Nov 6, 2020

Oil in the Blood // Rory Milton's BMW R nineT

Kelly Kozakowski
Pier City Custom BMW R ninet

Why did you choose the BMW R nineT?
I used to run a BMW Motorrad Service department and was a manager in the network when the BMW R nineT was released. It instantly became my go-to set of wheels because it combined the fun, well handling parts of my sports bikes with a quirky, cool-looking bike with character. The R9T is a brilliant bike to customize because it's so easy to work on and access everything, and it also offers great fun and reliability once it's on the road!

Tell us your full story, how did you get into riding?
I come from a massive biking family. Every member of our family has ridden at some point, right through to both of my grandmas. I've got photos of myself, at around 4 years old, sat on the tank of my uncle's bike as he pulls a wheelie past the front of our house - we've all got oil in our blood! Having dumped a bike or two through the greenhouse in the garden while sitting on the bike with a family member, I started riding solo at the age of 7 and haven't looked back since. My dad is a huge petrolhead and my first handful of off-road and, eventually, road bikes were all projects that we built together, so custom bikes have always been something that I've been into.

Pier City Custom BMW R ninet

What inspires you to ride?
For me, it's the freedom of not being boxed in by a metal cage of a vehicle. A motorcycle allows you to connect with the road and your surroundings like nothing else. Yeah, sure, there are crappy days, and the weather can throw your plans a little, but when you have a good day out on the bike, nothing can compare to it.

Why did you start your account?
Myself and Stu (the other half of Pier City Custom, our BMW R9T custom-build business) started customizing these bikes at the dealership we worked at as soon as they landed, building a bike for BMW UK to display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which is a very big deal over here! We went independent a year later while working other jobs, and we've now been full-time for a year or so.

What would your top tip be for someone getting into riding?
Just get on and do it - and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Realistically, you don't need the biggest, coolest bike out there to get started from scratch, so pick something up and get used to it. Strip it and rebuild it if you'd like, even if you just start with the basics, it'll help give you a better understanding of how things work. It will give you the confidence to go that extra mile if you know you can get yourself out of trouble if you have a breakdown.

rory in shop

Tell us about the most exciting adventure you’ve taken on your bike.
Before turning to the BMW R9T as my daily hack I was a big Honda Fireblade nut and in 2010 my wife and I spent three weeks, two-up, camping, and riding from the UK to Croatia. We covered around 2500 miles and passed through nine countries amidst storms, floods, and a heatwave - it was bloody fantastic! The Blade performed perfectly, not missing a beat except for a handlebar grip coming loose in a monsoon near Venice but we can forgive it that, I reckon.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our audience?
I'd just like to thank the subscribers, followers, and supporters of Pier City Custom for allowing us to be able to live the dream of running our own custom workshop. This is a lifelong dream for the two of us and it often relies on 80-plus hour weeks in the workshop and at the laptop, and we really appreciate anyone that takes the time to follow our journey!

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