BMW R1250R Reimagined by Renard Speed Shopby Harry Fisher, on LISTEN 04:35
There are custom bikes and there are Custom bikes. This is one of the latter. Created by Renard Speed Shop in Estonia, it started life as a BMW R1250R roadster, not that you’d know it by looking at it. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is unbelievable, not to mention the artistic vision that caused it to be created in the first place.
BMW R1250R Reimagined By Renard Speed Shop
Think of countries that are well-known for their custom culture and it is likely that Estonia might not be the first to spring to mind. Let all that change right now!
It always amazes me how many custom builders look at BMW for bikes to customise. That great lump of an engine, with the cylinders sticking out either side, is so difficult to package subtly that you wonder why anyone bothers in the first place. Surely there are more compact engines that wouldn’t intrude - or protrude - with or from bodywork.
But it can’t be denied that there are some pretty incredible BMW customs out there and this one, from Tallinn, Estonia-based Renard Speed shop is just incredible. If it wasn’t for those huge cylinders sticking out, there would be nothing that would suggest that this was once a BMW.
The Renard name was first seen on a motorcycle back in 1938. The company lasted until 1944 when the factory and everything in it was destroyed during a bombing raid. In 2008, Andres Uibomäe resurrected the name and commenced producing some remarkable custom motorcycles. The first to be produced was the Renard GT, which started the trend for taking unusual engines and turning the surrounding bike into art. The Renard GT started life as a V-Twin Moto Guzzi but looked nothing like any production Guzzi when they had finished.
The latest ’Reimagined’ is a continuation of that idea and is based around a BMW R1250R. Despite the size and shape of the engine, it was a more logical choice than you might at first think. Producing good power and torque and complete with a full suite of electronics, Andres comments that “The new generation BMW 1250cc boxer is an ideal platform for a custom motorcycle build."
Underneath that voluptuous bodywork is a completely new subframe that carries the cantilevered seat unit. Particularly neat is the way the foot pegs and gear and brake foot levers protrude from the bodywork, leaving nothing to spoil the lines and the way the side stand folds up and out of sight is a thing of wonder. I could go on and on about the design but the pictures tell a much more eloquent story. All panels are in hand-formed aluminium.
A new top triple clamp increased the rake of the forks, which are standard BMW items, fully shrouded by new bodywork.
Looking at the front and rear views, it is so hard to imagine the original BMW donor bike, so low and chunky is the Reimagined. The original forged alloy wheels have been replaced by laced rims by JoNich Wheels of Italy, which is particularly effective at the rear with the single-sided swing-arm. Exhaust pipes are Akrapovic, originally designed for the Ducati Panigale Superleggera.
The only jarring note, for me at least, is the use of the original BMW TFT dashboard. With the retention of all the standard BMW electronic rider aids, this interface was necessary as everything is controlled through it. It looks a bit like an afterthought and could surely have been integrated better?
But that is nit-picking. Any custom bike created by someone’s imagination is never going to satisfy the aesthetic sensibilities of everyone but the most successful will tick 99% of boxes for 99% of viewers. The Reimagined is a masterpiece of design and execution and the best bit of all is that you would never in a million years guess what the donor bike was, apart from the fact that it was a BMW.
I absolutely love this. Just imagine if people like Andres were commissioned to produce new designs for established manufacturers: who knows what we might find ourselves riding out of showrooms around the world. Or is a bike like this special because it is a one-off?
It doesn’t matter. Let’s just be happy that it exists at all.
Thanks to www.pipeburn.com for bringing art such as this to our attention.