The Blechmann R nineT Motorcycle Does What Shouldn’t Be Done

Bernhard Naumann took on the challenge of customizing a BMW R nineT by first starting with what shouldn’t be done, and doing it. Naumann is often referred to as the “Blechman,” a German term for someone who works in tin—a “Tin Man.” Naumann is sought after for his metal work on customized bikes, which more often than not resembles futuristic fantasy art. Naumann describes his work as “soul-searching in metal” or “fantasies brought to life by form and shape” or “surfaces that are too balsamic for the eyes.” That may all sound too poetic, but when you see his work, you come to understand just how accurate a description it is. The R nineT custom he created fits right in with any sci-fi book cover you might find on the shelf of a bookstore.

Naumann started by dismantling the bike and then fabricating. The frame is handmade, as is the seat bench. And don’t forget about the exhaust. The front suspension is original to the R nineT. The rear was modified. In fact, with the exception of the handbrake levers, handlebars, and fork, everything else is a result of Naumann’s handiwork.

Just like himself, each of the Blechman’s bikes has a unique name. When Naumann asked friends what he should call this newest custom, someone remarked that it looked like a chicken’s head. What was Naumann to do with that feedback? The only logical thing—he called the bike “Giggerl,” a Southern German word for “chicken.”

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