It’s Not Exactly Stock, However!by Harry Fisher, on
What started out as an ordinary BMW R1250RS has been turned into something incredible by a team in Germany. Built for the Sultans of Sprint event in Europe, you’d be hard pressed to recognise anything other than the engine as BMW.
Is This The Coolest BMW Ever?
In Europe they do things a little differently. Not content with simply having sprint races, bikes taking part in the Sultans of Sprint event are judged not only on their speed but prizes are awarded for creativity, imagination and aesthetics. Judging by this particular bike, called Achilles, the standards are very high indeed.
Created by an engineer and a designer, the project was given momentum when BMW itself donated a brand new R1250RS. This, lest you forget, is a sports tourer fitted with the 136bhp, Shiftcam-equipped boxer-twin engine. Not that you’d know it from the finished article!
Philipp Ludwig is one of the founders of the Sultans of Sprint event and runs his own workshop in Munich that goes by the name of Kraftstoffschmiede. He teamed up with designer Krzysztof Szews from the Man & The Machines workshop to create Achilles.
Philipp wielded the spanners, while Kris concentrated on the design aspect.
The need for it to look as good as it went was essential from the outset: “Designing a piece of motorsport equipment requires industrial design in its purest form,” said Kris. “There is no need for it to be pretty as long as it performs, right?”
“But this isn’t the case at the Sultans of Sprint. This race bike had to be an absolute eye catcher: an extrovert, one-off rocket ship, and an ambassador for BMW Motorrad’s sporty brand identity.”
Philipp needed the bike to have good stability as well as the majority of the weight over the front wheel. Kris came up with a design that visually placed the bulk of the bike at the front while shortening the tail to give the impression of a longer swing-arm.
Not much remains of the original donor bike. The suspension has been changed to Wilbers Suspension-supplied units, which are custom made and fully adjustable. The wheels are custom-built items from Kineo, wearing Shinko tyres. Underneath the bodywork is a fabricated fuel cell and tail section in aluminium. The tail section houses the engine management system and the NOS bottle! The exhaust is custom made in stainless steel by German firm Hattech.
Designing the bodywork was thoroughly modern and hi-tech. The rolling chassis was 3D scanned and the rough design transferred to digital renders to ensure the form fitted not only the internals but the intended function. The bodywork was then 3D printed in polyamide and joined together and reinforced with carbon fibre.
Designed and built in just six months, it goes to show what can be achieved when imagination and engineering cooperate perfectly.
To watch a short video of the bike and the event, click here