BMW reveal Lac Rose – a modern R80G/S
In yesterday's MCN we unveiled our vision of an R nineT-based R80G/S homage, and two further heritage models, which our sources suggest BMW have in development for release as 2017 models – and just 24-hours later the firm have unveiled their own concept bike at Wheels & Waves, and it looks pleasingly close to our computer generated images.
The BMW Concept Lac Rose
Inspired by the past Paris-Dakar Rallye heroes and their victorious BMW machines, the Lac Rose concept bike is very clearly much more than that, and is certain to be a preview of a new production bike.
“Since it was first introduced on the market, the BMW R nineT has become a popular bike for customizers. This makes us very proud and spurred us on to create something special for this festival, something no one has seen from us yet”, says Edgard Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad. “The BMW Motorrad Concept Lac Rose is our individual interpretation of the bike that won the Paris-Dakar Rallye in 1985. It puts the BMW R nineT into an exciting new context and shows what passion for our brand heritage, imagination and a few modifications can achieve.”
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G/S meets R nineT
Lac Rose is "essentially a cool and laid-back roadster with a few typical off-road features which allow you to leave the street and follow a dirt track into the unknown”, says Edgar Heinrich. “It is this combination of customizing, coolness and unconventionality which make this bike so special.”
Moreover, it's a stylistic homage to one of the most enduring genesis moments in bike design, a recreation of the bike that birthed the entire adventure genre, and of which good examples are coveted and hard to find. A modern interpretaion based around the R nineT is almost gurateed to find favour amongst the buying public.
"The windshield with typical rallye equipment, the characteristic headlamp design with the high mudguard, a large fuel tank and a short rallye seat bench are all reminiscences of the legendary bike," say BMW. "Longer suspension travel as well as spoke wheels with studded tyres are as mandatory as the colour combination of signal red on alpine white and the start number 101."
Underneath the dressing-up box is all the inherent genius if the R nineT, and while many may prefer the newer water-cooled 1200 boxer motor, there's a beautiful authenticity to the R nineT's air-cooled version. You can't beat the smell of hot oil and the ticking of cooling fans after a ride.
Why Lac Rose?
Lac Rose is the French name of the rose-coloured Retba salt lake, located 35 km North East of Dakar and less than one kilometre from the Atlantic coast. The legendary Paris-Dakar rallye ended here following the many strenuous stages through the desert. The podium is located right at the lakeside and the winners receive their awards amid the crowd of enthusiastic fans. The BMW factory machines, modified by the company HPN, rode to victory three times in a row in the middle of the 80s. Gaston Rahier took the third win in 1985 with start number 101.
Expect to see the production version unveiled at one of the big Autumn shows this year, with the bike being available in dealers in 2017.