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1980 BMW R80 – Tarmac Custom Motorcycles


Posted on March 6th, by Scott in Brat. 18 comments

I’m sure many of us know the situation. A complete bike in pieces, a vision of the end product in our head, and trying to work out how wrong you will be about the budget required for the build. Tarmac Custom Motorcycles encountered the first two of these ideas, and the latter ended up being no issue, as whatever they spent on it was worth it. Javi Pacheco and Jano Valiente, a classic bike enthusiast  and a seasoned mechanic respectively, joined forces in late 2011. Since then they have completed 12 bikes, with a handful more to finish. Their latest offering comes in the form of a 1980 BMW R80 flat tracker, which showcases the Tarmac workshop’s talents beautifully.

As mentioned, the bike found it’s way to the Tarmac workshop in pieces. This only made the start of the build easier, the engine being stripped down and carefully rebuilt. A coat of matt black paint covers the engine, one part of the dark aesthetic of the frame section of the bike. In place of the the stock carburettors sit a pair of Keihins, which according to Javi will ‘make for really smooth driving and more punch at high revs’. To keep an eye on how much punch, a universal speedo has been wired up and mounted on the handlebars.

The rear frame is all new, a shorter hoop being welded to the bike frame. Beneath the custom hoop sits a pair of smaller passenger footpegs than the ones the factory fitted. The factory front footpegs were ditched as well, a set of BMX pedals replacing them. According to Tarmac, this helps with better access to the rear brake and gear change levers. This bike rolls on Avon Classic tyres, the short rear guard a custom make by Tarmac, fashioned inhouse on an English wheel.

The Beemer’s handling hasn’t been neglected, with Tarmac putting their touches on the bike, so it can be as fun as it is goodlooking. The coiled rear shocks, donated by a Triumph Thruxton, sit inclined forward on the rear frame. At the front end, the forks have been lowered and treated to a set of handlebars from a Bultaco Sherpa. To raise the performance of the front brakes, a Honda ST1100 master cylinder pumps stopping power through stainless steel braided hoses.

It’s the neatness of the build, almost clinical in it’s manner that stands out the most. The lack of inhibition used when choosing the parts allows the bike’s lines to just flow, an example of this being the Montesa H6 headlight unit being used in the build. After less than two years in the bike building scene, Tarmac are producing bikes with the same level of skill as (or better than) builders who have been in the game for a lot longer. And with a handful of bikes waiting to be finished, we can be sure to see more bikes built by Tarmac Custom Motorcycles in the time to come.

So next time you are looking at a deconstructed bike, use Tarmac’s R80 as inspiration, and remember you will always be wrong about the build budget.

Photography by Yanka from Unopuntouno Fotografia





  • http://stephendiaz.com Stephen Diaz

    *drool*

  • 16vsilverstreak

    Nice Beemer! Hard to see the details in the sea of black.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gary.pitsenberger Gary Pitsenberger

    Almost perfect. Just ditch the pipe wrap and give me some kind of front fender for dirt roads or rain.

  • Paint-it-black

    White grips….Seriously?

    • Zack

      Works for me.

      Do you also have a problem with the white wheels, pegs, and pipewrap?

      • cagivarider

        Who cares about pipecrap – forkwrap is the new hot shit!

        • itsmefool

          Nailed it!

    • http://www.facebook.com/edgar.ocampo.359 Edgar Ocampo

      I put white grips on all my bikes. I love ‘em!!

  • revdub

    The white accents are perfect. The bmx pedals are a sweet addition as well. I want some (badly) for the RD! It seems they have taken a cue from the Wrenchmonkees on the fork wrap. I like the direction they took with this bike.

  • http://ridedualsport.com/ Manxman

    Interesting bike. The use of cloth friction tape on the upper fork tubes is an old school desert racer trick to keep the tubes from being nicked up by rocks. Used it on my old bikes back in the day.

  • mark

    it reminds me of a steel bent bike, with the seat and clean rear section. sweet build!

  • arnold

    The last two Beemers sure create enough thought and daydreaming to make this winter go by faster.
    I like the toggle switch gear for handle bar electrical controls, Is this common to BMW scooters? I sure would like a clean alternative to 40 year old potmetal, bakelite, and plastic up on the bars.

  • Cwright856

    Where is that gauge from? I’d love an alternative to the ugly stock gauges on my beamer that aren’t digital.

  • $30724656

    Just an FYI those aren’t BMX pedals they’re mountain bike pedals from Wellgo made in Taiwan. This is what a BMX pedal looks like.

  • Chris Gillham

    That matt blue is the tits! White grips look good for two rides, just have a stockpile of them.

  • barney

    Beautiful bike. I’d give my left nzt to have it….

  • Hamish Lamont

    Totally not a fan of Airheads, have just seen too many of them. BUT, his really works for me. Is it the solid blue tank? The equally solid stance? Or the white accents maybe? Whatever, it speaks to something from the deep dark recesses of my brain. Love it!