Historic R5 Hommage Takes Spotlight At Sturgis Museum

The legendary rally in Sturgis may be over, the efforts to bring equally historic motorcycles to its exhibits is a year-round effort by the town’s two-wheeled museum.

The newest exhibit at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum is called ‘Main Street’, commemorating motorcycling’s timeless role in reaching the mainstream. To help the Museum ‘Honor the Ride’ BMW Motorrad has brought a unique concept bike dubbed the R 5 Hommage, straight from Europe for an exclusive U.S. debut.

“Synchronicity… The BMW R 5 Hommage project demonstrates just how well the world of historic motorcycles and the current custom scene are in harmony with one another.” says Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall Of Fame Executive Director Myrick Robbins. “The BMW R 5 Hommage really captures the essential spirit of motorcycling of any era and all genres. Plus, it looks pretty cool, too.”

The BMW R 5 comes to the museum for an extended stay after its U.S. debut at ‘Skin & Bones' – the custom bike show curated by photographer Michael Lichter at the Buffalo Chip during the Rally.

“We are honored that BMW Motorrad has entrusted the Museum to share this unique motorcycle,” adds Robbins.

Back in the 1930s the original R 5 was one of the groundbreaking sportbikes of the era and a defining machine in BMW Motorrad’s illustrious heritage. To mark the 80th anniversary of the original, BMW commissioned this special bike. As befits a custom bike, the homage bike was elaborately hand-crafted from scratch by a couple of European bike building legends, Ronny and Benny Noren: the two brothers have been building tailor-made motorcycles for more than 30 years.

At the core there is an original 500cc two-cylinder engine from a crashed damaged race bike…from there the remaining parts gradually took shape in the Noren brothers’ workshop based on sketches by the BMW Motorrad Design Team. In addition to key styling cues, the brothers incorporated some surprises into the project, including a supercharger!

“At its debut, the R 5 was not only a masterpiece of engineering, the clarity of its lines and the elegance of its proportions also made it stand out clearly from the masses,” says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad. “To this day, the R 5 remains one of the most aesthetically appealing motorcycles in BMW history in my view.”


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