BMW’s supercharged R5 concept

‘R5 Hommage’ pays tribute to 80-year-old model
BMW’s supercharged R5 concept

BMW has unveiled this concept paying tribute to the R5, using an original 500cc boxer-twin engine from the 1930s model but fitted with a supercharger.

Called the R5 Hommage, and marking the 80th anniversary of the launch of its namesake, it’s been otherwise crafted entirely from scratch by Swedish custom-builder brothers Ronny and Benny Noren, according to BMW’s specifications.

The hand-made frame has oval tubes, a feature of the orginal.

The covered telescopic forks of the 1930s model, which were a new development at the time, have been recreated, with an aerodynamic profile.

A specially developed supercharger ‘significantly boosts’ power from the original 26bhp according to BMW.

The engine, salvaged after being damaged in a race, has also benefited from new parts including the billet aluminium valve cover and breastplate.

Other contemporary components include the one-off stainless steel exhaust, disc brakes, rear shock and the levers, which hinge at the bar ends for a historical look but are span-adjustable.

BMW has a recent history of using ‘concepts’ as previews of production models, including the R nineT Scrambler, which was introduced last year as the Concept Path 22.

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that this latest concept could herald a production model reminiscent of the R5. For the moment the firm is calling it a ‘special model’.

It was unveiled at the weekend at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, an exclusive gathering of classic cars and motorcycles in Italy.

Ola Stenegard, BMW Motorrad’s Head of Vehicle Design, said: ‘In today’s world it is very simple to keep it complicated, but very complicated to keep it simple. And the BMW R5 captures the very essence of a motorcycle. Our aim was to transport its clarity and elegant aesthetic appeal to the modern era - creating a respectful combination of old-school and high-tech with a dash of high performance.’