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‘89 BMW R100 – Retro Moto

Posted on March 18, 2015 by Andrew in Brat. 31 comments

In this life, you’ll soon find out that there are friends, and then there are friends. Friends are the ones who will drop you home on their bike after you’ve had a few too many. Friends are the ones who’ll wash the vomit off the back their favourite leather jacket and never mention the night again – until your wedding day. And afterwards, they’ll take you aside and tell you that they skipped all the crap on your wedding registry list and decide to make you a custom motorbike instead. Needless to say, Junior Burrell from the Texan shop Retro Moto is one of those friends and this is the bike he made for his buddy.


“My newly-wedded buddy had just joined the Air Force and he had a month until departure,” says Junior B. “We had decided to build him and his bride a bike. The plan was to get it done so they’d have two full weeks to ride it and enjoy each other’s company before he left.”


Junior shopped around and found the perfect build platform at a local BMW shop called Perry’s. It was a stock R100 complete with a full fairing and all the options boxes ticked. “Not that we really wanted for those options, but the bike itself was a low mile example and it had just been fully serviced. Despite our luck, there was still a lot we wanted to do to it and with the timeline we had, we knew it’d be tough.”


Without pausing for thought, Junior smiles and states that all the night were late nights were totally worth it. “We built it in six or so very late but fun evenings over the course of two weeks. It was in a great state and a mechanic had just been over the engine, so thankfully we didn’t have to worry about the mechanicals.”


The two then stripped her down and started on the stainless subframe and alloy seat pan. Since Junior had mainly been working in stainless of late, the structural options for the subframe was an automatic choice. And the slick, brat-style seat to top it off wasn’t a difficult call, either. The new tubing was also drilled to allow the rear wiring to hide inside.


“I  repainted the tank, hooked up the Acewell gauge and made a mount for the Hella light. The charge light was relocated under the tank, and a progressive suspension shock was bolted on. Then came the new tires and some powder coating for the wheels, along with a set of Renthal bars.” As the icing on top of the (wedding) cake, Junior added a quick reroute of the stainless exhaust into a spiffy new cone muffler, and finished with the world’s smallest sissy bar to wrap up the neat little tail light.

Naturally, Junior took it for a quick burn before he handed it over. “The ride is the best part; after dropping 80 pounds, she became quicker and much more agile. Torque is in abundance, even from the smallest twist of the throttle. She rides smooth and handles amazingly.”


Texas. The lone wheel state

“In the end we made our deadline and the newly wedded couple rode off into the sunset. It was enough to bring a tear to my eye… or maybe it was just the wind and the ash from my smoke. I can’t be sure.”


[Photos by Brandon LaJoie]

  • Tyler R. Gregorka

    great story, sweet bike!

  • Have I got the year right? Junior mentioned it was a ‘99, but I’m pretty sure they’d stopped making the R100s by then. So I put ‘98. Thoughts?

    • Junior Burrell

      Typo on my part,its a 95′.

      • methamphetasaur

        89, 98, 95… whatever. It was made in a year, probably.

        • methamphetasaur

          as to the wind in the eyes- i rode without glasses one time, and that was enough. at any speed above 30 it’s mostly ‘i hate this. why did i do this to myself?’

  • SparckMoto

    Good looking build, Jr.

    • Junior Burrell

      Thanks buddy!!!

  • yamahappy

    Love the color and the headlight. I would add a front fender though (as usual).

  • Spyker May

    A smoking wheelie action shot is an amusing rarity on a post-PC planet…

    • Welcome to Texas.

      • Junior Burrell

        The Lone wheel state,lol!!!!

        • Blake Proudfoot

          A Honda next time….lone comstar state 🙂 ….gag


  • revdub

    Stunning. What a beautiful build. The rear section is a work of art. I love the paint as well. So perfectly clean. The mention of the “…world’s smallest sissy bar” was what I needed this morning. No doubt, the owner of this bike is very lucky to have a friend like Junior.

    • Junior Burrell

      Preciate it bro!!!!

      • foiled again

        Way to do TX proud, fella.

  • John Wanninger

    Great bike. Hella extra points for doing a wheelie. Winning.

  • whytaylorwhy

    man, did the hard work pay off. fantastic build!

  • A-ma-zing work. It caught my attention instantly and I’ve been looking at the pictures repeatedly throughout the day. Even better; very very, VERY cool story to it too, well done!

  • Dana Morgan Booth

    That’s a pretty bike Junior! But, I was sad because I wanted to see a pic of the couple with the bike! Anyone have one?

    • Junior Burrell

      Thanks Dana!! I’ll get one and post it later 😉

    • Chris

      It’s her bike, you won’t catch the both of us on it. I’ll post a pic in dallas bike night of her on it.

  • Phooey

    Hi junior, great build, great story. I am sure they loved it, looks like it’s built to ride and not just for show. Just goes to show what can be done in such a short time if you have a deadline to hit!
    I am currently building my own brat boxer, very much in the style, seeing yours makes me want to get mine finished and ride it! Thanks for the inspiration….

    • guvnor67

      Really really wishing I hadn’t sold my Beemer (79 R100s)! This is a great bike, kool, clean. Niiiiiice!

  • Guzzto

    Lovely makes me think of painting my. R80 a colour as it looks bloody great.

  • Ancza Zoltán

    Great Story, Cool Bike (I love the color combo) & Amazing FRIEND!!!

  • Tyler Stone

    Sweet bike. Does it seat two though? I know you’re sitting back a little bit in the wheely shot. Lucky guy, to have a friend like you and a lady who’s cool “riding” off into the sunset on her wedding day.

    • Chris

      It could seat two, but it’s her bike. I ride mine.

  • Cracking bike Junior. Top work mate.

  • pete NYC

    Proportion is everything in a custom build, and you’ve nailed it. From the slender Hella to the exquisite sub-frame and every other detail on this build, well done.

  • SlideImage

    Very nice, loving the colour of the tank. Class