Every now and then, one of the many emails we receive from designers and builders stands out from the crowd, and this project, the BMW D1200R by Pablo Gonzalez de Chaves and Carlos Beltran, is one of the best to come along in quite some time.
Pablo started with the idea of improving and transforming the BMW R1200R into a new motorcycle, with a new front suspension, a new chassis, essentially a whole new design. His design work is first rate and if he stopped at that point, it would be considered well done, but he didn't stop there, the project continued with the creation of hard parts and assembly into the actual motorcycle he envisioned on the computer screen. There's nothing like testing your skills by making the actual pieces fit together and perform in the real world.
The year long project began with a BMW R1200R fitted with sensors and taken to the track where a great deal of performance data was gathered. Then the motorcycle was disassembled, extensive measurements were taken, entered into the computer and the redesign began.
The design started with pencil sketches, progressed to Photoshop and finally took shape in CAD and 3D modeling software. The design data was then used for the machining necessary to create the parts. Assembly surprises were limited due to the careful design work and after the motorcycle was complete, it was taken back to the track where the initial data was gathered and performance was compared with favorable results. Some areas for improvement were noted and some revisions will be incorporated as work continues.
The chassis for the D1200R is made from milled aluminum and sharp eyed readers may notice the front brake is from a Buell XB12. Lights are LEDs. The front suspension, similar to designs by Foale and Parker, was purposely left exposed for aesthetic reasons and I have to agree, it looks good that way, showing off the extensive redesign. Pablo's website visually documents the whole process to give you an idea of the work involved.
Pablo has considerable training in the field of motorcycle design, holds a MSc in Motorsport Engineering and has work experience with Lamborghini, among others. He has 2 earlier designs on his site, one a 600cc inline 4 cylinder streetfighter and the other an electric scooter. It looks like the he's putting his skills to good use. Excellent work!
UPDATE: Pablo wanted to add that Carlos Beltran also played a very large part in the mechanical design portion of this project and I have added his name above. Nice work, Carlos! (I should have noted his name earlier but I was relying on translations of the pages and it was a little confusing.)