Adventure bikes boomed in popularity over the last few decades. Despite the segment’s short history, manufacturers frequently align ADV models with off-road racing. The Ténéré 700 not only mimics the rally silhouette but Yamaha also introduced a Rally version drawing from its off-road heritage. BMW’s takes the same Dakar-adjacent approach with the latest R NineT Urban G/S. When a customer tasked Roland Sands Design with turning a 2008 BMW R 1200 GS into a venerable off-road weapon, it comes as no surprise that the decorated builder turned to the premiere desert race for inspiration.
Drawing from the 1986 BMW R80 G/S Paris Dakar race bike, Sands adopted the retro rally aesthetic while improving the 1200 GS’s off-road prowess. An R80 G/S gas tank—modified for modern fuel injection components—a custom-made Saddlemen seat, and throwback fenders immediately change the big Bimmer’s profile. Of course, the iconic Marlboro livery steals all the headlines and completes the new vintage form.
On the function front, an R NineT front end replaces the stock GS set up in order to accept Africa Twin forks with new Ohlins cartridges. Aft, a fully adjustable Ohlins shock soaks up the rough stuff and Dunlop D908RR Rally Raid tires are ready to take on the toughest terrain. The build team knew that off-road tip-overs were inevitable and a Touratech skid plate, SW Motech crash bars, and Altrider fork guards provided added collision protection. To finish off the Dakar-inspired GS, dual Baja Designs LED lamps light the way while an Akrapovic exhaust provides more grunt.
Unfortunately, Roland Sands isn’t mass producing the RSD Dakar GS, but they’re celebrating the bespoke Bimmer with an apparel and accessories collection. Including a t-shirt, ball cap, waterproof windbreaker, rolling tray, BIC lighter, and an authenticity card signed by Roland Sands, the racing collection comes in an RSD-branded tote bag. The Racing Dakar Collection retails for $160 and is limited to 150 units. Pieces aren’t for purchase individually, so if you really need that Roland Sands BIC Lighter, it’s time to go full send.
Sources: Cruiser, Roland Sands Design