Back in the second quarter of 2014, BMW handed over some BMW R NineT motorcycles to some of the top builders in Japan and the results were spectacular. While one converted his NineT into a massive tracker, others featured some beautiful paint detailing. The one that stood out the most was the “Highway Fighter”, designed by Kaichiroh Kurosu at his workshop, Cherry’s Company.
The Highway Fighter looks jaw-droppingly beautiful from every angle. Inspired by old 70’s BMW racing machines, the motorcycle has a full fairing design, that starts at the tank all the way to the bottom belly pan, interrupted in the middle by the massive BMW boxer engine popping out on either side. Don’t get us wrong though, the so called boxer engine “interrupting” in the middle of the fairing gives the bodywork a more mean character and emphasises on the enormity it creates around the design.
The body work, of course handcrafted, are made out of single sheets of aluminium. The front cowl features a tinted LED headlight that becomes completely invisible when turned off, giving the cowl a solid, full race fairing look. Both the front and the rear wheels have been replaced by solid RevTech rims (18 front and 16 rear), which by far is the most distinctive feature ever to be seen on any custom motorcycle, and it works. The suspensions have been beefed up by using the ones found on BMW’s S1000 RR superbike and have been lowered by 2 inches. The add stability, a steering damper from PSR has been added while the brakes have been upgraded to larger Brembos.
At the back, the rear section is cut off and the double seats are replaced by a single hand stitched seat with a tight and small aluminium cowl wrapped around it. The short trail and the full fairing gives the machine a completely front-heavy look. To top off everything, the Highway Fighter gets a full gloss black paintjob with pinstripes around the corners while the rest of the parts get a anodised black treatment.
BMW’s decision to hand over these R NineT’s to Japanese builders was a good one. While they are one of the most dedicated builders anywhere in the world, their tendency to refuse use of any old parts and hand fabricate everything according to their requirement. But, by doing so, the builders end up with a final product that looks like a true one-off, unique with ultimate levels of detailing, hardwork and skill. The Highway Fighter is nothing short brilliance at work, ready to be remembered and inspired by future builds across the world.