Down & Out Tom's R80
By Anthony van Someren - 09 May 14
Having seduced us all with their BMW scrambler "Gold Top" a few months ago, Down & Out Cafe Racers have been making an annoying habit of building better and better boxer customs, firstly for themselves, and now of course for a growing line of customers asking for variations of what they've seen online. I guess we can't complain as it means we get a steady supply of great looking Boxer builds to write up on the Bike Shed, but knowing that there are two more in the works after this one (one of them in particular will blow you away) I may have to assign someone else to write the next couple of D&O features in case my raw envy starts to cloud my writing ability. The story has now become all too familiar... "We had a call from one guy out of the blue, 'can you build me a bike like Dutch's?' ...He was after a virtually identical copy of Dutch's bike which we were not prepared to do, so we threw a few ideas around regarding the style and worked from there. The following testimonial from the customer broadly covers the remainder of this particular build..." "I work and live aboard a boat based in northern Tuscany, Italy. During the winter, me and guys aboard were looking on the net for bikes to ride in the near by Apennine Mountains. I saw Dutch's bike on Bike Shed, and after a month of thinking (wasted time) I got in touch with Shaun, from Down and Out Cafe Racers and got them started." "My idea was no different from Dutch's as I figured that if one is over in Italy, it's unlikely the two should meet. But Shaun and Carl have evolved it, using new dial mounts, indicators etc all of which look fantastic. I also wanted a taller riding position as i am 6foot 4inch tall, and I also required a longer seat as I would like to ride the bike 2up so Shaun and Carl made me a bespoke sub frame to fit my requirements. As far as the seat covering goes I ordered my own cow hide and sent it to the guys at D&O to use and requested a diamond stitch pattern. I have to say I'm really pleased with how it's turned out." "All in all I think it's awesome and it will definitely turn some heads over here. It's not easy for Englishmen to out-style the Italians in their own back yard but I reckon I will be doing just that. Thanks Guys for your excellent service, attention to detail and amazing bike you have built for me. Cheers Tom" While these Boxer customs do seem to follow a familiar drill at first glance, no two are the same, but what is also great for the customer is that by getting to know a model over multiple projects, builders like D&O (and their peers on the Boxer scene) evolve their skills and knowledge as they go, so each bike is better than the last. The trouble now is finding affordable donors. Hats off to Shaun & Carl for turning out another Bavarian beauty. We know another R series boxer is around the corner, but we also know there's a w650 in the works, a Dominator and the other Beemer will be something else entirely. Watch this space. …See more from Down & Out Cafe Racers on The Bike Shed, their Website and Facebook Pages, ...and thanks to Simon Krajnyak for the usual quality Photos. You can also see five new customs from D&O in the flesh at the BSMC III exhibition later this May.