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Rudy Banny’s ’86 BMW R80RS – “Brafé Racer”

Posted on December 19, 2012 by Andrew in Brat. 48 comments

Rudy Banny’s college career began with Petroleum Engineering. That’s the art of getting crude oil out of the ground and in to pipes. But that was only for about ½ a semester, after which he found out that several calculus classes were involved, and promptly dropped out. Amen to that. Afterwards, you could say he did complete u-turn and got into a little Petroleum Deconstruction. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Brat Style. After landing a job in advertising, I fell in love with BMW’s when a buddy of mine let me ride his 1965 r60/2 and 1972 r75/5 for a week when I was shooting in LA. That was it. I fell in love with airheads. I wanted one, but just couldn’t get into the purist mentality that seems so prevalent with Bimmer owners. I’m more of a custom guy. So, I started looking for the cleanest, most pristine airhead I could find, so I could deconstruct it.”

“I was intrigued by Nicholas Damen’s Bee Emm Brat posted on Pipeburn, so I used it as my inspiration for this build, except I went ‘Brafé’ Style…”

The bike started out as a fully dressed 1986 R80RS. After stripping it down to a motor and a frame, Rudy started by powder coating the wheels, forks and driveshaft flat black. He then installed an Acewell Speedo, a new headlight and fork ears and brake lines from Spiegler Performance Parts and left the RS cafe bars in place.

“Because I removed the fork brace so I could put a fatter tire on the front, I replaced the stock top fork plate with an aluminum triple clamp from Boxerworks to keep the forks from twisting.”

“When I decided to keep the cafe bars, I felt the need to get a nice rear set, which I picked up from Flatracer. I kept the stock pipes, wrapped them and capped them off with some sweet stainless steel reverse-cone shorties that I picked up from Dime City Cycles.”

“I had the tank painted flat black to match the wheels and slapped some new badges on it as well as a Monza gas cap from I cut down and narrowed the rear sub-frame to take the Nitroheads Bratstyle Thin Seat that I purchased from Pipeburn. And finally, I cut down and powder coated a steel rear fender and topped it off with an old school tail light from Dime City Cycles.”

  • arnold

    Great bike build, great photography, suspect tires. Rudy, thanks for sharing it with us.
    I wish good Holidays to you all out there in Pipeburn world.ald

    • Thanks Arnold – I’m very pleased with how this Beemer turned out. And I love the shots, too. Oh, and I just had to get the Firestone Deluxe’s out of my system. Onward. Merry Holidays to you.

    • Oldnbroken

      I am not sure why but I would not have expected such political correctness from you Ald, Merry Xmas to you and yours.


      • arnold

        I can see you survived the end of the Mayan calender. I turned to the December page, and although the pin up was dead gorgeous, I could tell the calender girl was cold and heartless.

  • Patrick Larson

    The photography is spectacular! Nice bike too.!

    • Thanks Patrick. Paul Skinner of Deuce Pictures in Charlotte, NC, shot the heck out this bike.

    • Except in the last pick, I’m not digging the focal length.

      • Agreed, Tony Stark. I told Paul the same. That building in the center of the background is way too red and way too in focus! Damn that Paul Skinner.

    • blackbird

      I would have to disagree. I feel that Paul has great composition for many of the studio shots and did a good job there, however the high dynamic range button is really heavy handed in these images. The problem shows the most in the last shot. The HDR is pushed so strong in the last image it looks unrealistic. It has that “ghost” feel to it typical of heavy HDR when the contrast it bumped way up. Way to much photoshop, the image is flat and the object is lost to the back ground. I hope Paul relaxes on the HDR in future work. He has a great eye and I would bet that would carry his project ideas alone.

      • justjoshnmate

        The photography is very tricky, and I love the studio shots wide angle and all.

        The depth of field on the wide angle shots is impossible by just stopping down.

        Maybe Blackbird can show me where to find that button!

        I suspect the photographer manually does his HDR work, like any good photographer would, rather than using a button.

        Great work.

    • blackbird

      Dang, I forgot, your right though. The bike is very beautiful.

  • I had the pleasuring of seeing this bike being deconstructed and rebuilt, it was fun to witness the magic. Certainly a work of art (as well as the photography, a la our company Deuce Pictures). Wonder what Rudy will build/deconstruct next? He needs a new project!! Rudy is a true craftsman with his bikes. He’s not half bad at this stuff, either:

    • Well, thank you very much, BMK! And, thanks for tolerating the banging, cutting, swearing, fumes and general nastiness in the office every day… Oh, and the bike building.

  • Now&Zen

    #1 Great bike
    #2 This aint no ‘ Brat ‘ and thank god for it
    #3 Hate to tell Mr Banny this , but get a clue son … the ‘ purist ‘ thing amongst Beemer owners has been a thing of the past for going on a decade now

    But back to #1 and to end on a positive note . Great bike !!!

    • #1 Thanks
      #2 Brafé?
      #3 Clue gotten. And, I’m hanging with the wrong Beemer crowd, apparently.
      Back to #1 Thank you

  • It’s all my fault! I am the buddy who turn Rudy on to the Beemer experience . And I must disagree with Now@Zen, I am one of the puriest beemers owners who believes some things should be left alone “if it ain’t broke , don’t fix it”! But in tho case, I truly think Rudy’s vision on this bike was Spot On! And Kick Ass! The bike wasn’t so vintage that it would be wrong to mess with it. So all I can say “give me the keys and I’ll drive”

    • All yours for the week you’re here, in Charlotte, for the shoot, Eddie.

  • Kim Tuominen

    Nice looking bike,especially the exhaust! Do you happen to know what kind of dB-levels it produces? I have a BMW-scrambler project starting, and still wondering what kind of exhaust will it have…

    • I’ll see if one of my audiophile friends can hook me up with a meter, Kim.

      • Kim Tuominen

        Thx! I´ll be checking this space…Have a nice Christmas!

        • tattoorudy

          95 dB at idle and 100 dB with a twist of the throttle.

          • Kim Tuominen

            Thanks for the info! Not too bad then…

  • I love 4th Reich airheads in all shapes and sizes and this one is great. The fat tires give it just the right stance.

  • Lolarider

    I love reading a build story that consists of-“I has such-and-such sent off, and painted, followed by-“I bought these parts online(insert plug here.)

    • arnold

      Is that a big bore kit and Bassani exhaust system on your Christmas list young’n?

      • I’d like an RSD exhaust and air cleaner for my Sporty, please.

    • Cwright856

      I love plugs. Let’s me know where to buy stuff like that acewell speedo. Most purest beamer guys can’t conceive of you putting anything on a bike that isn’t stock, and the big fugly gauges on r80’s and r100’s are not cool.

      • HammerheadFistpunch

        Well, aftermarket with BMW’ers is OK as long as its from an acceptable approved vendor – Touratech or HPN. Otherwise, deviating from stock is heresy.

        I too found the plugs handy. Totally stealing that exhaust treatment.

  • Oldnbroken

    Nice bike.Although I do like black on a bike I think I prefer theses Beamers with a bit of colour on the tank.

    Merry Xmas to all you Pipeburn locals and dropins and thanks to Andy and Scott for providing me with my twice or thrice weekly entertainment and inspiration.


    • Tattoorudy

      I like color, too, Oldnbroken – So much so, that I couldn’t choose just one. And I echo your thanks to Andy and Scott for an awesome blog!

  • paddy

    Cool video. Shit music as usual. Sink the front end into the trees by maybe two inches. It’s a lovely machine. Well done!

    • Tattoorudy

      Thanks Paddy.

  • DAN

    Hello, Beautiful BMW. It is not so easy to make a cafe racer with a Monolever and the result is superb.
    I currently rebuild a r100rt1 / 1990 monolever and I need some advice.
    What did you put as footrest?
    How much is a seat identical and where can I find it?
    I can send you pictures of my bike if you let me uen email address.


  • MarkM

    First of all, there is no such thing as a BMW R 80 RS.

    Second, use of such a large size front tire negatively affects the handling (is that the object of this exercise?)

    Third, the use of such a long travel rear shock using the stub mount on the frame negatively affects handling.

    Fourth, those rims will accept radial tires with better cornering capabilities and higher top speeds. Why use inferior ply type tires?

    Fifth, the exhaust crossover sort of defeats the perceived need for shorty mufflers.

    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    • Mr M.
      With all due respect, if Mr Banny built a bike to your specs, it would’nt be as KICK ASS as this piece of art. Open your mind a bit and look outside the box for a change. And until you post something that is cooler than this bike, i say SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!

  • walega

    What brand tires and size did you place on the bike?

  • Scott

    Who was the photographer of the studio shots?

  • CanKansu

    Hi, this is very nice bike ! I just bought a 1993 R80 RT and looking for new ideas for customizing it. I liked the tires very much. I think they are Firestone Classic Deluxes, but I couldnt figure out which size you used. Could you help me on that ? Thanks in advance !

  • realsugeknight

    Love this bike, I think I’ve finally found some reasonably achievable inspiration for my R80! May just have to use that same seat and pipes!

  • Trevor Salas

    Great bike! I’m rebuilding an R65 at the moment, what does your exhaust set up consist of? Did you shorten the headers?

  • gallo

    The size of front tire and rear are the same? for both 4.00×18 or 4.00×18 for the fron and 4,5 for the rear on firestone deluxe champion

  • Erdem Bilbilik

    Me and a friend are about to purchase a ’95 BMW R80RT and we’d like to change the tires using the stock rims. Could anybody please help us with the brand and model of the tires that we see on this beautiful bike?
    Thank you 🙂

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  • Richard

    Do you know the tyre size on this bike please