In the early 1980s, BMW introduced the world to the modern full-size adventure motorcycle class, unleashing the groundbreaking R 80 G/S and proving its off-road capabilities through numerous Dakar Rally wins. Nearly 40-years-later and the original G/S remains an icon in the two-wheeled realm, continuing to be one of BMW’s best-selling model ranges, and frequently serving as the inspiration for one-off builds like Ek Chalermpho’s Dakar-themed R nineT build.
Starting with the Urban GS-spec of the R9T, the Bangkok-based builder’s transformed the boxer into a modern tribute to the HPN Motorradtechnik-prepped G/S that first won the Dakar in 1981. The stock bodywork’s no more, replaced by a bolt-on item from Italy’s UN1T Garage, along with one of the shop’s seats (done in blue rather than the traditional red). Modified vintage MX fenders now occupy the front and aft ends of the build, too. There’s also a Wunderlich luggage rack, a period-correct 1980s Acerbis water cell, auxiliary LEDs, custom side panels, and Wunderlich headers feeding into a high-mount SuperTrapp can. Adorned in a replica livery of the 1981 racer, the “DakaR9T” doesn’t just look the part, either, with Ek treating the thing to an Öhlins NIX 22 cartridge kit, STX 46 shock, and steering damper.