FRANZIS Verlag, the German publisher of technical books and software, has released something special for Beemer enthusiasts — a 1:2 scale model kit of the “airhead” flat-twin engine that powers the legendary R 90 S. The Franzis BMW R 90 S Boxermotor kit is officially licensed by BMW and costs €199.
The 1:2 scale model kit is true to the original and features 200 pieces that can be mechanically assembled without the use of any glue. The bilingual German-English companion book has 120 pages — half of which recounts the history of BMW Motorrad as well as the R 90 S. The other half provides instructions for assembly, promising more than three hours of geeky fun.
Turn the engine, and the transparent housing allows the viewer to watch all the internal components move. You’ll see the crankshaft and pistons work in real time — as well as the switchable 5-speed gearbox (the R 90 S was the first BMW motorcycle to receive this). Meanwhile a sound module recreates the boxer’s original engine sound, and LEDs simulate the sparks in the cylinders.
This high-quality and very nifty product could serve as a great gift for bike-obsessed loved ones, or of course, yourself. Putting it together would be both entertaining and educational — like a little crash course in egine building or something satisfying to do when the weather's too terrible for riding. Plus the finished product would make a great conversation piece.
The BMW R 90 S is BMW’s classic 898cc superbike produced from 1973 to 1976. Back then, labels weren’t as clearly defined as they are now. The naked motorcycle was comfortable and reliable enough for touring, which would lead some people to consider it as a sport tourer. BMW engineered the motorcycle to effectively be ridden as a sport bike, packing enough performance and ingenuity for road racing. In fact, Reg Pridmore won the first USA AMA Superbike Championship in 1976, riding a purpose-built 1,000cc R 90 S. The motorcycle flew out of showrooms, instantly became iconic, and is regarded as one of the world’s first superbikes.