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‘83 BMW R80 – ER Motorcycles

Posted on October 20, 2013 by Andrew in Bobber. 31 comments

You can feel their attraction. Like the force of gravity, they seem to exert a powerful yet invisible pull on all bodies near and far. You can try and avoid them, moving in an elliptical orbit so that you fool yourself into thinking that you can escape their grasp, but somehow you always end up spiraling inwards. Are we talking black holes? Dying stars? Galaxies? No. We are talking Bayerische Motoren Werke Motorrad; BMW motorcycles to the layman. The Americans used to say that eventually, all riders will end up on a Harley. And that may be true of for the Amerikanische volk, but as for the rest of the world I’m convinced that a boxer twin is our true destiny. And if I could choose my destiny, it would be this bike. It’s just about the cleanest, most detailed Beemer build you will ever see.

Blaž Šuštaršič is the owner of ER Motorcycles and creator of this bike, which he calls ‘The Mobster’. “Since childhood, motorcycles have been a passion and a way of life for me. When I’m not reading about them in magazines, I’m almost certainly surfing the Internet for additional information about them. With the help of the latter, I like to tear the down and rebuild them in my head. Then I try to realise my ideas in the workshop. Sometimes I see myself as a bike surgeon, since I like to look at every single piece of motorcycle. I try to make sure no detail is left unconsidered.”

“In 2009, I saw a business opportunity and my dreams suddenly became a reality. I opened my own shop. So far we’ve produced several unique motorcycles, and we have ideas for many, many more. In fact, I like to keep the workshop busy so we usually have two projects overlapping – it really keeps us on our toes.”

“About six months ago, I began working on a new project named ‘Mobster’. The now completed project is a full motorcycle redesign, which you might have seen on the Slovenian roads if you happened to be riding there this summer. It was an extremely demanding job, and required us learning a vast amount and really putting in some late nights. But, as you can see, it was all worth it.”

A seat with your own tag. Now that’s attention to detail

“It’s hopefully got a touch of the gangster about it, but also with a refined look; like a well-dressed gangster. The front forks are from a BMW R50/5 and there’s plenty of other parts from that bike and an R69S. The tyres are Coker Diamonds at 4.50-18″. The clip-ons are Tarozzis. The exhaust and leather seat are both ours. There’s also a Motogadget Classic speedo, some custom leather grips, custom front and rear fenders, new electrics and a rare sport “Schorsch Meier” fuel tank.

For me, the visual elements such as the Frozen Bronze colour, extra equipment and the leather seat is what give the motorcycle its unique look. Overall, the bike is a really beautiful thing to see in the flesh. And that’s before you turn the engine over.”

Blaž contemplates a blat

Blaž took time out to mention the rest of his team; his chief mechanic Danilo Henigman, mechanic Primož Vindišar, turner Janko Rudolf and painter Janez Žebalc. And from what we can see, Blaž won’t be looking to upskill any time soon.

[Photograph by Jernej Konjajev]

  • G369

    I liked the introduction. I’m going toward to my destiny. I’m building a r100rt.

  • acuity

    Absolutely beautiful.

    Congratulations to the team on putting together such an intimately detailed bike.

    In many ways, this bike reminds me of the “Great Escape” Blitz build from a few years earlier, however, in a different direction, which ultimately compliments the awesome platform of these BMW’s. I would love to own both, but for different reasons.

    Again, kudos to the ER Motorcycles for turning out something with so much class.

    Superb photography as well.

    • Kiwi_Banal

      My uncle was in the Great Escape and those scenes used to annoy the piss out of him, not least because no American was involved in the escape — they arrived at Stalag Luft III too late to be vetted and included. My little rant 🙂 Very nice bike. Any chance of a Britten V1000 in the works…!

  • LoneRider5

    There are certain times I hate this website. This is one of those times. Don’t get me wrong I love everything about this bike, but yet again Pipeburn has reassured me that there is another bike out there that I wont be able to afford because I want all the other bikes they show on here. I love that again Pipeburn has shown me a bike that would inspire my own designs, or steal them from something as amazing as this bike. Seriously, I wouldn’t know where to begin, I want a BMW, I want a CB750, I want a CX500, I want almost any Ducati…….. but with my own flare that has been established by seeing amazing builds like this. I definitely would be a happy man if I was the owner of this bike.

  • BoxerFanatic

    The vertical rear suspension and frame really back date this bike to an earlier aesthetic, and the 18″ wheels, rather than 17″, help with that. It really helps this bike stand out.

    But the big thing is the tapered tank… where so many BMWs have rectangular-profile breadbox-like tanks, either small or large. The dorsal curve flowing to the rear frame section to hold that vintage rear suspension is a real departure from most later airhead builds, especially anywhere near 1983. The exquisitely crafted sprung saddle is perfect for it.

    The frozen bronze color looks like the perfect choice, but like all of BMW’s automotive ‘frozen’ finish colors, I wonder about upkeep… I am not even sure you can traditionally wash that sort of finish. But it does look just the way the builder wants… sophisticated and brutal, simultaneously.

    • I too am floored by this refreshing build. I don’t see a problem with satin finish paint. I have this finish on my bike but also I have this finish on a 15 year old Trek mountain bike and it looks as good as new. It washes fine with soap but you just can’t wax it as that will make it shine.

      • BoxerFanatic

        very good to know. Between yours, this Mobster bike, and another R75/5 red toaster tank bike… high quality BMW airhead customs are coming out of the woodwork, it is great to see.

        • Thanks for the compliment. The red R75 toaster is my friend Brandon’s build from He has nailed the super-polished factory-custom look for BMW cafés. This older /2 build is unique in that the older BMWs before the /5 normally look best when left totally stock. This builder had a vision and built a bike that looks better than I imagined possible on this frame.

  • Calendar candidate in a supposed one… 😉

  • Pramod Kumar

    That’s pure love. And she’s beautiful.

  • Guest

    That beautifully crafted saddle looks a little high and far forward to me but otherwise, she’s a beauty!

  • bob

    Website for him is down….

  • IronHorizon

    Surely the cleanest R80 I’ve ever seen. That frame…

    • It is very clean indeed, although the only R80 part on it is the motor…

  • aircraftmech

    Great looking bike, I’d love to have it. Simplicity at its best.

    “The Americans used to say that eventually, all riders will end up on a Harley”….whomever said that kind of didn’t get that right.

    • Brad

      I can remember hearing that statement about all riders ending up on a Harley about 20 years ago. To be fair to whoever said it (I suspect somebody in Harley’s marketing department), it was probably true to a degree back then. These days things are different….

      • Thom Dudley

        “If you want to be happy for a day, drink.
        If you want to be happy for a year, marry.
        If you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a BMW”

  • Wow. This is one unique and gorgeous airhead. I love the paint and finish and hardware details like the motogadget gauge and LED directionals which you rarely see on these old airheads. That seat cover over the rubber solo seat is really well done. Speaking of which, this is really not an ’83 BMW at all though, as the frame is clearly a Slash2 frame from 1969 or before. Shouldn’t this be called a Slash2 conversion with an ’83 motor?

  • Стефан ‘Dobermann’ Петров

    The only thing I dont like are the mirrors…

    • Thom Dudley

      Some brushed or blasted Hella bar end turn signals would look better. They always look better.


    Love This Really Cool Bike! Well Done Guys!

  • Martin Spears

    i love the way you did the rear shocks and the paint color is great

  • ripaddict

    Wait a minute. How is this a 1983 R80? It looks like a 1960 R69/2 or there ’bouts.
    This is a pic of an ’83 R80:

  • Superb machine…maschine, ja!

  • Kota Jacob Harms

    Best R-series I’ve ever seen

  • Rilex

    Where did you get your seat?!

    I have a project similar to this one and this is the best looking seat I’ve seen for this style bike.

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  • Leslie Dee Carter Conner

    Is there any way to get a poster or photo of this motorcycle? Love the side view against the concrete wall.

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