You don’t often see custom shops collaborating. But as they say, a rising tide lifts all ships—and a joint venture between two leading builders from the Netherlands has resulted in this wild café racer concept based on the BMW R9T.
If you’ve been riding along with Bike EXIF for a while, you’ll likely know one of the builders: Arjan van den Boom of Ironwood Motorcycles. Based in the capital city of Amsterdam, he’s built some of the most attention-grabbing customs in Europe, with a hard-edged style and an aggressive approach to stance.
The other man behind CNCPT Moto and this R9T is Timothy Somers of Powerbrick. He’s 70 miles down the road from Arjan in Rotterdam, the second biggest city, and specializes in custom parts for old and new BMWs.
Most R9T customs amp up the retro vibe, but ‘Cloud 9’ is a vision of the future. It’s an unusual and highly conceptual build, and not surprisingly, it didn’t happen overnight. Plans were formed two years ago, but due to Covid, progress was slow—until a deadline to make the Bike Shed show in London popped up.
Arjan describes the look of this R9T as ‘neo futuristic.’ “I guess it’s our idealistic approach to the future of customizing, a teleport into 2084,” he says.
“We decided to go for a monocoque-style body in ASA thermoplastic, with edgy repeating outlines on the frame and engine.” But despite the advanced looks, the body was shaped first in traditional clay, before being digitized and then 3D printed.
The monocoque effect is an illusion. “The body is in two pieces, otherwise it’s not mountable,” says Arjan. “There is a rear section with the seat, and an upper front piece. It’s mounted onto the stock mounting points, which is what we wanted.”
The airbox arrangement is also interesting. Remove the black grill, and off to the side is a DNA filter in a 3D-printed filter box. But you can stick your hand right through the opening. (“Hold my beer!”)
The new bodywork meant a new fuel cell. So a shoebox shaped cell was welded up from aluminum, and designed to use the OEM pump and connectors. Then lenses for the lighting were printed up from synthetic polymer resin, with powerful LEDs hidden behind.
Arjan’s regular offsiders helped with the specialist jobs: the slimline seat pad was upholstered in leather and Alcantara by Silvermachine, and the ghostly silver paint was shot by Jacco from Royal Kustom Works in Dordrecht.
Other visual mods include CNC’d valve covers, and a new front cover for the boxer engine. The forks have been upgraded with hydraulic cartridge internals from Matris, plus carbon tubes supplied by CeraCarbon. (The monoshock is from the Dutch maker TFX.)
Lightweight 17-inch carbon wheels from the Slovenian specialist Rotobox
drastically reduce the unsprung weight, and they’re shod with ultra-sticky Pirelli Diablo Superbike slicks.
Cloud 9 is finished off with a complete custom stainless steel exhaust system—right down to the mufflers—with a hand-bent aluminum plate belly pan aligning with the lower pipework.
The bars are dressed with new controls and a speedo from Motogadget, plus Beringer brake and clutch masters. And those pops of color? They were provided by local heroes Brothercoating, just around the corner from the Ironwood workshop.
It’s an intriguing result coming from what Arjan describes as a ‘napkin design.’ But then again, the best ideas are often scribbled on the back of an envelope.
“Seeing this project coming to life, going from clay to printed polymer, was a satisfying process,” he says. “Still, our brainchild is a prototype—and just the beginning of bigger things to come.”
If you’re going to BMW’s huge Pure & Crafted festival in Berlin at the start of July, you’ll be able to inspect this R9T there. Even better, it’ll be for sale afterwards—just contact Arjan for details.