OC Garage R100GS Sidecar
By Ross Sharp - 14 Oct 16
A few weeks ago I spent the weekend in Italy's capital of dapper, Milano, during fashion week. I'm not a fashionable man, preferring the Steve Jobs method of shopping, buy loads of black things all the same. Spending time at the über trendy Deus Café surrounded by the elegant and well turned-out it reminded me that the Italians really do go the extra mile when it comes to appearance. Either that or they all grow up with an inbuilt knowledge of what looks good. Oscar Tasso of OC Garage is one such dashing gent who earns a living by putting good looking things in the right place. He's a designer by trade and bike building is the excess passion that leaks out when the day job is through. That's not to say that bikes are a fanciful sideline, Oscar has built quite a portfolio of customs over the last few years. Speaking of things on the side Oscar recently embarked on a BMW R100GS project with a difference. This isn't just a refurbed sidecar outfit with a few embellishments, it's built from scratch. The actual bike part of the equation had its engine rebuilt with fresh bearings, seals and gaskets. Larger Bing carbs from an RS model and a more open stainless exhaust offer a touch more performance to help cope with the extra weight. Older style rocker covers are a readily available upgrade and usually always soften the looks of that teutonic Bavarian boxer.
Oscar prides himself on being a bit of a chassis and suspension expert and was able to exercise this skill on the three corners of this outfit. The hubs are bespoke to the project, designed by Oscar and machined from 6082 alloy. Despite the traditional spokes, the rims will actually hold air and run tubeless tyres. A single custom Öhlins shock props up the rear on a modified swingarm mount to enable a greater degree of adjustability and passenger comfort. Up front a leading link suspension setup with a brace of adjustable shocks takes the place of a traditional fork.
The saddle, fuel tank and general finish of the rest of the motorcycle are of the standard OC Garage fans and customers have come to expect but there's a rather large distraction in the form of the sidecar itself. Resembling something from the world of yachting or vintage pre-war automobiles the pod is a thing of great beauty. Aluminium sheet has been gracefully formed around a handmade frame, the side of which are adorned with wonderfully rich mahogany.
The passenger will enjoy a rather opulent experience cocooned within the polished hardwood vessel, seated on a sumptuous full grain leather seat. Not merely a pad like the good old days of side-by-side motorcycling but a proper comfy chair. The footwell is carpeted and there are pockets for maps and snacks, although it'd be a brave person who spilled a crumb with Oscar in the riding seat.
'Avventura' has already been delivered to its discerning customer and as the name suggests they are planning to use the outfit for exploring Italy's finest roads. An enviable task to say the least!
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