“It seems I have built a chicken with underarms and headlamps.”

Crazy words from a brilliant man.

When Bernhard Naumann first began work on an R nineT for BMW, he didn’t start from initial sketches – nor did he sit down and outline the scope, topography, or profile of what he wanted this custom build to be.

In fact, he started as he always does with his one-of-a-kind creations: Dismantling the bike first, then working in bits and pieces and watching the end product emerge, only stopping to paper sketches to help the project along when it is in its most intense phase – and even then, it’s ‘more a case of experimenting with variations.’

“I actually don’t have any fundamental inspiration. I dismantle the original parts and then come up with something starting from a blank canvas,” Naumann admits in

“[for this project,] I started around the start of the year and really had to put my foot down, because I knew that time would be tight”.

“He does not perceive his version of the R nineT as a custom bike, but as a concept bike and an “opportunity.” explains the winner of the Willie G. Davidson Design Award.

“The joke about this for me is that BMW went to an individualist and wanted him to build a non-standard version”…creating instead “a machine that could easily have come from BMW.”

But it hasn’t – evidenced by the fact that Naumann apparently did away with almost everything in the R nineT, keeping only the handbrake levers, handlebars and fork for his build. 

Everything else? Custom made from scratch “from the metal-loving Tin Man’s hands”, bar the electronics, the saddle and the paintwork – because even the most inspired artist need a bit of outside help every now and then. 

Tin Man is Naumann’s nickname – a source of inspiration he used for the project name, with the christened “Blechmann” Project needing a strong title to match the equally strong personality of the bike.

As for the bike’s name itself…with previous bikes labelled things like “The weird rider” or “Carpathian dog”, we aren’t surprised at this one. 

“Friends mentioned that my bodyshell on the front was slightly reminiscent of a chicken’s head,” Naumann chuckles. 

“I then asked what the Bavarians had to say about this. Then I decided to call the machine ‘Giggerl’.” [The Southern German word for chicken]

People have purportedly described Naumann’s work as, ‘soul-searching in the metal. Surfaces that are too balsamic for the eyes,’ as well as ‘fantasies that are brought to life by form and shape.’ When it comes to an active imagination as saturated as Naumann’s, we’re  tickled pink that he takes his builds beyond the sphere of normality and challenges today’s designs. 

Let us know what you think of this beauty in the comments below, and be sure to also check out more news from BMW Motorrad – and as always, stay safe on the twisties.

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