Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

‘DA#4’ BMW RnineT – Diamond Atelier


Posted on April 29, 2016 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 47 comments

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_01_small

Written by Martin Hodgson.

Evolution always seems slow for the living. They are blissfully unaware of any new creatures rising up, until a swarm of better beasts takes them down as they are going about their daily business. From the post war Hogs on the interstates in the USA to the Motorway Cafes of a Rockin’ ‘60s Great Britain, the commuter class that was previously afraid of us has grown accustomed to these stalwarts of the custom motorcycle scene, as generations of bike builders have followed their founder’s leads. But in an increasingly urbanised world, a new animal has emerged from the city streets of Munich; two of its favourite sons have joined forces to put their signature touches on Bavaria’s most famous brand and created a revolution, codenamed ‘DA#4’. Prepare to witness first-hand the birth of the ‘Neo-Racer’ genre.

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_02_small

With iconic German basketball brand K1X set to release their new “Core” collection for 2016, they sought out fellow Münchners Diamond Atelier, run by the young gun bike builders Tom Konecny and Pablo Steigleder, to build them a custom motorcycle that would really capture the world’s attention. Their Germanic origins made the choice of a ‘15 BMW R nineT an easy one, but from then on pretty much nothing about this build would be simple. Most cafe racer based on modern machines are a compromise between the old and new, often drawing visual inspiration from machines decades old while stripping back the technological aids that make the modern motorcycle the very beast it is. But Diamond Atelier’s DA#4 is uncompromising in embracing new technologies: complex electronics, a four piece frame and model-specific tools were never seen as hurdles, but just the way the future they’re building is going to be.

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_03_small

“Fittingly, Tom and Pablo attached a 0.17 carat diamond into the redesigned upper triple clamp”

K1X is no play-it-safe brand that’s full of neutered, clean-cut ambassadors; bold colours and collaborations with the likes of NBA bad-boy Ron Artest is how they play ball. So to kick off the build, Tom and Pablo knew that ditching the stock tank was a great way to show old was out. The new, hand-formed aluminium piece throws away the idea of decades of narrow R-series tanks for a set of broad shoulders that lowers the bike’s central mass. Instead of fearing the BMW’s complex intake, they embraced it with an improved version of their own. Forward-facing aluminium velocity stacks form part of a single piece aluminium inlet tract per side that snakes their way through the metalwork and into the engine. The K1X tank badges are cut from 100g sterling silver and fittingly Tom and Pablo attached a 0.17 carat diamond into the redesigned upper triple clamp because, like K1X’s ballers, they love their bling.

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_04_small

The single piece tail unit is a multipurpose aluminium marvel that acts as rear guard, seat support and additional electronics housing for the cleanest of clean lines. With the fabrication work done, the bike’s colour and style needed to draw more from the K1X brand. “We checked out their lookbooks, clothing lines and stores to get a better feel for where to aim with this build,” says Tom. “After just a few successful meetings, we came up with a rather fresh color combination that references their upcoming 2016 fall/winter collection”.

The bold gloss black on the tank sets the overall tone of the bike, but it’s the highlights that really make it come to life. Olive is used on the wheel hubs, triple trees and even on the hand-stitched leather seat while the K1X signature ‘speckle print’ is used on the rims and air intake. White pinstriping and graphics were then applied by hand to the tank and tail to further accentuate their lines, with some matte black applied to the knee scallops to add visual depth. The shaft drive was removed with a special set of BMW’s factory tools and painted, along with a bespoke CNC’d alternator cover, with the K1X logo in olive. A set of AC Schnitzer rearsets completes a fine collection of German precision engineering.

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_05_small

Even before it was completed, the DA#4 had been invited to race at the 2016 Glemseck 101 sprint, where it will be competing in the entirely new “Essenza” class on the 1/8th mile strip against a host of big dollar machines. Here looks don’t count – but horsepower does – and extracting more ponies from the 1170cc boxer twin was something Tom and Pablo always had in mind. With the ever-more restrictive Euro compliance exhausts sapping fun like a cop at college party, an entirely new 2-into-1 system was crafted to make things right. From the stunning hand-built headers to the Spark GP muffler, you couldn’t wish for a meaner, more cutting edge set up. Like those before them, they could have deleted the exhaust valve and its electronics, but instead the modern technology is retained and utilised to improve low-end torque and throttle response. But to do so and also make the most of the other breathing modifications, the high-tech duo hacked the standard ECU to give it a full reprogram that resulted in more power throughout the entire rev range and über crisp fuelling.

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_06_small

To get that power to the ground is a serious set of rubber – the uncompromising and seriously bad-ass Metzeler Racetec Slick CompK’s that provide truly extraordinary levels of grip. But to connect the chassis to such a mean set of tires requires a suspension setup capable of race level tuning – naturally Diamond Atelier haven’t let the BMW side down here. Up front is a pair of Wilbers ‘Blackline’ forks that provide the ultimate in low friction design with a huge range of adjustability for precision steering control. While planting the big rear slick onto Mother Earth is a Wilbers Blackline shock with high and low-speed compression control, max out valve relief and enough tunability to allow you to feel the road like a record player feels vinyl. All of this means the DA#4 can handle some serious corner speeds, so slowing things down when the party gets a little too crazy is the original yet rather impressive BMW hardware, with the special addition of an ABM radial brake cylinder that feeds through ABM’s own braided lines.

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_07_small

When it came time to add functional accessories to the build, a Neo-Racer naturally embraces minimalism like the cafe bikes of old, but does so in a truly 21st century manner. Rather that ditch a bulky instrument cluster and rely on the seat of the pants, the Neo utilises the latest technologies to fit all the information you need in a tiny package. On the BMW, this is complicated by the fact the R nineT uses a CAN-bus for all its electronics and it doesn’t take too kindly to being messed around with. Unfazed, Tom and Pablo put their millennial skills on display by outfitting the bike with a full array of Motogadget accessories including one of their beautiful Motoscope digital displays.

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_08_small

The ultra-low-slung ABM Multiclip clip-ons wear a pair of Motogadget’s push button M-switch controls with their associated bar end turn signals. Topping them off are ABM radial cylinder and lever combos for the front brakes and clutch. But before the bars could be fitted there was one last task left to do. Keeping the CAN-bus happy necessitated a labor intensive full rewire of the bike, the result of which is all hidden under the tank, along with the ECU components and the new Linergy battery pack.

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_09_small

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_10_small

Of course, nothing says ‘21st century cool’ like a remote keyless start to bring your Matrix infused Neo-Racer to life. Like donning a pair of K1X’s best kicks for a game, it’s all about being able to stand back with the crowd and admire the artistry in full flight before strutting up for a legendary moment of your own.

K1X has a motto for their brand that their ambassadors from Basketball, the Hip Hop world and all their customers are expected to follow. “Play hard – don’t embarrass our products.” In delivering this unbelievably cool, no compromise custom BMW R nineT, Diamond Atelier have not only lived up to K1X’s expectations, they have also crafted a new machine with an evolutionary style that is set to resonate around the globe.

29_04_2016_BMW_RnineT_Diamond_Atelier_11_small

Diamond Atelier | K1X | Photos by Lukas Magerl | Thanks to The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride]








  • John Wanninger

    What a rad beast. From my dad’s hometown too. Awesome.

    • Ann Luu

      Totally agree

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    Love it ! One of the best R-Nine T’s yet !

    • Ha! Lost for words are we, Mr Whip? About time… 😉

      • Hardley T Whipsnade III

        Ha ! So you’re saying you’d like the complete version ? Here it is unedited : Its not a Cafe ! Its not another Scrambler . It has no pipewrap . It has not whitewalls . Its not trendy . Nor is it a derivative of a 1000 other customs of late . Which is to say . Love it ! One of the best R-Nine T’s yet ! Happy now ? and a double 😉 back at you . :o) FYI this was too good not to come back for a 2nd look . And thanks for the larger images function . Two HUGE thumbs up to you and your IT crew !

        • xtra sharp eye out for bikes like this, rather than the tired ‘corporate’ builds.

    • I’m in shock. Have no words Mr Whipsnade the third.

      • Hardley T Whipsnade III

        So lets see now . Yours 6 hours ago . My 2nd a day earlier . Methinks you missed my response to Andrew’s similar comment . No worries though . I won’t be expanding mu comments even further in response to yours 😉

  • …and just in case you did’t discover it already, click on the images for bigger versions. MUCH bigger. 😉

    • Artem Terekhov

      Finally, Andrew, thanks! I’ve waited for this for so long 🙂

  • Michael Kork.

    OMG that’s one UGLY r9t. Where do I start? The big unproportional tank? The war-slime colors? The unnecessarily long and complex “look at me I know how to weld” exhaust? The failed AN-BU Japanese theme? Very disappointed from the guys at Munchen. Probably good to keep it only for advertising purposes.

    • Seriously?

      • Michael Kork.

        Nope, just unaware of K1X

        • Sorry Mike. Probably overreacted there. Not much sleep this week. All I know is that bikes that split our comments section are usually the truly great ones. Take a look back at the BOTY winners and read their comments. If you get the 50/50% love hate split, you KNOW they are doing something right. 😉

          • Michael Kork.

            Probably I also did too. It’s just that after seeing the r9t customs from Japan, the bar is set real high …

          • There’s undoubtedly some inspiration from there – but if you check through Diamond Atelier’s past builds, they’ve been building up to something like this for their entire lives…

            PS. Scott must have deleted my dumb-ass original comment. Probably for the best. 😉

      • Sign me in the blind list also…

    • Craig Allan

      Thank God,Michael,I thought it was just me.
      “Ugly” just doesn’t come close to what these bikes are.

    • FABIO CARDONI

      I dont like it either. When shape defies function you kill the purpose of design. We are a small company too but at least we use 1ct diamonds on our bikes 🙂

  • Cool ride, I would probably have chosen a different seat though, but it’s a good thing they stayed with their DA style. Real eye-catcher for K1X it is!

  • Vít Jakeš

    Rather than a set of fabrication skills (Nice exhaust, though!), I think this build rather shows us what you can do when you have some serious dough.

    • John_Tangeraas

      Bake with it?

    • Trust us when we say that neither Diamond Atelier nor K1X are megacorps rolling in cash. From what we understand, DA will not make a red cent from this build. For the love of bikes…

  • Nick D

    The cool thing about DA builds is that each one seems to force us to question the status quo. From their R80 and R100 through to this RnineT, you feel a familial connection while each bike still holds its own. I remember discovering their BMW R100, thinking… What is it? Soon after it was showing up everywhere and still is. As is their R80. You can tell Tom is a not a conformist. He’s a rule breaker… and we fucking love how he breaks the rules. Sure there will be the usual outcries by people who like their shit all safely put in a tidy box, but I think change and adaption, style wise, keeps things real, authentic and way more exciting. Awesome write-up Pipeburn!!!

  • As with many bikes here and on the “Other” site, top shelf workmanship, but some strange styling cues. As whip said, it has none of the current fads with the exception of the 35 degree seat angle and a micro tail section. I’ve ridden bikes with angled seats and by the time you get to the 7-11, you’re ready to swap bikes….with anybody! And still the absence of a tail section always gives an unfinished look. With all the design work and effort, just spend another 6-7 minutes on a cool tail section. It’ll make a huge difference (just to me I guess, apparently not to the masses).

    • Valid point Mule. The 35 degree seat was the first thing I would have changed if it was mine. But I love the fact they did something left of field. Kudos to these guys for throwing trends out the window. Who would have thought of that paint job on those tims?

      • Those tims yes. I’m also a huge fan of the Shaw Customs “Zipp” wheel paint job on the rims.

    • Racing Enthusiast

      Isn’t seat atrophy a common affliction of show bikes that never get ridden?

    • lemieuxmc

      You probably don’t like going to raves and listening to techno club music either…
      https://youtu.be/Ay6N33y_UG4?t=20s

  • Ann Luu

    If this isn’t BIKE OF THE YEAR I don’t know what is!

  • Absolutely love the craftsmanship!

  • I was just trying to think of another custom build that uses olive green as a highlight colour. Drawing a blank. Anyone help me out?

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      I’ve been scouring the net and print , not to mention the books as well and the only thing I’ve come up with is a couple of quasi /paramilitary styled customs but nothing even approaching this tasteful ! So another mark in the plus column for the bike .

      A thought on this bikes impending Glemseck debut . No doubt it’ll be able to skin the ‘ Cat ‘ . The question being ; can the ‘ Basketball ‘ star out run the ‘ Wolf’ ? Can’t wait to see the results !

      • lemieuxmc

        Check with Kurt and Dieter…

    • BMW R1200S by CRD.

      • Kinds sorta… Google searching just now, it’s more of a black bike with an army themed drab olive seat. Still, nice spot.

  • Ju

    This would make a worthy upgrade from my rusty postie bike! Wow, what a wild bike. Amazing. Mind blown.

  • Florian Stuppner

    beautifully the wheels are the hammer.

  • the watcher

    The trouble with R Nine T builds is that the original is just about spot on (don’t mention the air intakes). Allegedly BM produced it in “ready-to-tart-up” form but it seems people spend a hell of a lot of money failing to make it discernibly better.

    • I love the air intakes on the original, but I agree that it’s a hard act to follow…

  • Andy Rappold

    WOW…what a looker! :O

  • Currently at 8.4K Facebook likes. If I’m not mistaken, that’s the most so for for 2016…

    • the watcher

      Huh, only because EXIFahrenheit 451 got the Optimus Prime S1000RR first. That fucker’s gonna blow everything else out the water! If it goes to Glemseck the BBW might as well not bother with that “honour” either.

      • Currently, that “fucker” only has 634 likes on Facebook. Sure it’d beat DA#4 at Glemseck, but when it comes to you guys it seems like there’s no contest at all.

        • That’s because I spend literally two minutes a day on Facebook. It’s a waste of time and not worth supporting the platform any more.

          We spend ten minutes a day on Instagram and Pinterest instead—where algorithms still have virtually no effect, and you get a truer measure of the popularity of one bike versus another.

  • Grendel Medlord

    Wow I just really hate this bike.