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1984 BMW R100 ‘Bootleg’ by Anvil Motociclette


Posted on January 19, 2014 by Scott in Brat, Tracker. 13 comments

BMW R100 DX_01

If you are a BMW purist, then you should probably stop reading this now. You see, most of the time we start these stories with “the donor bike was a complete wreck when they found it, you could hardly tell what make of motorcycle it was, it looked like it had been sitting on the bottom of the ocean for the last 30 years”, or something to that effect. Not this time. When the guys at Anvil Motociclette went searching for an airhead donor they eventually found the perfect BMW R100. Maybe a bit too perfect. So perfect that the customer who commissioned the build was hesitant to use it for the project – thinking it might be better to preserve it for history’s sake. After a little bit of persuasion and a detailed sketch of the proposed build, he quickly changed his mind and gave them the green light to get started.

BMW R100 DX_02

Like most of their builds, the guys started by stripping the bike down and removing all the excess weight that was not needed. The frame was painted in their favourite color – yes, black. They also painted the engine in black, along with the Anvil built exhaust pipes. To achieve the tracker look the client was after, they choose Tomaselli dirt track handlebars, some old english grips and vintage mx pegs.

BMW R100 DX_03

The tank has a story all to itself. While Marco and Phonz from Anvil were on a road trip far from their home, looking to buy a certain motorbike that didn’t work out. After the sale fell through they decided to do what most men away from home would do and found the local pub. “After entering the bar we noticed on the shelf behind the counter a tank marked by time” says Marco. ‘It still looked like it had a great desire to gallop on a motorcycle”. So after a few beers they asked the owner if they could buy the tank. At first he thought these guys were joking, but after a bit of haggling they left the bar with a Kawasaki H2 750 mach IV fuel tank.

BMW R100 DX_04

To keep with the dirt tracker theme, they chose Heidenau dual sport tires for the front and back. They also created a custom Anvil headlight, simplified the electrics and handmade a black leather seat.

BMW R100 DX_05

After the bike was completed and the owner viewed his new ride for the first time, he was speechless. He had no regrets about using the near perfect R100 donor. The bike has been given the appropriate name ‘Bootleg’. Just like old bootleg albums, which were usually the stripped down raw version of the original and most of the time much more hair-raising than the ‘official’ release.

BMW R100 DX_06








  • I’ve got a 78 R100 / 7. I’d like to do this to mine and put a small headlight fairing on it. Are you interested in helping build it?

  • slicckr

    I think it’s great that they went for it with no regret! While I think it’s important to preserve a few of each great bike models in it’s original condition, it’s equally important that other people have the guts to realise their very own versions of how a bike should look like. Pluralism is the way forward; and the reward in the end isn’t who kept something in the most original standard; the reward are the history books (ok that’s a bit overly dramatic obviously)…what I mean is that it’s fairly impossible to tell now what will survive the years.

  • BigPeeWee

    This was actually planned?

  • itsmefool

    What? No flat black battery cover with pinstripes mimicking the tank? Color me shocked! Seriously, tho, nice bike…I’m of a solo saddle guy, but everything here, including that big ol’ seat, is nicely proportional. Bet the customer loves it.

  • Daniel Born

    Looking at the final result they should have kept in stock if it was good looking before. A BMW flat tracker / Street tracker makes little to no sense. Call this the street tracker pays a disservice to all the actual bikes that were actually raced on flat tracks

  • Paul McM

    I like the minimalist mufflers, and I like the shape of the gas tank (though it seems to be positioned too far forward, and slightly too low at the front). Beyond that, the only design “thinking” I see at work here is “remove covers, then paint everything black” — sort of the same thing 8-year-olds do with their mini-bikes when they are bored and find a rattle can of primer in the garage. The article says: “they eventually found the perfect BMW R100. Maybe a bit too perfect. So perfect that the customer who commissioned the build was hesitant to use it for the project.” The customer’s instincts were correct. This an uninspired end to what was (but is no longer) a nice-looking bike. RIP R100. As the French say: “Tant Pis”.

  • Von Sieben

    That thing is ugly. really is.

  • rush out and buy a standard airhead beemer now and preserve it for posterity, it’ll be worth a fortune in a few years

  • Pierre

    Do something about the wiring under the tank! It looks like a plate of spaghetti.

  • Coop

    you gotta be kidding me…

  • Davidabl2

    It looks good… from the front. Pic 2..
    Kinda the opposite of that rude Lyle Lovett song…

  • Samuel Lee

    Love the minimalist approach in this, especially the barely-there turn signals and the can’t-see-me pipes.

  • proto57

    I’m sorry I don’t like this one… that tank just looks like a 70’s Japanese bike tank, which it is, and which has really lame and dated lines. I’ve seen many tanks on these rebuilds, and many work… this one is all wrong, IMHO.