By Anthony van Someren - 25 Jan 14
Seems like there's no sign of the custom Boxer Twin avalanche subsiding, anytime soon, but at least the range of styles and set-ups is keeping us interested. This latest Bavarian beast is the work of Robin on the South Coast of England who teaches Design Technology as his day job, but in his downtime Robin has a well-equipped little workshop, filled with bikes, tools and surfboards. Robin classes himself as an amateur, but as well as building his own bikes, he has started to take commissions, repairs and restorations and is operating under the moniker "Niceride". "Working on my dad's Velocette inspired me when I was younger, but borrowing my mate's Royal Enfield a few years ago re-kindled my love for motorcycles." "I wanted a boxer for a while after borrowing my friend Paul's R100, I had to clear a few other bikes out of the workshop to make space for this one. I was inspired by the 'off-the shelf' Brit bikes of the 50s and 60's, flat seats and risers with a big tank and speedo in the headlight bucket - it's a timeless look and one that makes my 70's airhead look like a real vintage classic!" The donor bike for the build is a 1974 R75/6. It came from a guy who had found three old Beemers in a barn, and this one just jumped out at him. "It was an absolute state, with mice living in the air box and every moving part seized or rusted away! I wanted to build an everyday bike that was up to being ridden in town and out on the open road, with brakes that worked and a bit of grunt in the engine. I wanted it to be a wolf in sheep's clothing, looking old and battered from a distance, but up close everything new and upgraded." "I overhauled the whole bike, replacing nearly everything! I hand built the wheels using stainless steel spokes, tuned the engine with a high compression 800cc top end, Boyer electronic ignition and twin plug heads, upgraded the brakes to twin disc, using Magura handlebar M/C instead of the useless under-tank cable M/C. I built a custom loom so that the connector box was under the tank, and the /5 speedo worked with the /6 electronics. I fabricated the seat pan and hand-stitched the seat cover, I also fabricated the alloy battery box in my workshop. Renthal low rise bars look and feel just right, and progressive fork springs handle the road perfectly. It rolls on a pair of Firestone Champion Deluxe - what else?!" The tank is the signature piece of the bike, rugged, well used and with the original patina. It also inspired the bike's nickname, "Rostig" which despite being German doesn't need any translation. Robin describes her as a Brit Boxer. "I had made up some Niceride pressed enamel badges, but I couldn't bring myself to take the old BMW ones off the bike. The badges are original and just seem to set the bike off. The seat has worn in really well over the past few months, looking aged to match the tank. I had loads of Stainless bolts made up but in the end I didn't like how shiny they were, and used the original rusty ones - it made such a difference and looks rad." "The bike is my daily transport and rides so good. Braking is far improved from the original and the high-compression motor has enough power to put a big grin on my face, so much torque low down, with an impressive top end for the vintage. Suspension is great, with the forks lowered a little and progressive springs fitted it handles the corners with ease. The bike is a pure joy to ride and sounds perfect, around town or on long rides across country. I smile every time I ride it, I think it's the first bike I've owned that I've never had to worry about what this noise or that noise might be, and just ride it. Pure pleasure…" The love affair that Beemers seem to inspire with their owners shows no sign of settling down, and while they'll never be everyone's cup of tea, we get it. We look forward to seeing what Robin and Niceride do next.