By Ross Sharp - 14 Oct 14
The BMW custom culture continues to get better and better and this stripped-back R80/7 comes from London’s Untitled Motorcycles, exuding café racer charm. See previous work from UMC here. Carsten Hayes came to Untitled Motorcycles' workshop with the brief of creating a black and brown custom café racer. Carsten had seen UMC custom bikes on the web and loved their philosophy of bringing unloved machines back to life. "Adam and Rex understood exactly what I wanted, a usable understated café racer". A few weeks later a very unremarkable BMW donor bike rolled into the workshop. The tank, frame and swingarm were de-lugged and a fabricated box welded to the shortened subframe to hold the Motogadget M Unit, modern tech meets classic styling, further appealing to Carsten's desired theme. A headlight unit from a R75/5 was found on German eBay. The handle bars were flipped over to give them a clip on feel and Motogadget bar end indicators were fitted with the simple, comp switch gear. Rear sets were found and adapted to fit the frame and as Carsten wanted to take the occasional pillion new foot rest mounts had to to be welded to the frame. As the bike needed to look very clean the rear guard was omitted, a splash plate was made up to stop an excessive water getting to the air box. The header pipes had to be cut, bent and welded so they could fit the lines that Carsten wanted for the new silencers. They are a classic British café racer style with a twist; they are ceramic coated by Camcoat in a dark brown to match the tank and seat. After many hours of grinding and fabrication all parts that could be powder coated satin black were sent to Armourtex. This included engine cases, gearbox, air filter covers, forks, subframe, frame, wheels, bars and lots minor parts that would make a huge difference to the look of the bike. The engine required a complete overhaul by Rex with new big end shells, piston rings, timing chain, exhaust valves and clutch. Stainless nuts, bolts and washers replaced the old rusty steel ones and the bike was re-wired by Anita UMC in house wiring expert. A custom cafe seat in rich brown leather was hand-made by Glenn Moger, not UMC usual style but it works perfectly on this bike. The paint is remarkable courtesy of D-Luck. Carsten wanted a rich deep brown tank he had seen the colour on a Porsche a few years ago. Adam and Carsten marked out the lines on the tank and changed the solid brown to have the bottom of the tank to be black with a gold pinstripe between following the curves. Another classic BMW style detail with a twist. Now complete, this bike will be on show at BMW Motorrad Park Lane, London, on 15th October (tomorrow evening). In the meantime Carsten is over the moon with the result, having this to say; "Generally speaking I wanted to achieve a combination of solidity and functionality; from a design point of view I felt the best way to achieve that was by marrying the aesthetics of pre-war era lines and modern technology. This meant plastic was off the materials list, chrome as having no functional merit, too. The BWM was a great machine to start with, essentially having its roots in a different era lent itself to being paired back from the "add on components" mentality of the 70s and thereafter. Also the aviation engine design heritage lent itself to the feel I wanted of a purpose driven, no frills machine. At this stage of my riding I wanted a smooth, dependable ride; speed isn't paramount, nor is that feeling of being just on the edge. Age catches up with us I guess". Images by Ludovic Robert.