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BMW R80 Cafe Racer

Posted on May 24, 2010 by Scott in Café Racer, Racer. 13 comments


After two blown engines Englishman Chris Simpson decided to try and squeeze a R80 RT engine into his 1979 BMW R45 frame. “The powers that be said the engine wouldn’t fit, as you can see it obviously does” Chris explains. “The only engine mods were a lightweight flywheel and the air box was removed and replaced with a Bellmouths. It has custom stainless 2-1 exhausts with a stainless megaphone, fully custom sub frame with hidden battery under the seat pod, a large EARLS oil cooler from a Ford Cosworth. The controls are from a Aprilia RS 50 and an Aprilia RSVR. It has had a full race wiring loom fitted and all lights ignition removed and now starts with a master arm, start button and no key”. Chris custom made the fairing and brackets from a Classic Yamaha race fairing, it has a Manx Norton front mudguard, hugger made from the R80 front mudguard, twin disk conversion, rear sets from a Kawasaki and a upside down gear box. This beautiful Beemer is just one of the projects Chris has on the go, he’s also building a Mike Hailwood Honda Replica which we look forward to featuring when completed. You can view the ‘before’ shot of this BMW on our Flickr page.


  • Andy

    Nice write up, the pictures dont do it justice!!! well done on the first feature Chris


  • FS

    What an amazing build!! i’d love to own one of these BMWs one day..

  •" the best blog i have ever seen on motorcycle please see mine as well when you get the chance.

  • Pamberjack

    It’s beautiful, but seems to be screaming out for a longer swing-arm and new wheels to me…


  • MikeMachine

    I agree with you Pamberjack, the bike would look better with an extended swingarm. But I still love it!

  • Chris Simpson

    Thanks guys for the kind words, i totally agree about the wheels, I’m going to have them made as i have a spoked rear but no other BMW spoked wheel will fit the R45 front end, I’m not sold on the swing arm idea but i have one hidden away in the workshop, so it wouldn’t hurt to give it ago? Thanks again guys!

    Chris Simpson

  • Twostoked

    Beautiful cafe racer!

  • Jonathan

    Not much into Beemers, but this one is rather COOL

  • i like you blog very much great taste in motorcycle

  • chris simpson

    Sadly i blew her up once again at the Isle of Man TT 🙁

  • dimiG

    hi, really nice 2 into 1 system!
    i need one for my R80/7 who made this for you?

  • Andre

    Hi, Chris I just fell in love with this bmw. I think its number 1 one my list from now on.

    Great job killer 2in1 exhaust, killer fairing killer everything.


    PS: I think you should start selling some of them if so let me know I will buy one 😉

  • golden boy

    Needs spokes