By Gareth Charlton - 22 Jan 14
What colour? It's so often the first question asked, and is supposedly synonymous with a lack of knowledge, but be fair, it is a huge question. The dream donor, the details, the stance, the layout, we all have our personal preferences and plans, but when it comes to colour choice, our dream steeds can be imagined in any number of hues. In this case it's all about Gold - and not just gold paint, mind, but the real deal - albeit in wafer-thin layers. Gold leaf. It's actually not the first gold leaf bike we've seen, as that prize goes to Untitled Motorcycles, whose workshop daily ride is decked out the same way, but by choosing to paint the rest of this bike in matte black Das Traumwerk have possibly old-golded us all with "Gold Marie" Now as a Bike Shed frequenter you will no doubt be well acquainted with multiple glorious BMW boxer customs, but we should not let the fact that they are becoming so familiar to us blind us from how spectacular the type can be. The tank, that engine, the attainability of a purity of line, when this platform is done right, as this one is, they do generate one lovely custom motorcycle. The Austrian based team of Alex Ahrer and Herwig Prammer ably assisted by the local blacksmith, friends, supporters, and a retired Austrian 600cc champion no less, have set up business and are creating motorcycles, "designed to join technics, art and sustainability". This build based on a 79' BMW R100rt began its transformation in 2012 "We rebuild only motorcycles that have been designed for longevity and robustness". The intentions were to preserve its quality, respect history and maintain patina. Emphasising function and technology through reduction our Austrian brethren set to work, tearing off panels, lighting, electrics, battery, seat and subframe, crashing the bike with a diet that saw the finished article shed some forty-five kg. Contemporary components were then installed, "we renewed all the wiring and let it disappear as far as possible, we replaced the giant control-elements with tiny switches to operate lights, horn and indicators". The fenders were hand formed along with the new rear subframe, lighting and indication taken care of in a classic minimalist style. "We reduced everything, even the colour. Nothing should remain - no colour, no chrome. nothing but style. and a big nugget of pure gold". Back to the gold. An artist friend covered the tank with two coats of leaf and multiple layers of varnish to protect the precious surface. The colour choice prompted the bike's name, "GoldMarie", taken from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Mother Hulda, apparently a Cinderella-esque story of a mistreated stepdaughter who's good deeds see her coated with gold as her evil-hearted step sister is covered in pitch. The bike also has a sister build, guess what colour that one is? The graft of the storytelling Austrian builders has paid off, creating a very tight, detailed build that is apparently a hell of a story to ride as well, closing in their words; "One little push on the tiny red button and the engine roars from down between your legs - her heart is still beating strong enough to let the driver get long arms, grabbing hold of the handlebar"