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1974 BMW R75 – Krautmotors Street Tracker

Posted on February 12, 2012 by Scott in Tracker. 30 comments

When it comes to finding inspiration on building a custom motorcycle, most people search the internet, look in magazines or pray to a higher being to give them a brilliant idea. Not Rolf Reick from Germany. He was inspired by people telling him he couldn’t do what he always wanted to do — build a BMW using an old frame and a new engine. “I guess the overall motivation was that people told me it just wasn’t possible to build it like that” says Rolf. Rolf is a product designer and head of a private school for product design. Besides that he works as a freelance designer and also owns a clothing label called Krautmotors. So between doing all those things we have no idea how he has time to build so many amazing bikes. Like this one-of-a-kind ‘BMW Frankenstein’ Street Tracker…

“I started modifying motorcycles about 30 years ago” says Rolf. “Without any focus on selling them, just for my own sake and fun. Somehow I tend to customize whatever I own. I built this one because I wanted to have a faster old BMW. Instead of tuning the old motor I simply put a newer model’s motor into the frame. Anyhow, I disliked the new BMW models ever since because they keep getting higher and higher. To be honest I had BMW frames lying around and got hand on a cheap 4V GS. It was fun and didn’t make any sense at all.”

So what actually makes up this BMW tracker I hear you ask? The frame is from a 1974 R75 – which Rolf just had lying around. The engine, swing arm and rear wheel are from a 1100R, and the gearbox is from a 1100GS. Front wheel and fork are off a 100GS. And the carburetors are from a R100 GS-PD. The only thing that isn’t off some kind of Beemer is the fuel tank which comes from an old 1970 Honda Enduro.

One of the most eye-catching features of the bike is the unusual alternator placement. “I had to place it on the side because there was no room under the frame in the middle of the engine, so i cut the tank for the compressor look” Rolf tells us. “Also the gearbox housing had to be trimmed to fit into the frame. The fork had to be cut by 14 centimeters and the modern technical gimmicks like the anti-lock braking system and fuel injection got lost, somehow.” And finally the paint job was done by Rolf with good old fashioned spray cans. The entire build took him around 4 months, working two days a week. Not bad when you consider the amount of work thats gone into it.

Rolf’s next project is designing the fairing for the Ducati bike for the racing team he is part of called Now Salt. The bike will run on the Bonneville salt race track in September attempting to break the record as the world’s fastest Ducati. We wish him all the best and we’ll keep you posted how he goes.

So we are only in February and I’m thinking this BMW tracker could be a contender for the Pipeburn Top 10 bikes of the year. I guess we’re about to find out by the comments below…

  • Beautiful bike, nice to see someone taking a new direction, with engineering and aesthetics both taking precedence over tradition. 

  • GuitarSlinger

    What is it about this recent  run of BMW customs that has my attention ?

    It’s hard to say . Is it the fact that a ‘ snob appeal ‘ bike is getting a custom work over or just that fact that guys like this are making the new model Beemers look so ………… irrelevant ?

    All I can say is bikes like this are gradually pulling me off my VOC kick and dragging me kicking and screaming towards the Beemer Custom Faithful .

    As far as a Top Ten for 2012 ? Maybe . Depends on what else surfaces this year . Regardless though this bikes a winner whether Top Ten or not 

  • George Millwood

    Definitely a top ten.  Best naked BM i’ve seen using the new motor.  I’ve owned R69S, R60/6, R100/7, K100RT, K1100RS

  • David B.H.


  • AlwaysOnTwo

    It is a beautiful build.  And if that alternator WAS a compressor, it would be stupendous.

    While the alternator placement can be taken in and become part of the feel of the bike, I must take issue with the builder’s terminology and justification of “I had to place it” thus.  Actually, after doing just a quick bit of cut and paste, I see that using a Powermaster 5 x 5 alternator and by fabricating a mount and drive just below the crank pulley is well within possibility without interfering with fork/tire travel.  A small alteration in the left pipe bend (about an inch), and then a less chopped up looking top end would be presented.  Of course from there, a little more modding and a compressor could be sitting topside for an earful of whine.

    Not finding fault, just sayin there was at least one other option that might fit the overall look a tad better.

  • Slash5alive

    I like everything about this bike except the alternator…it looks dangerous to ride like that. I’ve got a bunch of beemer stuff laying around including a 94 r1100rs. gives me some ideas. I wonder how this thing runs on carbs? Like a scalded dog I’ll bet.

  • Fun ………….Fun ……………Fun!!!!!!

  • DaveZA

    Awesome, I love it and want it!

  • beautiful!- love the proportions on this bike (especially that tail section) I think you could use any power plant and this bike would still look good. 

  • Stokes2500

    Working on a Oilhead in a Duc frame myself…….

  • Blackbeavis

    it’s hideous and beautiful at the same time! i love it………and i hate it?

  • Josh Uhlman

    holyshitballs i just creamed my pants.  i would kill for this bike.

  • Shuvelhead

    Are ypu kidding, this is pure genius. Hell yes it’s a top ten, not just 2012 maybe of all time. It looks like the baddest MoFo in town and probably is. What’s not to like.

  • Jed

    Yep. Super-cool.

  • The builder mentions that the alternator had to be relocated, but is it still the oem part or off of something else?

  • PGearbox

    That’s what I wish I could have done to my R65 if I had the skills and the money………..but I have neither. I will just have to enjoy looking at this one. The baby blue wouldn’t be my first choice.  

  • THIS IS THE BEST BMW Custom bike EVER!!! I adore this bike! Thank you! Poland (my home country) is full of those BMW R’s as we are neighbour of Germany, and I always thought that BMW’s should not be customized, I was wrong. GREATE JOB!

  • Benjamin Helton

    I love it!

  • Midnight Marauder

    Looks like something Kastuhiro Otomo would have designed for Akira. Fuckin boss.

  • Posky

    Just a heads up– this is the best blog I’ve come across in months.  How I have missed reading it for so long is a complete mystery to me. The only downside is that you’re getting me antsy for the riding season.

    Greetings from America. 

  • Top 10 for sure.  Awesome bike

  • Davidabl2

    A beautiful BMW…who woulda thought. This one and the R23 are about it…

  • Who knew a Beemer could look so good. Love the way it looks small and light yet is made from huge BMW parts, very nicely preportioned and built.

  • Assholewelder

    First cool bmw (motocycle) i have seen… I like it alot actually 🙂

  • Made in Bulgaria by Galaxy Custom Studio 🙂

  • Pete Kurtz

    very nice craftsmanship, I do like the offset mounting on the alternator

  • paradoqs

    What kind of rear tire is that? Shinko?