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BMW R100RS by Cytech

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Scott in Café Racer, Review. 19 comments

BMW R100RS_cafe_racer1

Words by Ian Lee.

Somewhere along the way BMW Motorrad missed an opportunity. An opportunity to build a real factory café racer. A bike which would make the heart race faster. To continue the tradition that was born in the R90S, that of BMW saying ‘hey guys, look, we can build exciting bikes’. Don’t get me wrong, the R100RS of the mid seventies was a nice bike for its time. But it could have been so much more. Luckily, Donovan Muller of Cytech could see the potential in this 1977 BMW R100RS, and utilising factory componentry, has managed to produce what might have been. And it would have been good.

BMW R100RS_cafe_racer2

The idea to build a BMW cafe racer came about after ‘many months of research and large amounts of tequila’. The current owner commissioned Cytech to build him a bike, with the decision made to aim for the one litre capacity, to have dual disc front and spoked rims. Luckily, a 1977 model R100RS was stumbled upon, the poor bike having been subjected to being customised and bobbed. The owner and Donovan of Cytech could see the ‘pure BMW cafe racer’ in the rough bike, and got to work.

BMW R100RS_cafe_racer3

Taking the bike back to bare bones, the frame and custom subframe were powder coated. While the power plant was out, it was stripped down, the engine casing was sandblasted, and the flywheel machined down. Once these simple yet productive processes were carried out, it was treated to a full rebuild and fitted with a deep dish sump. The Bing carbs were given a work over, and K&N pod filters fitted in place of the factory air box.

BMW R100RS_cafe_racer4

Utilising as many factory parts as possible, Cytech has kept the Beemer ‘looking like a bike that came off the production line, not chopped, hacked or highly modified but more of a thoroughbred’. The factory rims have just been polished up, the factory hubs sandblasted. Still sporting its original forks, they have been spruced up with a set of Wilbers progressive fork springs, and a custom front fender. Clip ons have been fitted, but the original controls and handlebar mounts have been used. At the tail end, a set of Wilbers adjustable rear shocks help support the custom seat produced for the build. Rolling on Metzeler tyres front and rear, the power comes through the rebuilt factory gearbox to the original diff assembly. So much BMW goodness.

BMW R100RS_cafe_racer9

To keep that factory look, a BMW fuel tank is fitted, albeit modified with a Monza fuel cap. The colour scheme for the bike is ‘Tequila Sunrise’, a colour reminiscent of the factory R90S paintjob. To keep with the sporting look of the airhead, the exhaust is made up of stainless headers feeding into upswept trumpet style tail pipes.

BMW R100RS_cafe_racer8

Low and lean, this burnt orange Beemer is exactly what the customer ordered, with Donovan explaining: “the bike and the dream became a reality, looking better than imagined and rides like a beast.” Your loss BMW.

BMW R100RS_cafe_racer5

[Photography by Ryan Roux]

  • arnold

    Pretty bike, well photographed.

  • Robert F. Russo

    Bike of the year contender.

  • bjax

    Gorgeous bike for the real world, but it’s not an RS anymore. RS’s have always topped my list for prettiest designs. I still think of them as sacrosact, especially the ’77. I hope the bodywork found a good home.

  • Beautiful bare metal, tasteful amount of chrome, sexy curves in the tank-to-tail line, and the familiar, yet gorgeously distinct, paint; all really add up to one helluva good looking bike.

  • Beautiful bike and great workmanship. Cytech did such a good job with so many subtle touches that at firstglance it looks like a factory bike. Best paint scheme I’ve seen this year. Looks like a bike I could ride all day.

  • Mandalore_15

    Very nice work, although is it just me or are the handlebars a little assymetrical?

    • matzescheel

      Think the front wheel isn’t exactly centered.
      But you’re right, it seems wrong 😉

  • Graham Brook

    The one thing this bike, lovely though it is, has in common with every other custom BMW is that dreadful angle on the motor. Can the motor mounts not be re- fabricated to level it up?

    • ccc40821

      That has been seen on the occasional race bike, in order to get more ground clearance. Unfortunately it doesn’t look very good. (Speaking of racing BMWs; here’s a good picture of one…)

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    Very nicely done . The craftsmanship from the photos appears to be impeccable . The photos are great and do justice to the quality of the build . The problem with the bike being how many just like it have been featured in print and across the net in just the last six months alone ?Answer ; A lot ! Making this yet another very well crafted Been There – Done That .

  • bjparker

    Anybody notice where the battery is hiding at? I read back through the article and didn’t see description.

    • Donovan Muller

      Battery is a Shoria and I manufactured a holder that is hidden under the seat tailpiece

      • bjparker

        Thanks. You did a great job cleaning everything up behind the motor.

      • bjparker

        One more question: What did you use behind the motor where the airbox used to be? That looks like some kind of custom cover. I really like the rounded shape of it!

        • Donovan

          The cover is an aluminum cast air box eliminator sourced from the UK.

  • Andrew Cliffe

    OK, I finally get the air-head thing. Elegance with strength.

  • boring, when you have so much time and money to spare why can’t you do something original

  • Spyker May

    The best bike this year, mmmm on seconds thoughts, in years…

    The old BMW block motor has always looked liked a pregnant fairy to me (the silly, albeit necessary, angle looking clumsy) – till this build.

    Now imagine this was used as the blueprint for the R Nine T – instead of some red-head red-neck from California and some dope smoking fiends from Spain.