Surfing and bikes: do you really think that will catch on?
It's true, surfing and motorcycles go together like cats and dogs. Bikes are difficult to load up with boards, you're lucky if you can fit a friend on the back and they're ruddy uncomfortable over long distances. Still, bearded hipster types and Cereal Cafe dwellers have decided that surfing and custom motorcycles are the next big thing, as the ultra-trendy Wheels and Waves festival in Biarritz, where this bike was unveiled, clearly pointed out last week.
What has BMW got to do with it?
Excuse the pun but they're clearly riding the wave of cool with a superb concept that fuses modern design with retro styling and hip surf culture. The marque's creation is called the Path 22 concept and it's rather snazzy.
Really? It looks a bit cumbersome...
Yeah, we're not sure how aerodynamically sensible it is to strap a whopping surfboard to the side of a two-wheeled machine but it seemed to work OK in France. The concept is based on an existing 1160cc R nineT model, but benefits from bespoke scrambler-style bars and lights, a tailored leather seat and an exquisite contraption that keeps your boards safe and secure.
I hate to break it to you, but a surf rack is nothing new, dude.
Granted, but you haven't laid eyes on a rack quite like this. The straps are fashioned from tan leather and the clamps have been hand milled from polished aluminium. When the rack is not in use, it simply folds down out of sight or it can be removed completely. It's a work of art in itself.
What else is new?
Designers stripped the bike back to the bare essentials to give it that rugged look, but it also packs neat touches, such as studded tyres for off-road action, scrambler-style Akrapovic tailpipes and high-performance suspension by Öhlins, so it can venture off the beaten track. Although we did witness it get a little bit stuck on a beach.
Who is responsible for that colourful mess on the tank?
A chap dubbed Nico Sclater, aka Ornamental Conifer, was allowed to run riot with some paintbrushes and pens. His unique typography and 'playful' doodles can be found all over the bike, as well as on the back of a couple of leather jackets he scrawled all over, too.
Finally, the Path 22 name - are you going to expand on that?
If we told you, we would have to kill you. Not really, it's merely a top-secret surf spot in the south of France that only a handful of people know about. It's supposed to be notoriously difficult to get to, which is where something like BMW's off-road-y bike would come in very handy. But unfortunately you can't buy one because it is merely a concept, so you'll just have to walk like everyone else.