In this BMW Motorrad 90th anniversary year, the Berlin plant today witnessed the last of the seven motorcycle launches planned for this year. The new BMW R nineT rolled off the assembly line for the very first time. The start of production was witnessed by employees, friends of the company and celebrity guests such as Horst Lichter and Ronald Zehrfeld, as well as customizing specialists from Urban Motor, boxer-fans from Motorcircus and journalists from all over the world.
At midday, the first three fully assembled bikes passed through an extremely crucial point at the BMW Berlin manufacturing facility – the rolling dynamometer, where 1,000 parameters are tested within a short time and where around 100 spectators were present at the start of production.
The entire project team has completed two and a half years of development work, from the original concept up to series maturity. “During the initial phase, our designers had already sat together with vehicle developers from Munich,” explains Dr. Marc Sielemann, head of production at BMW Motorrad. “So we were able to incorporate production-related aspects into the concept at a very early stage, thereby ensuring the quality of our manufacturing processes.”
BMW Motorrad chief Stephan Schaller was there as well to congratulate his team on their achievements. Within an authentic “workshop” setting, project manager Roland Stocker and his team demonstrated that the R nineT can take on an entirely new and individual character with little effort and a wide range of accessories.
During a guided tour of the plant following the amazing vehicle presentation, the guests gained exclusive insights into the process of assembling the BMW R nineT. This is where attention to detail becomes evident on the bike. For example, the aluminium nameplate is riveted to the steering head of the vehicle, this being a style element, the design of which was inspired by historic BMW motorcycles.
Due to the decision to opt for the classic air/oil-cooled boxer engine, two different boxer power units are now produced parallel to each other at the Berlin plant for the first time. The next generation air/water-cooled boxer engine was introduced with the 2013 R1200GS.
The aluminium tank of the R nineT is proof that people at the BMW Berlin plant are well able to cope with challenges. The tank’s high-quality look is achieved by a black lacquer finish combined with hand-brushed, clear-coated aluminium surfaces. In order to ensure the required adhesion of the clear lacquer to the aluminium surface, specialists at the Berlin motorcycle plant developed a special transparent dispersion. This transparent film serves as a bonding coat between the aluminium surface and the clear lacquer – a technological innovation that makes the design of the nineT possible.
Update: Additional photos added.