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Galaxy Customs’ BMW R1200R

Posted on January 16, 2013 by Andrew in Bobber. 66 comments

This will be the part where you all will be expecting me to write something witty, clever and creative to introduce this latest bike, yes? A back story, or an interesting fact about BMWs that you didn’t know. Well, I’ve just written about half a dozen of the things and all of them seem like dancing about architecture in the face of a bike like this. I mean just look at the thing. Coolest BMW ever? We are pretty much already there. So, what are you waiting for? Read on! I’ll be right here writing a proper introduction…

Here’s Ivaylo Trendafilov, the bike’s designer and owner of Galaxy Customs in Bulgaria. “Our idea was to make a classic motorcycle with a retro look, but for it to be quite modern on the inside. For this purpose we used as a base model a BMW R1200R 2008. We completely redesigned the frame to change the center of gravity and the angle of the front fork. Thus, the motorcycle was lower which in turn improved the appearance and increased both Persistence. We removed the factory tele-lever front suspension and added a classic front fork with adjustment.”

“The tank used is off a BMW R71 which has been modified in order to mount the pump harness, and also as a place to keep the majority of electronics. The orignal bars were made more compact while maintaining all of its components, even heating. The air filters from K&N that give a sporty look and change the sound of the engine.”

So long, you can ride in two different postcodes at the same time

“The exhaust pipes are reversed, with thermal tape, but in the end we mounted a mini silencer – again for a better sound. The wheels we used are manufactured in Italy by Kineo, who provide special models to BMW and Ducati, and I think they are very interesting.”

“To the rim of the Kineo we added some large disc brakes with attractive geometry that seemed to fit perfectly for our project. For tires, we put on some Avon Supermoto Distanzias that are intended for both on and off road which we thought were again a good match. The headlamp is a standard retro unit.”

Someone order a truck-load of bitchin’?

“The stop lights are mounted on a stand under the seat. We made use of old ones which have integrated LED lights inside. The seat is made specifically for our project as under it is hidden under the alarm and ignition key. The fenders are made of aluminum, and finally we painted it in the classic BMW motorcycle style of black with white stripes.”

(Hat tip to The Bike Shed)

  • Brian J

    That is awesome. I love the stance I want. If BMW really sold a model that looked like this I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Custom builders are the life blood of motorcycles to me.

  • Yubal


  • Brendan Sullivan

    Modern mechanicals, classic BMW look w/ that R71 tank…. this is just sweet

  • mike the bike

    they have the front tire mounted backwards… I have a set of Distanzias on my Guzzi project. They get a bit squishy at about 90mph…

    • Front and back are mounted the same, yes?

      • Paco

        With distanzia’s the mounting of the front has been debated for yonks. General rule of thumb was that if you’re running a rear tire on the front for a more tracker look like this BMW, then you reverse it. In supermoto (which is awesome), many guys have been running the front distanzia in reverse and some claim that the manufacturer has changed the direction markings on a few occassions over the years. A lot of folk lore and here say from internet experts and racers alike.

        In all honesty, everyone has a different opinion on this including the manufacturers’ sales reps! But Mike is correct to say that they get wobbly at speed, irrespective of direction!

        Safe bet is to follow the manufacturers directions or personal preference.

  • Ur Momma

    “Thermal tape”…. looks like pipewrap to me.

    • Micheal J Calhoun

      and your point being?

    • rustrubber

      Stop Trollin

      • Ur Momma

        eat me

    • New Haven Neil

      Pipewrap in the US – but there is a whole world out there…..

    • Marcus

      Call me old fashioned, but when people say pipewrap aren’t they referring to pipes wrapped in “Thermal Tape”? So yes, it is pipewrap of the “Thermal Tape” kind.

  • Now&Zen

    Oh yeah baby ! This’n ticking ALL the right boxes in my book ;

    BMW custom – check

    Pitbull attitude – check

    Clean and functional – check

    Painted .. not rusted – check

    Maintains the integrity of its origins – check

    While still being the very definition of a ‘ custom ‘ – check

    Not .. a trailer queen – check

    No loaf of bread seat or overused Firestones – check

    Yup ! All appropriate boxes checked . Me likes !

  • Sad_Dad

    I normally hate BMW bikes … this one just changed my mind completely! It is fantastic. I would buy it in a heart beat.

    • You HATE them? Speechless…

      • Sad_Dad

        I’m not saying it’s rational … ok, Hate is too strong a word.

    • I love BMWs. And I’ve never even owned one.

  • That’s pretty stinkin cool. I have never seen another BMW quite like it. When I notice new bikes on here, they usually illicit an “oh, a new one” type of response. But every once in awhile, there is more of a “wow! what have we here???” This would be one of those times.

    • You’re right Tony. You’re so awesome.

  • I really like the Kineo wheels – able to run tubeless tires with wire spokes. Oh yeah, I like the rest of the bike, too.

  • Naruib

    its trying to hard , an investment banker will buy this one

    • nathas909

      I totally agree. I really want to like it, I totally respect it and appreciate it, but there is way way way too much going on.
      Its just too busy.
      It looks like a huge bike to ride also.

  • wabernat

    1 metric fuckton of awesome!

  • Randy

    Great looking BMW! Maybe the best looking new BMW build I’ve seen.

  • mt


    • DocOne

      I don’t know about that . If this bike was literally any other brand of bike I would love it. Problem is, BMW engines are like visual abortions, they are just gross to look at…to me anyway.

  • mt


  • The_Ogre

    Everything works for me on this bike *except* for the swingarm. It just really doesn’t work for the look – but I understand that re-engineering it would be a hideously complicated task.

    • Davidabl2

      Just painting the damn thing black would help.

      • dougphoto

        totally agree love it, except for the swing arm. Paint it black.

  • Micheal J Calhoun

    pretty dam cool, not the biggest fan of the stop lights but I respect the fact that they are a recycled component. congrats!

  • sideroad

    I want!!!!!

  • arnold

    I have respect for this Schonheit, but alas no love. Bravo Bulgaria! Too much electronic, motor, agressive tire, polish/silver. Yes, a man’s got to know his limitations, and this beemer is about three times mine.

  • HowieT

    I am in love. Totally awesome. Best bike I’ve seen in months.

  • Tanshanomi

    I like this more bike than I would expect, but what’s with the supermoto tires? It seems to be a current trend to use them for all sorts of bikes, even when visually and functionally inappropriate.

  • revdub

    110% mean. Those wheels are so rad.

  • RHC

    If I squint just right…….I see a Confederate Hellcat…..which isn’t such a bad thing at all. I’m certain some purists will be offended, but, I like it.

  • Marcus

    For me this bike is quite brilliant as it isn’t just a chopped seat and
    a removed front fender, its a well thought out full on custom bike with both form AND function.

  • Mike Cambareri

    It seems just a little bit wrong, in a wonderful way. Like the bastard child of a Beamer and a V-Rod. A touch of the German class and technicality, and a liberal helping of American brashness. I think the tires finish it off perfectly. They seem to say, “I’m not scared to go anywhere.” Shame the fenders wouldn’t be up to the challenge.

  • Стефан ‘Dobermann’ Петров

    I have seen it in person, just like this – on the street. This thing is just brutal. It is perfect!

  • BoxerFanatic

    very interesting. I like the concept very much. I might have made some slight detail different part choices… but the end result is very compelling.

    I want very badly someday to have the resources to build a custom neo-retro BMW boxer bike of my own. For now it will have to suffice in my mind’s eye.

  • Pipewrap is the backwards hat, pants below the butt of motorcycle styling. It’s a fad that just refuses to die. Other than that, looks like a cool ride except maybe for the tires. With the aggressive riding position, doubtful it would stay on two wheels in the dirt. At least with the rider still attached. The traditional BMW paint scheme makes any BMW look good!

    • nathas909

      I also thought that. I wonder what the bike would look like painted red or any other colour.

    • barney fife

      Once again thank you so much for the schooling……

  • bjax

    I love the whole concept and execution, except the use of BMW’s current components totally spoils the look. Even on BMW’s stock bikes, I hate the cheap looking aggressively angular styling of the cylinder heads and Paralever swingarm. I like mechanical parts to look like mechanical parts.

  • New Haven Neil

    Lovin it. Echoes of older beemers, injection of modernism, and those wheels look fantastic. With some tyres that work properly I’d ride it NOW! Ditched the ‘funny front end’ too, brave move, but it has made the bike much more interesting. Oh, and a seat that won’t burst your arse AT LAST!

  • barney fife

    Just cries out to be ridden.

  • Yves Trabac

    Well, I ride a bike to go from A to B, and if A is a bit far from B, I need to carry some stuff and what I can see here is that most of shown bike cannot do it. Show bike, check.

    • BoxerFanatic

      I could see this bike with a sub-frame-attachment heavy welded wire and chrome plated cargo rack with lashing points. It would fit nicely behind the saddle seat, and be a lashing point for a tail bag, or possibly even some saddle bags and a tail bag, if it is robust enough… but then the whole works being removable with a few bolts.

      A pillion seat and pegs could be done the same way with some aluminum or steel tubing fabrication.

      I could see the tail light and turn signal assembly moved from under the seat, to being mounted to the bottom of such a rack.

      Otherwise, perhaps a modification of the rear fender to extend further to the back of the tire, with a GS mud-gaurd style attachment to the bevel gear housing… and the lights and license plate bolted to the back of the extended fender.

      • Yves Trabac

        You’re right I lacked some imagination.

    • Claudio

      Your not carrying a suitcase are you??LOL

  • Oldnbroken

    I clicked my Pipeburn link and as soon as this bike came up the first though that jumped into my head was the guy who dresses in all black leather with the big moustache from the Village People.


  • Looks like a bike of the year contender…

  • Akrem Ben Cheikh

    I’ve never seen side mirrors downward like that before. I like them!

  • Claudio Monk

    I want 1,fucking brutal it’s a mean machine,

  • OldDaytonaSpeedwayMechanic

    Great way to de-tune your R 1200 motor by installing those dinky air filters and a short muffler at the end of the exhaust collector.

    I guess it’s the fad these days among the less technically refined to make your bike go slower. It’s the terrible 60’s (for motorcycle culture) all over again.



  • fibbs

    closest thing i've seen yet to a real life copy of the lo-rider concept bmw rolled out. Pity BMW didnt release it, i'd have dropped a bundle on one in a heartbeat.

  • JDCinATX

    incredible, sexy, muscular, smooth, refined and brutal all rolled into one. if i could buy one i would be a very happy dude

  • Guest

    Love the bike as well! Just a small correction, the owner of Galaxy Custom is Angel Valkov.

  • Венчан Вълков

    Love the bike as well! Just a small correction, the owner of Galaxy Custom is Angel Valkov. 🙂

  • stop

    I like the style and big black front wheel.

  • D Garth

    Anyway to get high res Pics? I love it.

  • Pingback: Polski Café Racer |

  • Nathe

    I love beamers but have never really engaged with the boxer look. This bike has changed that. The mashup of new and old gives this bike a slightly unnerving appearance. It’s like a less dishevelled Floki from Vikings. He respects the old but sides with the new, but you never know which way he will go. Too much tech left in for the purists but it’s the ‘modern insides’, that makes it gutsy. I’m in love.

  • Kenny

    I really appreciate all the elements coming together to complete this beautiful project. It really captures BMW, retro-modern. Hat-tip !