December’s annual Custombike Show in Bad Salzuflen, Germany is the end-of-season finale for custom fans and specialist bike builders, who come to see the latest trends, innovations, creations and working projects in the scene. It was here last December that fans witnessed the first ever reveal of a customised BMW R nineT – the ‘Track Grinder’ from Urban Motor. So much has happened in the 12 months since then, and some of the highlights could be seen on the BMW Motorrad display at this year’s show…It’s the world's biggest trade fair for customising, attracting around 330 international exhibitors and over 30,000 visitors from Europe and abroad. It’s an event that, several years ago, you would have never imagined seeing BMW Motorrad at, but such is the success of the R nineT custom roadster – and the unique series of boxer-powered Specials it has spawned across the globe – that exhibiting at the 10th edition of the world's largest fair for custom-made motorcycles was never in doubt.Among the many displays, exhibitions, ‘build-offs’, Tattoo artists, bars and craftspeople, a BMW Motorrad truck with a pop-out showroom allowed fans to get up close to some of the headline-grabbing BMW bikes of 2014. These included the welcome return of the Track Grinder, as well as other 9T specials including the much-talked about ‘El Impostor’ from Galician builders El Solitario, and the beautifully crafted ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ from Unique Custom Cycles of Sweden. There were also series production 9T bikes for enthusiasts to explore, as well as official performance parts and 9T accessories that allow owners to create their own, bespoke custom roadster.Fans could also see the new-for-2015 R 1200 R naked roadster in the metal, as well as several other four-cylinder and boxer custom creations, including the latest incarnation of the nitrous oxide fuel-injected ‘Sprintbeemer’ that packs just about every feature developed by BMW Motorrad in recent decades.“The Custombike show was great. I was really happy to be invited by BMW Motorrad to display the latest Lucky Cat garage build. The Sprintbeemer'furtherer' was exhibited on the BMW Motorrad booth all weekend and I especially enjoyed meeting so many enthusiasts, fans, friends and talented custom bike builders,” said Lucky Cat Garage’s Sebastian Lorenz, who is also BMW Motorrad France’s PR Manager.“Customising bikes has been part of my life for 20 years and it is just great to also be able to live this now with BMW Motorrad. I had a great and exciting season this year, winning several sprint races at Monthlery, Chimay and the Glemseck101, and having the bike on display at fantastic events such as the Wheels and Waves, the Concorso Villa d’ Este and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon. And last but not least, the Sprintbeemer won second place at the AMD world championship of custom bike building in the retro modified class.”With so much interest in BMW Specials, Seb was invited on stage alongside BMW R nineT project leader Roland Stocker to represent the brand and share their passion with visitors. For Roland, it has been a crazy 12 months that has included the extremely successful market launch of the 9T, the ‘SOULFUEL’ film that became a YouTube sensation and the growing wave of 9T projects still taking place all over the world.“SOULFUEL was THE factor of success for the R nineT,” says Roland. “At the same time this ‘way of marketing’ and the 9T itself generated a complete new image for BMW Motorrad. In terms of perceptions, ‘coolness’ and ‘emotional’ came up as a new facet of BMW Motorrad. This picture was mainly generated through the custom scene, the bike builders and their 9T interpretations all over the world. This started with Roland Sands’ Concept Ninety and was followed by completely different building styles from Urban Motor, El Solitario, Blitz Motorcycles, and UCC. Then at last we had the four Japanese custom 9Ts, which amazed the whole bike building scene.”It was the tremendously positive feedback from customers and press about all these projects that helped re-shape the BMW Motorrad community in line with the brand’s new Make Life a Ride philosophy and widen its appeal to now include many new types of rider, as Roland confirms.“A big part of the community has transformed into a ‘lifestyle’ community. For these people, it’s much more than just motorcycles for them – they care about clothing, lifestyle, social communities, as well as riding motorcycles! Also the type of clothes they wear is more fashion driven than functional orientated. These people come from all social classes and from nearly every country. This special custom scene is much more open-minded than it used to be in the past. This is a big chance for all kinds of bike builders and different brands, and is a big enrichment to the market itself.“This show was a very important event for us to get feedback and an overview about the scene and the latest trends. For BMW Motorrad it was a great opportunity to also demonstrate the emotional side of the brand. We were very pleased to be welcomed and accepted there, and we’re looking forward to returning with interesting and fascinating products that we will launch in the future.”The next Custombike Show will take place from 4-6 December 2015, where BMW Motorrad will for sure be helping fans and enthusiasts to Make Life a Ride.
December 2014 | © BMW Motorrad
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