Moto Sumisura JM 01.2
By Ross Sharp - 21 Jun 14
Customising bikes doesn't make a huge amount of financial sense, it upsets the purists at the Vintage Chassis Number Spotters Club and makes your eyes square through hours of eBay trawling. But it's all completely worth it for the sense of achievement and great people you meet along the way. Bike Shed regulars Frank and Inge from Moto Sumisura are two such people, revelling in the rewards of banging their heads together and getting creative with metal. Screw the rules and guidelines, this Italian duo nail a few beers and shout ideas at each other until a project takes shape in their very different but complimentary minds. Frank is the free-spirited thinker and Inge the accomplished engineer, together they build some of the most individual bikes in Milano. Five years ago Frank ditched the day job and built himself a BMW 1981 R80 GS custom called JM, which he's enjoyed and cherished to this day. Well until the day recently when it was taken to pieces for a "new dress fitting". After a many Moretti and dreams of Vincent racers Frank awoke with a clear vision of the transformation to his firstborn. Inge was flabbergasted and did not agree with such sacrilege. Their hands waved at each other in an exhibition of mid-90s rave shape cutting until they both disagreed to disagree. This is one workshop I really want to visit. Under cover of darkness the build began, utilising Moto Sumisura's extensive parts bin. The first sacrifice was an old valve cover which was chopped and converted into the headlight. Can't knock Frank for his imagination, it's pretty well executed and utilising the cooling fins should keep the bulb running cool. Obviously important. The front wheel is a 21-incher from an R80GS with old school Avon rubber, shielded by a rear mudguard from an R50. The rear wheel is semi-encapsulated by an aluminium mudguard reminiscent of an Ice racer. I guess it does snow a lot in Northern Italy so studs could be fitted. Maybe it's Grappa Frank has been drinking, not beer! Wiring expert Gió was brought in to bring some functionality to the creative explosion. A handmade brass enclosure houses the vintage speedo ahead of the narrow drop-bars, nicely juxtaposed with modern billet mirrors. The fussy brake master cylinder now lives on the frame leaving the cockpit slightly less cluttered. Italians like a bit of self promotion, and here is one example in brass, matched by others around the bike. No room for stickers here. They'll be plenty of time for Frank to savour the visual splendour of this machine and pat himself on the back as the seat is made from wood, so rest stops might be plentiful. Once again, Moto Sumisura have produced a bike that is guaranteed to ruffle feathers and raise eyebrows but Frank and Inge are living the dream and enjoying the spoils together. Working with your mate, building bikes, drinking beer, living in Italy. Does it get much better?