Motorcycles can be a paradoxical creation, as they seek to blend refined aesthetic tastes with the loud off-roading spirit many riders crave. Understanding and honing this duality, the BMW R NineT Elegant Bastard’s name aptly summarizes its goal: to let a cyclist have their cake and eat it too. Designed by Smokin’ Motorcycles for the BMW Soul Fuel Challenge 2014 organized by BMW Motorrad in the Netherlands, the bike was a smash hit; finding a spot in the winner’s circle and in public voting it garnered more than 70% of the popular vote. And when one looks at the bike itself, it’s easy to see why it, as its beautiful design resides comfortably alongside a powerful beast of a machine.
The bike shows all the signs of a good quality build, from its handmade aluminum tank to its CNC milled subframe and carbon fiber engine covers. But perhaps most revealing of its inherent purpose is the rough finish of its antelope leather seat, which embodies the wild side its revving engine begs to deliver. So while the Elegant can help one makes waves at the track or race you to your favorite boutique café, the Bastard will equally ensure you have no trouble shredding through mud or getting covered in dirt. Like a controlled Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Elegant Bastard makes the most of all the motorcycling world has to offer in a sleek design with a fierce soul. Photographs © Mark Kamphuis.