When BMW launched the R 90 S in 1973, the model challenged people’s preconceived notions of BMW motorcycles. The sunburst paint job and bubble fairing were a far departure from the brand’s classic but stolid designs. The R 90 S backed up that flamboyance with function, featuring an air-cooled, 898cc, boxer engine. The flat-twin produced 67 horsepower and 56 lb-ft of torque, more than enough oomph to power the factory café racer to a 125-mph top speed.
Unfortunately, the Bavarians only produced the sporty motorcycle until 1976. Though original or restored R 90s may be hard to come by today, German brand Franzi Verlag offers a miniature model of the R 90 S boxer that all Beemer lovers can afford. Consisting of 200 pieces, the 1:2 scale model accurately reproduces the iconic powerplant in miniature form.
Franzi Verlag matches the technical excellence that BMW is known for by including a five-speed gearbox in the package. An audio module also delivers the original sound of the R 90 S engine. Customers will have to purchase AA batteries separately, but the transparent covers allow hobbyists to admire the inner workings of the opposed-twin. From the pumping pistons to meshing gears, the 1:2 scale model delivers the sights and sounds that made the R 90 S such a classic model.
Franzi Verlag lists an approximate build time of three hours and the finished product measures 13.4 X 10 X 12.2 inches. Each model comes with a 120-page manual in German and English and assembly instructions are available in French and English. Retailing for €219 ($250 USD), the Franzi Verlag BMW R 90 S Boxer Motor kit might just be the perfect gift idea for the gearhead on your list, but it’s only suitable for ages 3 and up.