The Brain Bucket

Respect The Machine // Stephen Hagans' BMW R NineT

Oct 13, 2020 11:13:05 AM / by Kelly Kawasaki

BMW R NineT on roadWhy did you choose your BMW R NineT?
I was intrigued with cafe racers and initially wanted to buy an old BMW R100 to tinker with, but ultimately landed on a BMW R NineT. I really wanted something that didn’t need much work done on the engine and could be reliably ridden. Didn’t hurt that the R NineT is such a beautiful bike and has loads of potential for customization whether that’s a cafe, scrambler, brat or something in between.

Tell us your full story, how did you get into riding?
I guess you can say I technically started riding when I was about ten. We had a small 50cc Honda that my brother and I rode. Growing up in the suburbs of Houston, TX we always had friends that had some sort of motorized vehicle whether it was an ATV, 3-wheeler, dirt bike, or go-kart. As I grew older I got pretty big into the custom truck scene and didn’t pay much attention to bikes. It wasn’t until I was 26 or so that I bought my first actual bike - a 2002 red and white Yamaha R6. It was used, but practically new, and only had 500 miles on it. I loved that bike but the carbs seemed to always get gummed up and needed cleaning constantly it seemed. I rode it up and down the South Florida coast for about a year, then I ended up selling it to buy a home.

Once I got settled I purchased a 2012 Harley Davidson Super Glide Custom from the local Harley dealer. It was shiny and new and weighed about 900 pounds - much different from my previous bike. I rode that for about eight months or so before selling it off as a result of my current employer going out of business. At this time I was also going back to school and trying to line up a more lucrative career, so biking was put on the back burner. It wasn't until October of 2018 that I decided to get back in the saddle. My wife and I had moved back to Texas and after settling in, I decided it was time to pick up the hobby again. I started looking and window shopped for about 4 months before landing on the BMW R NineT.


Stephen sitting on BMW R NineT

What inspires you to ride?
Knowing that at an instant, I can hop on my motorbike, head in any direction, get lost, and just clear my head from life for a moment. It really is therapeutic. The community, culture, and friends that I’ve made from riding also inspire me. 

Why did you start your account? (Passion project or full-time)
Definitely a passion project. I really started my IG account as a means of just tracking the progress of my build. I didn’t know anything about photography or how to correctly frame a shot. I just wanted to take a few cool pics, but quickly discovered how much I enjoy photography as well.

What would your top tip be for someone getting into riding?
Have fun, respect the machine, and ride your own ride.


BMW R NineT at Caprock Canyons state park

Tell us about the most exciting adventure you’ve taken on your bike.
In the two years I've owned the bike I’ve planned a few trips, but with most of 2020 being overtaken by Covid, several of them were canceled. My 12-hour ride home to Dallas, Texas from St. Louis, Missouri after purchasing the bike was pretty epic, but if I had to choose I'd say the two trips I took to the Caprock Canyons State Park area. Hills, canyons, rocks, desert-like terrain, and, best of all, lots of empty roads to ride - it was amazing. Though I do have an out-of-state ride coming up soon with several buddies so stay tuned for photos from that trip.


Stay up-to-date with Stephen and his BMW R NineT on Instagram 

Topics: Rider Diaries, BMW

Kelly Kawasaki

Written by Kelly Kawasaki

Bringing you all things motorcycles.