Back in 360 B.C., Plato described the notion of a Simulacrum. In Sophist, he proposed that copies of popular art or architecture could be distorted to fit a specific situation, and people would embrace it as a perfect representation of the original. The notion of Simulacra vs Simulation will be an intense battle as virtual reality becomes a fixture in our entertainment.
Consider the Main Street at Disney. The 2nd and 3rd floors of every building are scaled down to make it appear correct for kids. Cinderella’s castle is not very tall, but it appears massive to a toddler. If it appears real to the child, it is. These are simulacra. If they were correct to scale (simulation), the magic would be lost.
If you consider transportation, building a modern version of a classic can be hit or miss. The 2010 Camaro was a modern version of the original 1967, and Chevy fans embraced it. On the other hand, the “retro” SSR convertible was not based on anything, and nobody understood it.
But what about motorcycles? I had a chance to see the only BMW R7 at the Amelia Island Concours in 2012. There I learned the story of a concept bike that was so revolutionary, it would have changed the world. But Germans were still emerging from the depression, and their leader was a madman bent on world domination. So the bike was hidden away by BMW, and lost to time.
BMW Motorrad was cleaning up a warehouse when they came upon an old crate. Realizing it might be the R7, it was instantly given to the restoration shop at BMW Classic. Because the original blueprints were filed away, every aspect of the bike was returned to showroom condition.
It won best in class at Pebble Beach in 2012, and it caught the eye of our friend Alex. He became obsessed with finding a way to build a modern interpretation. It took over a year to reverse engineer a 2018 BMW R9T. This was the beginning of NMOTO. Using the latest in virtual technology, they were able to scale each part of the original R7 to fit the latest R9T chassis. Instead of resorting to 3D printing or laser welding, each Nostalgia has 96 hand-crafted parts. Alex hired a team of artists who have a passion for perfection, in the same way that BMW crafted the original. Plato would be shocked to see a simulation was used to build a stunning simulacrum!
Their end result was the Nostalgia. It is a perfect example of what a new R7 would be. Because it literally takes your breath away, NMOTO was invited to display the Nostalgia at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. They were in for a surprize, as the head of BMW Classic chose to display the original R7 next to the Nostalgia. Klaus Kutscher and Hans Kecheisen restored the R7, and they were enamored with NMOTO’s attention to details.
You will be hard pressed to tell them apart, and the sight caused quite a commotion. That is why BMW enthusiasts around the world have placed their deposits. Billy Joel has built bikes for many famous entertainers, and he couldn’t resist the opportunity to own one. Tell us if you would like to own the original R7, or a modern example in the comments below, and click the link to visit NMOTO.com