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‘82 BMW R100 – Blitz Motorcycles


Posted on June 1, 2015 by Andrew in Brat. 13 comments

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It sounds like an outtake from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, or an idea for a Karate Kid road movie. It goes like this – you muster everything you’ve learnt to build your dream bike and enter it in one of the world’s biggest custom bike shows. Then you crash and destroy it after two weeks. You are injured, but you pick yourself up and completely rebuild the bike just in time to enter it into the show, where’s it’s a great success. Along the way you learn about the futility of material possessions and the value of perseverance. Is it a script we’ve been working on around the office while drunk? Or maybe the fevered dream of a bike-obsessed lunatic? Nope. In fact, it’s all in a day’s work for Hugo and the boys from France’s Blitz Motorcycles.

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For those of you who might have been off-world for the last few years, Blitz is a custom bike shop based in Paris that was founded by two likely and very hairy French lads, Fred Jourden and Hugo Jézégabel. Known for their charismatic, mix-and-match stylings and a dangerous love of patina, the boys have been regulars on the House of Burnt Pipes for many a year. They also love them those nice BMW bikes. And how.

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The Bee-Em here, aptly named the ‘Black Pearl,’ was finished around 15 months ago. It was intended from the get-go to be Hugo’s personal ride. And as anyone creative will tell you, there’s nothing quite like having an open brief with only yourself to impress. As you’d expect, the bike turned out like a dream. The boys were sure it’d make a splash at Baritz’s 2014 Wheels & Waves show. But then…

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Fred takes up the story, “For two weeks, Hugo enjoyed his new love. Then, on the very same day we planned to leave Paris for Baritz to take part in the Wheels and Waves ‘pre-run’ meet, Hugo was hit by a car while riding. Actually, he was on his way to get the truck that was going to take all our gear. You can’t imagine the emotions and the disappointment.”

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Luckily, Hugo was only slightly injured – a bruised right arm and a dented tank ego. But the same couldn’t be said for the new BMW. “The bike we severely damaged. It was as bad as it could be without having to scrap it. We could have thrown in the towel and taken another bike, but we picked ourselves up and accepted the challenge.”

Four weeks. A total rebuild. Their best bike to date. No excuses. “We had to start from scratch just one month before showing it at Wheels & Waves. And it was representing us, so we wanted it to be perfect. In a way, we built it twice, and we wanted the second version to be better than the first.”

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As with most Blitz builds, the tank set the tone for the rest of the bike. In this instance, a Yamaha 500XT with a bespoke cup welded on the front to house the speedometer. The front fork was then lowered by 15cm to pump the stance, and an 18″ front wheel was added from an R65.

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Next up, tubing. A set of bespoke, stainless exhaust pipes were added (proudly Fabriqué en France, as the boys put it). Then bars from an R100RS were mounted and things got a little weldy with a new rear loop added to the frame. This was topped off with a brand new seat to match the exact swoosh of the supporting metal.

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“Last up was a brand new TCI/AC/CDI system and a matching (and much simplified) rewire,” says Fred. “We added the shiny black powder coating to the frame, fork legs and engine covers to tie things together. Then there was a quick re-jetting of the carbs to match with the custom alloy air filters. The cherry on the top was the vintage headlight from a 1970s rally car. We think the splash of yellow really makes it.”

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Inspirational stuff, huh? How’s that famous poem go? “To watch the things you gave your life to, broken, and stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools. And lose, and start again at your beginnings, and never breathe a word about your loss.” But to put mere words to a feat of this magnitude would be damning it with faint praise. Nice work, boys.

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[Photos: Gary Jézégabel]








  • John Wanninger

    There’s a lot of things I like about this bike. The freaky BMW angle weirdness is not one of them. Someone PLEASE build a Bimmer that looks like it sits right and is not broken… This thing looks like it wants to do a tank slapper at parking lot speeds…

    There’s good build quality here, but the geometry…

  • guvnor67

    I was thinkin .. “Okaaay, another Beemer” … Then .. KABOOM!!!! MENACING, MINIMALISTIC, no ground clearance. And I love it!!!

    • guvnor67

      Except the front brake reservoir that looks like a passing 5 year old could snap it off.

  • SaveTheWorld

    I have a bit of a problem when those great castings get painted.

  • i like the black engine and the strip down look, but two silencers on the shaft side looks unbalanced

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    I’m sure this took a lot of work to build especially in light of the time constraints involved . Then again I’m equally as sure I don’t like one single aspect of this bike other than the fact that it is based on a BMW . Why ? To be succinct ; Its all out of balance – the geometry as another stated is off – the wiring etc looks haphazard and the tank/saddle are out of proportion for the rest of the bike such as it it

  • Terry Gill

    Beautiful pictures in black and white. That’s it! Completely missed exercise in style. No balance in the forms and incredible sadness with this black. Even Mad Max would not like the ride. 4 weeks to do that, that’s a lot!

  • Skody McNad

    I like it, but seems like all the wiring/cabling could have been routed more neatly…

  • revdub

    My favorite Blitz build to date. Very clean and actually appears light, which is a difficult task. Nice black and white photography as well. Awesome build.

  • Jed

    Nice.

  • bikerferlife

    The fork bottomed and he lost the front end. That is the lesson here. 🙂

  • B. J. Parker

    Here’s a lot to like here. I actually like, what I see to be, the use of the cables to push the lines of the bike. See the third from the bottom. Also, I might be wrong, but I’m not sure the bottom three are black and white. You can see color in the plug cable. Also, they’ve added pipe wrap.

  • tdpomodoro

    Great bike – I wonder how they get the controlled, tarnished finish on the headers?

    Easter egg: the starter motor cover changed for the last three pics.