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ANARCHY IN THE UK. Pier City Cycle’s BMW R nineT Hooligan Flat Tracker

Posted on July 17, 2017 by Andrew in Racer, Tracker. 17 comments

BMW’s R nineT. Most customised factory bike ever? While we’re pretty sure that the Guinness Book of Records doesn’t have a category for such trainspotting (or bikespotting?) malarkey, there’s nary week that goes by without us seeing another one slide sideways into our inboxes. But apart from two notable attempts by some guy called ‘Roland Sands’, not too many of them are honest to goodness flat trackers. Until now, that is. Brighton, in the south of the UK, is home to a big pier, some very aggressive rockers & mods, and a shop called Pier City Cycles. This is their latest build, simply called the ‘R nineFT’.

“We’re Pier City Cycles”, says shop owner, Rory. “We used to work for a BMW retailer; we love the brand and the bikes that they produce, but we decided that our passion for bikes wasn’t in processing warranty work and hitting numerical targets. We wanted to work on custom bikes exclusively, so we set up a workshop in the centre of Brighton and we haven’t looked back since”.

The boys wanted to create something that they could say no-one else had already built. After looking around and a fair chunk of Googling, they were sure that there was a gap in the R nineT scene that they could squeeze a Super Hooligan Tracker into. “We had seen quite a few street trackers, but no builds that were legit flat trackers or bikes that were fully homologated for the Roland Sand’s-created Hooligan races. At the time we were also a little disheartened with some of the ‘same old’ R nineT builds that we had seen, so we wanted to inject something new into the scene”.

The project was started while Rory was still working at a local BMW dealer, but it was quickly put to one side when things got busy. When he left the business, they told him to put it back to standard. “I didn’t want to see the time and effort we had already put into this project go to waste, so I put my money where my mouth was and I bought it. We had already gone to the effort of making up some 19″ flat track race wheels, a bespoke sub-frame and various other handmade brackets and panels”.

They didn’t want to change anything mechanically, as the bike was running beautifully and was deemed perfect for a bit of flat track racing, with its beefy low-end grunt. “So we set about reading the rules and regulations of the DTRA Hooligan series and started to look at how we could work them into the bike”. The key part of the build at this point was to make sure that the bike was able to run on 19″ wheels. Rory managed to source hubs and rims from various BMW R1200GS models and, like a new pair of school shoes, he then went about having them properly laced up.

“It all came together in time for the Bike Shed show with the aid of some strong coffees and a bit of good old British huzzah”.

“Once this was complete we realised that the paralever would not be long enough to accommodate the larger wheel size, so we made up a longer, and fully adjustable, unit”. After this, it was all about making the panel work look right. “We had to raise the seat to incorporate the number boards and seat unit, as well as giving it a more aggressive stance for racing. Coupled with the larger wheels, it’s a lot taller than the original now”. There were a few other rough patches along the way but, as with any build, it all came together in time for the Bike Shed show with the aid of some strong coffees and a bit of good old British huzzah.

From a practicality point of view, having to move the project from an established workshop to a new space meant they had to work around a lot of things. “At first we didn’t have any of our usual tooling, so everything became five times more difficult to do. It took around 4 weeks just to complete the seat unit the way we needed it; at the time you wonder what you’re doing, but now we’re really pleased with the result”.

Looking back, the bike’s originality and the fact that it looks like a factory BMW effort is what the boys like the most about the build. “Where possible, we tried to pay homage to other BMW bikes. For example, the headlight is an auxiliary unit off of a new BMW R1200GS Adventure. We are extremely proud that we made something that we’ve never seen on any of the build websites or blogs before; now all we need is the nads to go and race it!”

[ Pier City CyclesFacebookInstagram ]

  • guvnor67

    Not just another Bee-em R9t, hell no. This is fierce, aggressive, in fact I’d go so far as to say it’s the ba*@#rd offspring of a tracker and a streetfighter, and it’s well done, and totally nutz! Love it.

    • Nice point re: streetfighter angle. Agreed.

      • guvnor67

        It’s a brilliant build!

  • rorymilton

    Hey guys. Thank you so much for sharing our bike, it is hugely appreciated! As a side note, this bike is now for sale. As much as we love it because we want to keep cracking on designing & building more BMW R9Ts. Please get in touch on our site or through our Facebook. Please also feel free to also visit if you need any BMW R9T parts, too.

  • martin hodgson

    This is the BUSINESS!!! Some of the latest BMW builds have definitely been too formulaic, not here! So much to love about this bike, the wheel and tyre selection is perfect, that is how a real tracker rolls. The integration of the new seat and tail section into the rest of the bike is flawless, factory quality level of finish. And the bike looks visually a lot lighter than any other R9T build, which again imo is really important in completing an authentic tracker vibe. Bloody brilliant guys, can’t wait to see what you do next!

  • Larry Kahn
  • AB

    Sorry guys but I do not like that rear end treatment. Front looks great.

  • Pier City Cycles

    Hello everyone, just to let you know that this bike is also now for sale. The bike has been designed to work as a full competition flat track racer, as well as a mean ride for tearing up the streets. The bike is a late 2015 (65 plate) BMW R9T with just over 1000 miles on the clock.

    It comes with custom built panelwork, airbox removal kit, bespoke 19″ flat track wheels, custom exhaust, Motogadget dash and even includes over a years BMW Approved Used Bike Warranty!

    Well over 1000 hours have gone into this bike, along with a lot of craft and passion. The only reason that we’re selling up is so that we can buy another and do something else new.

    We’re asking £17,995 for it and are happy to have you come and take a look first, by appointment only. We will deliver this anywhere in the UK or Europe for travel costs.

    For serious enquiries, please email

    • If only we weren’t on the other side of the planet…

      • guvnor67

        I’ve just bought a ridiculous amount of lottery tickets!!

    • Al

      You forgot to lengthen the side stand… now that the bike is taller and all
      (Nice work btw)

    • Chris Davies

      Has the bike now been sold?

  • Flying W

    I love what they’ve done with that chromed wavy cover thingy under the RHS of the tank; it’s the only part of the standard bike’s styling I don’t like. Looks way better blacked-out and blended (visually) into the tank.