D1200R – BMW Based Concept Motorcycle

BMW D1200R by Pablo Gonzales de Chaves

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.

BMW D1200R front suspension detailThe 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.)

Link: DeChaves Garage

BMW D1200R by Pablo Gonzales de Chaves

BMW D1200R by Pablo Gonzales de Chaves

BMW D1200R by Pablo Gonzales de Chaves


  1. says

    Good stuff. He has a vast collection of all the best bike references on his site, too. Kind of a “who’s who” of alternative bike designs.

  2. QrazyQat says

    Okay, here’s a question: let’s say you want to ride a motorcycle, not up and down the Vegas strip after trucking the bike there but on an actual road, something twisty and fast. You have a choice of two bikes: this one or the “Confederate C120 Renaissance Fighter”. Which one do you choose?


  3. Nicolas says

    Sick !

    I didn’t know you could beat the BMW engineers at their own game … I’m impressed.

    But does it still sound like a VW bug ?

  4. says

    Thanks everybody for your comments and thanks to Kneeslider for showing the project.
    We did this project for a small Spanish company to develop an old patent that they own. We had a lot of freedom with the design but it was important to make something different with the suspension system and with the style.
    We hadn’t experience designing and building real motorcycles so it has been a very good opportunity to learn.
    By the way Nicolas, the Akrapovic exhaust sound it’s wonderful!

  5. JR says


    A little bit of fender/rain protection on the wheels, and you’re ready to rock and roll.

  6. pghcyclist says

    Just goes to show what has been said on the kneeslider before: Vision + time + skill = incredible bike. Nice job Pablo. Its always nice to see designers post in the comments here too.

  7. B*A*M*F says

    What an impressive machine. And in response to the “Confederate Wraith or this?” question, I would choose this.

  8. Randy says

    I’ll give credit where credit is due; this is a good example of engineering at work. However, in my humble opinion, this thing is just friggin ugly. Technology is one thing, but I’ll stick with v-twins and loud pipes.

  9. RavinRichard says

    The Renaissance Fighter looks like a pile of old watch internals that someone tossed on the floor.
    Theres no flow to the overall design, it doesn’t look fast standing still, like this bike does…

    No hatin on Confederate, I like the other three bikes, but that last one…it just ain’t got the same soul as their previous work….

    Way to go Pablo keep it up!

  10. David says

    This thing looks like it would eat the cat and make sexy time with the dog… I wouldn’t leave it in the shed with either…

    very nice!

  11. Sean says

    If you think that’s ugly, stick with your Harley Randy. This is an extremely trick streetfighter.

  12. Wave says

    This looks fantastic! The designer is very brave to do back-to-back performance testing with the original bike, imagine the heartbreak if it was slower! Good work.

  13. says

    BAMF, you might want to re-read what you wrote. I believe you misquoted about which Confederate bike they were referring to. Simple mistake, I won’t hold it against you.

    While it may not seem apparent the differences between the Wraith and the new “Fighter”, there’s only one major difference in my mind: one was done after I left. The sad thing is, the current designer is better than that. I can only assume he was pushed in directions against his will on the Fighter. It happens…

  14. RavinRichard says

    B.Case, I read something about a designer leaving the firm… you musta had a good amount to do with the first three bikes (the HellCat is still my fav) cause this last one is just not as striking as the others….I could get into the other none esthetic issues, but leaving it at that, I like the Renaissance Fighter the least.

    and one more time WAY TO GO PABLO!

    Looked at the website and I luv the DV600!

  15. FREEMAN says

    Very nice piece of engineering and a refreshing and radical look on a BMW. However, the front suspension looks like the front end of a car, only sideways. Very nice, just looks kinda complicated for something that should be simple. It even looks like the handlebars have a swingarm to keep them from bouncing under your hands. Nice but complicated for a front end.

  16. Motoxyogi says

    “just looks kinda complicated for something that should be simple”.
    On the contrary FREEMAN, i don’t think you could make this design much simpler. Due to the fact that i does not use a kingpin like the “traditional” funny front ends, to coin a term from tony foale. And that “swingarm” appears to be a linkage to allow for the displacement of the suspension nothing more.
    Really love the design pablo, though what would it be called, the front end i mean. Tele-centre steering

  17. says

    Yes, it could be simpler with ball joints in the front suspension arm. And we would avoid that linkage using, for example, rods for the steering (like the bimota tesi does) instead of a telescopic tube. But we had some restrictions in the design like use bearings and a direct steering system. They wanted to patent it…

  18. says

    Pablo and Cesar did a great job with this bike. I think the bike looks really cool. I like that they didn’t cover the front end suspension, so the bike shows it (like saying, Hey, I’m proud about having a FFE suspension). The bike looks very technical, which I think is cool. Also it looks very powerful with the boxer cylinders and the big silencer.

  19. FREEMAN says

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s simple in its current form, but all I’m saying is that compared to a set of forks, which in contrast look incredibly simple compared to this front end, is it really worth the extra engineering? I understand there were improvements with this version of the bike, but did the front suspension have anything to do with it? Does the end result justify the means or is it more of an exercise in thinking outside the box?

  20. says

    Hi! first of all I want to thank everyone for his support. It has been a hard work with a lot of people involved. Your comments are the best gift to us. Well, may be if you buy a pair of bikes it would be better!!!!

    Special thanks to DATCNC, Grupo Volund, RadicalDucati, Marotuning, Rodabau…

    Carlos Beltrán
    Project Manager

  21. BoxerFanatic says

    Just one question….

    Can this be fitted to the R1200S… or perhaps better yet… the DOHC R1200 HP2 Sport?

    I’ve wanted to see one of those with duolever, but this is similar, albeit not the same, and perhaps better.

    Telelever is good, but it sounds like the work was done to make this one better.

  22. says

    You are not the only boxer fanatic!
    Of course a bike like this can be done using telelever or even using another kind of engine. But the boxer gives perfect stiffness with minimun chassis and our system reduces still more the complexity and the weight.

    your questions are wellcome!

    Carlos Beltrán
    Project Manager

  23. Bernard the French says

    Eh,it’s a copy of the JBB(jean-Bertrand Bruneau)Concept of front motorbike suspension!!!!!!!

  24. says

    They say the system is similar to the Foale/Parker systems and those are much older then the JBB suspension…so is the JBB a copy of these systems?

  25. Alfaro J says

    Loucura! always Loved alternative/muscle/street’s customise bike culture that u can use on daily basis. not “Confederate”‘s that hardly u would use besides showing off the status quo…just not practical…this one is an ode to design…designers of D1200R…muito bem, parabens por um trabalho muito bem feito!
    check out this french guy…www.lazareth.fr…his bikes was on “Babilon AD” set. and the Confederate hellcat was on “Rogue assassin”‘s.

  26. PETE says

    Outstanding design, love that bike, long time racer and owner of the best the orient had to offer I went the dark side and bought a Buell Lighting(which I love). This bike offer a fresh air into a brand that really needs it. Don’t forget that nake bikes are the rage in Europe and it’s tanking off here in the states. By the way, the boxxer motor it’s a true and tried performer in the streets, tracks and the desert.

  27. says

    Nice prototype, although it has many styling ques seen on the Crocker C4 Concept bike that was unveiled for the first time at “Legend Of The Motorcycle” show, Half Moon Bay California in May 2007, like the single sided swing arm and single sided fork combo, Buell rim brake in front, LED perabulum headlight lens, large dual scoops up front (air boxes), ect. Crocker’s in house designer of the “C4”, Daryl Tearne was snapped up by HD/Buell in October of 2007 and now works directly with Eric Buell in Chicago.

  28. says

    Hi Bernard!

    I’ve been looking for JBB Concept and i can only find one thing similar to our bike. Both come from the Foale Parker idea. If you look some Difazio system pictures or even the Ecosse Spirit you will find the same look but really different solutions.

    Pablo is translating now his web into English but even now, if you go to his web and take a look, you will understand the advantages of our system. For example we don’t have bump steering as the JBB.

    Any way, thanks for the information, it won’t be nothing strange that someone anywhere had arrived to the same solution before.

    Carlos Beltrán
    Project Manager

  29. Dave says

    BMW’s own suspension was designed by an Brit called Norman Hossack.
    They waited until his patents timed out so he didn’t get a penny and they refused to talk to him about the designs. Daft really, because his knowledge could have saved them a fortune in development costs.

    This one looks a bit like Yamaha’s GTS1000 funny front end. Cool bike though. :)

    Anything that breaks the standard Japanese bike design model has to be a good thing.

  30. Corey Adcock says

    I like the look of this bike way better than a Buell and I own one. I don’t think it looks similar to a Buell at all. I love the front end, head lights, and tucked tail lights. The Sharp edge design of the body is pretty cool as well.

    If they make it I would buy it pending the price tag.

    The only thing I question on this design is the position of the riders knees. From that front view it appears they might be a little to close engine exposing them to a lot of heat. Of course I know that some of the other BMW boxer designs or similar with respect to engine position. I’ve never owned a BMW so I’m hardly an authority in that aspect. However if they made this bike it would probably be my first BMW. I know BMW motorcycles are full of craftsmanship and Ive always wanted one but never found one that appealing until now.

    Does anybody know how close or hot your legs and knees might get from this design?
    There may not be a problem at all, I’m just curious and really hope there is not one.

    Awesome looking bike!

    Build it! Build it! Build it!


  31. Bimotarich says

    I love this design! I have a fondness for alternative front ends and this one looks fabulous! And the boxer engine while a bit old school, is a very beautiful design element and probably enough to get this beauty down road respectably… keep up the good work!

  32. jacob says

    Hmmmm i think the tesi 3d has this idea covered pretty well… Good thought well different.
    From the front looks like a scooter. It has a long way to go design wise

  33. Effe says

    Would (if so, where) it be possible to get a 3D cad model of a R (boxer) BMW motorcycle engine? Thanks.