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‘76 BMW R90/6 – Garaje 57


Posted on March 2, 2015 by Andrew in Café Racer, Classic. 17 comments

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After five long years in the motorcycle blogging game, we’d like to think that there’s pretty much nothing we haven’t done. Electric bikes? Been there. Drag racing? Done that. Borrow a new bike from a large Japanese manufacturer and then total it? Um, we totally have no idea what you are talking about… But after all those shenanigans, there’s still one thing that we’ve never done, and that’s feature a build from Colombia. Until now. Here’s an amazing BMW from Bogotá’s brothers Esteban and Gustavo Pasquale and their shop, Garaje 57.

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The boys describe themselves as “a little shop in Colombia that makes bikes with their heart. We stared out making the fastest Vespas in the country, and now we’ve taken things to the next level. This bike is out latest build, a BMW R90/6 from 1976. We made this bike for a very great friend, and he gave to us complete artistic autonomy.”

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Their brief to themselves was simple. “We wanted the finished bike to look like it could have left the BMW factory with this exact shape. There had to be a coolness about it, but nothing that gave the game away for those who weren’t in the know.”

To get things moving, they decided to rebuild the motor for reliability and for added oomph, so they changed the original Bing carbs for a set of Dellorto 38mm PHM BS units – a carb much more popular with 90s BMW models than with bike of this generation. Then, wanting to ensure their new lump was held a suitable distance from that big ol’ cheese grater we call the road, they added a set of classic-but-new Hagons at the rear.

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“This bike has a lot of parts that we made ourselves with our old drilling machine and lathe. Specifically, we’re quite proud of the rearsets that were made in 7075 Prodax aluminium; we wanted this part to look great with its triangular design and also to be able to handle the weight of two adults.”

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Next up was a Motogadget speedo, which they promptly rehoused in a suitable brass house. “Actually, we included a lot of parts in brass – mostly because our work has a strong influence from the steampunk movement.” It’s not alway an easy feat, but get the brass and chrome balance right in any steampunk build and you’ll be sitting pretty. Needless to say, we think the brothers nailed it.

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“We wanted the lines of the new subframe to look smooth and to mix well with the lines of the original. We took that same attitude with the rear fender that we made on our English wheel. We also modified the triple tree and lowered the front suspension because we wanted the stance to look meaner and more sporty.”

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They made the headlight clamps with solid pieces of brass, and while they were at it they also machined up a new taillight from aluminium and put some LED bulbs inside for stopping duties. In a nice touch, it also supports the license plate as a holder.

“For the electricals, we rewired the bike from top to bottom, and we used a Ballistic battery for the kick. Then we made up a little circuit to manage all of lights, while the ignition system is handled by a Dyna3 electronic ignition box. There’s also Tomaselli Condor Plus handlebars.”

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“To finish things up, we disassembled the whole bike and used a powdercoat for all the main parts and the frame, too. For the tank, we wanted something that really appealed to the eye, so we ended up with a Dupont gold paint and a clear coat over the top. We hope your readers like looking at it as much as we enjoyed making it. ”








  • Marlon

    That’s gorgeous. I’ve never been completely sold on the motogadget speedo until now. In the new housing it looks perfect.

    I need to hear this story about a motorcycle being trashed…

    • Buy me a drink and It’s yours…

      • Marlon

        If you’re in Sydney, next time I’m in town I’ll buy you a few.

  • Spyker May

    Uggghhhh – another ironing board seat.

    It looked daft when it became fashionable, but now that it is firmly unfashionable, it still does not look any less daft. So I will concede – at least it is consistent in that regard…

    • Blake Proudfoot

      Yep, change that and its a nifty looking bike.

    • i like the seat. 2-up stylish riding with ease. Bench seat bikes!

      • Spyker May

        There is a fundamental (visual) design flaw with the bike featured here and so with most of those that follow (seemingly almost sheepishly) this cookie-cutter-formula.

        Good (vehicle) aesthetic design dictates a flowing line (a “backbone” if you will) from the front to the rear. Below is a 10min Photoshop effort (so its not very good I admit) to attempt to demonstrate the principle – plus ONE possible approach/remedy (note there are other ways and it does not consider possible functional considerations).

        Further – kick the Mummy-wrap for decent ceramic coating.

      • blackbird

        Yeah, don’t listen to the haters, I wonder if the slimmer seat on this bike helps balance several of the design elements such as the wheels, forks, and fenders which are all also slim. It seems we often we get caught up on the preconceived notion that the seat is only to be balanced with the tank. With this bike it seems the engine and tank balance. They mirror each others form quite well. Even the tilt of the tank cradles the tilt of the toper of the boxer engine. It provides a great opportunity for the builder to balance the seat with other forms with similar geometry. Thank goodness there more than one way to balance so many different forms.

    • Tony

      I used to look at Pipeburn every morning and its because of these seats that are so popular that I rarely come back anymore. I know that sounds harsh but its the truth. The BM looks great though, would just be awesome with a nicer seat on it.

  • arnold

    The front juice brake lines look pretty funky.

    Never the less there is so much fun being had with this era Bimmer that I think that I will look closer at yet another marque acquisition that I know nothing about and make it daily driverable at least. (Boy did I torture that sentence , or what?)

  • ben

    The rider’s footpegs are set waaay back, like where the passenger’s pegs are on the stock setup. That’s can’t be comfortable for more than a few minutes.

    Nice looking bike though, but why?

    • arnold

      The author states ” Specifically, we’re quite proud of the rearsets that were made in 7075
      Prodax aluminium; we wanted this part to look great with its triangular
      design and also to be able to handle the weight of two adults.” In my mind, if a guy wants to do something new and different it’s a good thing. You need to expect more fails than triumphs. I’ve never ridden a cafe style and admit to being no judge, but if sucessful the setup is his, and to my eye it looks neat and tidy.

      • ben

        I agree that it looks good to the eye, i just don’t think it looks comfortable.

        But i think the looks are more important to this kind customization, and the ergonomics are secondary. I doubt this bike is intended for long trips, so it doesn’t really matter anyway.

    • Johnbrai

      The rearsets are exactly where they need to be for a bike with clip ons. That’s actually the worst thing lots of customisers do is add clip ons but leave the forward pegs in place. Now THAT would be uncomfortable!!

  • Gabrielini

    What a beautifull machine love the color rear sets its amazing!!

  • +1 for including a shot with the rider. I think it really helps set scale and proportions. Great looking bike.

  • Gedigedi

    Nice bike but the seat looks really boring.