Custom R nineT-Based Chopper Looks Totally Bonkers, Bears Handmade Chromoly Frame


Ever since the House of Munich introduced us to the R nineT, we’ve seen dozens of bespoke reinterpretations emerge worldwide. The Bavarian has been transformed into just about anything from futuristic streetfighter to classy cafe racer (and beyond), though we haven’t really seen that many R nineT-based choppers – which is fair enough. I mean, the amount of work demanded by such a conversion is insane, so it makes more sense to start with something like an R 18 in the first place.

For most people, this would certainly be the preferred course of action, but Engineered To Slide’s ambitious Nigel Petrie was after a real challenge. The Aussie’s main area of expertise is metalwork, and he’s been involved in numerous two- and four-wheeled undertakings over the years. For instance, Nigel created a DIY drifter using the bodywork of a Toyota Hilux and an intricate space frame he’d built from scratch.

However, nothing showcases this fellow’s incredible fabrication skills better than his custom BMW R nineT chopper (pictured above). It all started back in 2019 when Petrie got his hands on a brand-new Racer variant of Motorrad’s family. He retained the Beemer’s rear brake mechanism, drivetrain, and the 1,170cc boxer-twin engine, but everything else was promptly discarded.

Next, the Australian craftsman busied himself with manufacturing the tidiest chromoly skeleton we’ve ever seen. At the rear, Nigel’s framework features a hardtail construction, while the front end rests on a fascinating suspension setup that’s been developed in-house. Instead of using springs, the girder-type module flaunts a robust carbon fiber substructure, which sits in between chromium-molybdenum tubes with a diameter of 19 millimeters (0.75 inches).

Moving on to the wheels, Petrie tasked the experts over at Vintage Rims Australia with crafting a classy pair of hoops, measuring 22 inches up front and 18 inches down south. Meanwhile, the moto surgeon had the snowflake-style spokes designed with CAD software, then he laser-cut the final pieces and TIG-welded them to the rims.

As if this whole shebang wasn’t already intriguing enough, the front wheel got treated to an ancient Firestone tire that’s been conceived for the Ford Model T over a century ago (seriously). At the opposite pole, ample grip is supplied by a Racemaster drag slick from the M&H catalog. Following the installation of a unique titanium exhaust, Nigel got rid of the R nineT’s ECU and fuel injection, making room for bespoke billet aluminum carbs and retro ignition hardware made by Morris Magneto.

To round out the powertrain adjustments, the solo ETS mastermind added an 18-volt DeWalt battery. For the bodywork, he turned to Lowbrow Customs’ specialists, who supplied the machine’s new rear fender and one snazzy fuel chamber. Lastly, the cockpit is adorned with a one-off handlebar sporting an aftermarket throttle, but there’s not a single lever in sight. That’s because the clutch and rear brake are operated via pedals fitted behind the foot pegs, thus keeping the front end ultra-clean.