glass bead aluminium provide the perfect stage for the polished aluminium parts such as the machined breastplate and the valve covers with its “R 5 crease”. The soft lustre of the polished aluminium is especially reminiscent of the BMW R 5 originals. The overall image is rounded off with a handstitched leather seat with high-quality embossing.

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Motorcycle Experience Newsletter May 20

A letter from Dave at Motorcycle Experience.
Looks like a must watch episode!

Earlier this week I was out in the Ganaraska Forest just south of Kirby, Ontario, shooting a pile of new Red Adventure riding features with two of my favourite off-road riding buddies, Lawrence Hacking and Toni Sharpless. When it comes to off-road racing and riding, nobody knows more than Lawrence Hacking. This guy has raced in the International Six Days, the Baja 1000, the Mexican 1000 and the Paris to Dakar. Trust me, when we get together, I always learn something new. As for Toni, we go all the way back to 1990 when she made her first appearance on Motorcycle Experience testing a Yamaha FZR600. The first time I met Toni, I could tell that she had motor oil in her veins. Toni is such a spark and is always a pleasure to hang with. She’s raced professionally as a road racer at such prestigious events as the Daytona 200, the Suzuka 8 hour, the Bol d’Or and the 24 hours of LeMans. Now that’s an impressive resumé! More recently she’s been hitting the enduro trail here in Ontario and again, this gal has compiled an amazing wealth of knowledge when it comes to adventure riding. Be sure to check out her feature this week on the show. Anyway, we all had a blast out in the Gani. And speaking of Motorcycle Experience...

On this week’s edition of Motorcycle Experience, we will kick off the show by asking long time viewer, Mark Russell to sample Triumph Motorcycle’s hugely popular tribute to the café racers of the late 1960’s, the Thruxton. Then Norm Wells and I will continue our Ultimate Ride down in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year we’ve rented a couple of BMW GSs and we’re taking in the amazing scenery out in the Nevada desert. This week on day 2 we tackle the all important question of where to grab lunch.

On Shifting Gears, SMART riding instructor Clinton Smout looks at extending the riding season and Senior Editor Colin Fraser stops by to discuss the art of shopping for a used set of wheels, while looking back at Harley-Davidson’s 2007 Night Rod. And during this week's “Red Adventure” segment Toni Sharpless, will talk about what to wear under your adventure riding Jacket.

Also, don’t forget that I’ve been invited to head up to Whitehorse next month to help host their TELUS Ride For Dad event on June 11th. I plan to be there for the whole weekend as this is a super worthy cause and I’m sure that it’s going to be a blast. To date, some 250,000 people have helped to raise over 16 million dollars in the fight against prostate cancer and now you can add me to the growing number of folks who want to help out. There are some 40 communities across Canada hosting a Ride For Dad right now so please sign up and join a ride near you. You'll be glad you did.

Keep your right hand cranked!
Dave

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Motorcycle Experience on TSN

A message from Dave Hatch:


Well the wait and winter is finally over! May’s arrival means that it’s officially time to get out and ride and watch Motorcycle Experience on TSN.
 
This year we have changed our format slightly, added a new official charity for the show and picked up a new riding apparel supplier. First up, lets talk about the new show line up. Here’s what you'll see on this week's episode: On this jam-packed edition of Motorcycle Experience, we will kick off our 27th season on TSN by sampling Honda Canada's all new Africa Twin out in Victoria, BC. Then Norm Wells and I will kick start our 15th BMW Ultimate Ride down in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year we’ve rented a couple of GS’s from EagleRider and plan to double-down on some amazing scenery and roads out in the Nevada desert. Then, during our brand new “Red Adventure” segment, expert off road racer, Lawrence Hacking, will examine the exploding sport of adventure riding. On Shifting Gears, SMART riding instructor Clinton Smout tackles the sand and gravel and Senior editor Colin Fraser will wrap up the first episode by stopping by to discuss the art of shopping for a used set of wheels, all the while looking back at a 2006 Suzuki 650 bandit.

During many of these segments you’ll note that I’m now wearing the latest riding gear from Olympia Moto Sports. They came on board with us late last fall and, I gotta say, I really like how they design their products. The gear is really well made, fits me perfectly, and I like their price point. I was wearing one of their Expedition suits during the shooting of this year’s Ultimate Ride in Las Vegas and it was a perfect choice for the chilly (5 degrees every day) Nevada desert.

Also new for 2016 is our official charity, the Ride for Dad. I'm heading up to Whitehorse this summer to help host their TELUS Ride For Dad event on June 11th. I plan to be there for the whole weekend as this is a super worthy cause. To date, some 250,000 people have helped to raise over 18 million dollars in the fight against prostate cancer and now you can add me to the growing number of folks who want to help out.

There are 40 communities across Canada hosting a Ride For Dad this year so please sign up and join a ride near you. You will be glad you did.

Keep your right hand cranked!

Dave

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Victory Motorcycles Racing For a Return to the Podium at Isle of Man TT

Victory Motorcycles®, a brand that delivers Modern American Muscle by producing motorcycles with head-snapping acceleration, power and handling, is returning with the Victory Racing team to compete in the Isle of Man TT Zero race with an all-new electric race bike called the Victory® RR.
 
The Victory RR has been developed over the past year using data gathered during last year's TT Zero and will be ridden by William Dunlop.
 
“One way we continuously push ourselves in performance is through our Victory Racing initiatives,” says Alex Hultgren, Director of Marketing for Victory Motorcycles. “The Isle of Man TT is one of the most challenging motorcycle races in the world, so of course we have to be there.”


 
Victory’s international R&D development program is well underway and the Victory RR bike serves as a test bed for technology that will be used in the brand’s future products.
 
According to Brian Wismann, Victory Racing's team manager: “Our electric Empulse RR race bike placed third on the podium in the TT Zero race last year, which we were thrilled with. Using the data we gathered on our laps of the TT course has helped us to develop a new battery module as well as improving the powertrain. We feel like we can return to the TT with more performance as well as being able to test this technology for our future products.”
 
“This year with a new machine and new technology behind us we continue to have high expectations,” Hultgren adds. “We are working to develop the best platform for our racer, William Dunlop, who is familiar with the view from the podium.”
 
“The newly developed battery leverages the lessons learned from our entry in last year’s TT Zero event,” Wisemann says. “The battery is a ground-up new design with the help of our technical partners at Brammo and necessitated a big change in the chassis design – from an extruded aluminum twin spar to a steel trellis frame. The biggest difference in the battery itself is an improvement in both the overall energy / capacity we’re carrying onboard the bike, as well as a marked improvement in the energy density of the battery itself. As you know, lithium-ion battery technology is improving every year and with the Victory RR we are leading the way to batteries that will provide more performance, greater range and less cost in future vehicles.”
 
Some enhancements have also been made to the electric motor. Developed in partnership with Parker Hannifin, the motor is called the Parker GVM. It boasts world-class specific power (the power to weight ratio), producing a peak of over 170hp from a package that is only eight inches in diameter and five inches long. With peak efficiencies topping 97 percent, it is clear to see why Victory gets excited about the potential of this powertrain for future products.
 
“Compared to the electric motor we used in the TT Zero event last year, this year’s version features an even further optimized winding configuration based on the data gathered from last year’s bikes,” Wismann says. “Coupled with the increased energy on board in the battery, William Dunlop will have access to more of the power available from this motor than in 2015.” 
 
The first practice for the TT Zero is scheduled for Friday June 3 at 8:40 p.m. A second practice takes place on the Monday June 6 at 4:25 p.m., and the race itself begins Wednesday June 8 at 4:20 p.m.
 
Visit www.victorymotorcycles.com/en-us/isle-of-man for more information about Victory Racing at the Isle of Man TT. Learn more about Victory Motorcycles at VictoryMotorcycles.com or follow on Twitter and Facebook.
 

TECH SPEC VICTORY® RR
Length/Width/Height (mm.)
2089 / 680 / 1218
Seat Height (in.)
32
Weight (kg)
240
Front Tire
Metzeler 120/70 R17
Rear Tire
Metzeler 200/60 R17
Frame
Trellis Steel and Composite Monocoque
Motor
Parker GVM Water-cooled, 3-phase, IPM AC
Max Power (kW/HP)
130 / 174
Max Torque (Nm)
240
Battery
Brammo Power Lithium-Ion
Battery Voltage (Vdc)
370 or more
 

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