The BMW prototype R1 that never made it into production

Another sweet-lookin’ BMW, but this one was born in 1992, years before the S1000RR and it had desmodromic valves.

Believe it or not, BMW have built a pretty bike before the S1000RR and it wasn’t that long ago. Back in 1992 the company toyed with this project – ironically code-named R1.

The R1 was a liquid cooled flat-twin running double overhead camshafts which in turn operated all eight valves with opening and closing cams and followers to eliminate the need for valve springs. Yes, you’re right – desmodromic.

Mounted high up in a twin spar aluminium chassis with Telever front forks, the engine suspends its heavy bits (starter motor and alternator) underneath for improved weight distribution.

Even with a claimed 140bhp on tap the project was canned when engineers failed to achieve the desired aerodynamic results because of those sticky-out cylinders.

17 years later, BMW launch the S1000RR.