In mid-June, the fourth annual Wheels & Waves Festival was held in Biarritz, on France’s southwest Basque coast. The festival, which celebrates the intersection of custom bikes, surfing and art, provides a venue for people to get together in a unique atmosphere and express their lifestyle of freedom and individuality. BMW Motorrad unveiled its Concept Path 22 at the event.
Early scramblers in the 1950s were modified road machines with deep-treaded tires, taller suspension and higher pipes for off-road riding, features that gave the bikes a characteristic appearance that came to symbolize an attitude. “A scrambler is the perfect match for Wheels & Waves. It’s the epitome of a motorcycle beyond established standards and conventions. Performance specifications are not so much of interest—style and originality all the more so. Scramblers express passion and are as varied as their owners. The Concept Path 22 is our own interpretation based on the R nineT. The latter is the perfect basis for a scrambler conversion,” explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design.
The BMW Concept Path 22 is the result of a collaboration that goes far beyond the motorcycle itself. At the initiative of the Wheels & Waves organizers and Southsiders MC member Vincent Prat, BMW Motorrad invited the artist Ornamental Conifer and the surfboard shaper Mason Dyer of Dyer Brand to design the BMW Concept Path 22 together. “Based on our scrambler interpretation, we wanted to create a kind of projection of the particular blend of people and cultures to be found at Wheels & Waves. And we found the perfect partners to do just this. The BMW Concept Path 22 captures everything that makes the Wheels & Waves people, festival and lifestyle so special,” says Heinrich. For this reason, the BMW scrambler interpretation was presented to Wheels & Waves Festival visitors in its own distinctive paint finish complete with BMW leather jackets designed especially by Ornamental Conifer and two surf boards created exclusively by Dyer Brand.
The name “Path 22” refers to one of the insider secrets among Europe’s surf spots. This particular stretch of beach is inaccessible to cars, located on the Atlantic coast of southern France, half an hour’s walk through one of Europe’s biggest pine forests. The path leading to this spot bears the number 22.
“The BMW Concept Path 22 stands for freedom–freedom of thought and its expression. There are no boundaries. Whatever you like is allowed—as at the Wheels & Waves-Festival. The Concept Path 22 is based on the BMW R nineT, which we see as the epitome of a custom bike. It is actually designed to be modified, customized according to individual preferences. The idea of a BMW scrambler is not new to us. Now seemed to be the right time to present our interpretation of this legendary vehicle concept,” says Ola Stenegard, Head of BMW Motorrad Vehicle Design. At the heart of the Concept Path 22 is BMW’s iconic boxer twin engine with a shaft-driven single-sided swingarm that makes the five-spoke rear wheel visible. The circular headlamp, fuel tank and short seat offer classic looks and proportions. Typical scrambler features include knobby tires, a large front wheel, taller suspension and raised Akrapovic stainless-steel dual pipes.
High-end details include a stitched leather seat, performance parts by Öhlins and Gilles Tooling, turn signals integrated into the handlebar ends, an instrument panel by MotoGadget and contrast-cut milled parts by Roland Sands Design. The contrast-cut milled aluminum wheels were produced exclusively by BMW Motorrad.
The headlamp pan, fuel tank and mudguards bear the artwork of Ornamental Conifer, alias Nico Sclater. He has been part of the Wheels & Waves movement for a long time and is co-founder of the scene’s graphic identity. Stylized lettering and graphic ornamentation are key to his work. The mischievous style of his typography is typically combined with profound and pithy puns. In addition to his work on vehicles, signs and windows, Sclater is especially famous for his graphic enhancement of leather jackets. He not only created the concept bike’s special paint finish but also painted a number of exclusive BMW leather jackets for the Concept Path 22 team, each one unique.
A particular highlight of the Concept Path 22 is the surfboard holder on the right-hand side. Specially developed by BMW Motorrad, it is as reduced, functional and high-quality as the bike itself. Made solely of machined aluminum and leather, it can be adapted to different board sizes. When not required it can be folded down to disappear into the bike’s silhouette or else simply removed. The boards to suit the holder were made by leading shaper Mason Dyer of Dyer Brand in San Diego, California. He is known for creating high-quality custom boards that draw inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s. Dyer made two custom boards exclusively for the Concept Path 22: a longboard (9’4”) reminiscent of the period when scramblers first emerged and a shortboard (6’8”) which meets the needs of modern surfers.