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BMW R90/6 – Macco Motors


Posted on December 7, 2015 by Andrew in Classic. 22 comments

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I once worked at a company that was going through some major restructuring. Turning up to work one morning, we found copies of a book entitled “Who Moved My Cheese?” placed on our desks. A quick thumb through its pages revealed it to be a rather patronising little ditty that had been handed out by management to ‘prepare us for change’. Its intended message was simple; companies (and their employees) that are quicker to accept change stay ahead of the competition. Or, as the book puts it, “The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese”. All we took out of the experience was that management saw us as rodents. Bastards. But it’s not entirely without merit. Stay doing one thing for too long and you just might find yourself ‘without cheese’. It’s a thought that Spain’s Macco Motors took to heart after a string of rather nice Triumph builds. The result? Their first ever BMW.

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“This bike started life as a ‘74 BMW R90/6,” say Jose and Tito, Macco’s big cheeses. “We heard lots of stories about her history before we laid down the cash. Basically, she was in a really bad way and wasn’t complete. Not even close.” And the engine? “It was worse than we had expected. So with an R90/6 frame and wheels, we decided to swap the engine with a 90’s unit. Luckily, we had a decent R80R engine at the workshop, so everything worked out perfectly.”

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The boys started to work on the bike and then they received a rather serendipitous phone call from Madrid. ‘Fernando’ wanted a BMW. Perfect. “The customer came to us with a strong, clear idea; he just wanted a really classic look. And that’s what we did with this bike, or the “Big Fish” as we named it. Two things were immediately flagged as important for the success of the build; lowering the bike, and building a new subframe.”

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On the ‘bars, the boys changed the bike’s controls for tiny enduro lights and switch controls. Then they mounted a fresh Renthal bar with some 22mm Tomaselli brown grips that matched the seat’s new leather colour and completed the look with a set of LSL bar-end mirrors. “And for the forks, we adapted a couple of Harley Davidson front covers to suit. The headlight is a new 7″ unit, and fibreglass front and rear mudguards were specifically requested by Fernando.”

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At the rear, the new subframe was cut, bent and welded with Macco’s usual expert touch. A new seat in dark brown leather and a pair of Hagon Classic shocks were then added. A bespoke battery box allowed the bike to swallow the new (and tiny) Ballistic lithium battery along with the rest of the bike’s electrical spaghetti. The exhausts are Spark units which were adapted to the pipes and painted black. “We combined satin, matt and glossy black on the bike with the dark blue on the fuel tank and the chocolate-brown seat,” says Jose.

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Other nice little details include a new mini speedometer, ignition relocation, an LSL sprocket cover, Motogadget turn signals, a mini catseye-style rear light, two Metzeler Lasertec boots and fresh paint on the frame, tank, rims, exhausts and engine.

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All up, we reckon it’s yet another great bike in a long line of great bikes by the boys from Cádiz, and a unexpected (yet welcome) change-up from their solid track record with Triumphs. Who moved my cheese? Screw that. Queso for everyone!

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[Photos by Sergio Ibarra from Semimate]








  • guvnor67

    Like the afore mentioned rodents, Beemers seem to be everywhere at the moment, and breeding!! I like rats, a mate had a couple of pet ones and they were intelligent and amusing, and I like this Beemer. I wouldn’t say it stands out from the pack, but it does seem well put together,and it has ‘guards!! I like the different shades of black and the blue and even the brown leather. Yer, not bad at all.

  • pennswoodsed

    Like the Guvnor , well fashioned in a very ,very popular genre . Fenders ! center stand might be rethought .

    • blackbird

      Fenders? hate or like?

      • pennswoodsed

        Needed for an actual road or dirt ridden bike. Don’t dig the droopy center stand, if something touches down , the tires stop touching !

        • blackbird

          It seems the center stand foot is actually resting on the muffler? 6th pic?

      • pennswoodsed

        Like for function , little long looking.

  • Michael Kork.

    Is it me or did they made the engine parallel to the ground? normally it would have a small incline. Good thing they kept the airbox too. Nice build.

    • Alasdair Sykes

      Looks like they did… or maybe lowering the front end had the same effect? Interested to know what they did and how, it’s something which always affects the lines of beemer customs. Nice build overall to be sure.

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    This is not a custom . This _ is a Resto-Mod . A very nice and very cleanly done Resto-Mod mind you but that fact does not make it a custom . It is Resto-Mod ! Can you say that PB ? I know you can . So get that one under your hats already and get on the proper use of terms bandwagon for the love of Gear/Petrolheads everywhere . Repeat after me again . Resto – Mod .

    FYI ; For the record I am a major advocate of Resto-Mods be they two wheels or four .

    • Pedantic much? Where does a resto-mod end and a custom begin?

      Great work by Macco, as usual…

      • guvnor67

        People have to realise to that Spain and Germany amongst others have some really strict BS rules about modifications, so anything too outlandish, too crazy, may never see the road. I know the inspection and registration process for Spain (ITV?) and Germany’s TUV is painfully expensive. This build could maybe be seen as a “mild custom” if you like. Still, It’s a nice bike.

    • blackbird

      Your mother is a Resto-Mod.

    • brownroundtown

      Resto-Mod?? Is that term an HTW invention? What on earth is a Resto-Mod? Sounds like a 1960’s scooter boys cafe. Explain yourself HTW…

      • guvnor67

        HTW has gone quiet … But as far as the car world goes, to my limited knowledge a resto-mod is something like say a 64 Impala, restored, maybe slightly de-badged, lowered , uprated brakes n a nice set of rims. Somethin like that. Not sure how it relates to this bike tho?!

        • brownroundtown

          Ah, I see. Must be an American thing. We don’t have this concept in the UK on account of it being against the law for us to drive anything manufactured before 1998. There is a loophole that allows us to get away with a 1979 Austin Princess in maroon with beige interior, but few of us take advantage of it

          • guvnor67

            Ha ha ! When I was (younger) and living in London, a couple in our street had an Austin Allegro/ All Aggro … Now there’s a classic … Not. Though my mum had a Nissan Sunny 1200, pure evil on wheels I tell ya!

          • brownroundtown

            A soulless car that’s for sure. Amazingly, my uncle still has three Austin Maestro’s. No joke! One is his main car and two are for spares. I think he’s some kind of automotive sadist

          • guvnor67

            Damn!! The pain ….!

  • Blake Proudfoot

    Lovely. If it were mine, I’d lose the upkick on the exhaust to fit some panniers and off into the sunset I’d go.

  • brownroundtown

    Reminds me of the first time I watched Groundhog Day. I knew there was supposed to be something amusing about it but I just got bored of the repetition. The guys at Macco have clearly turned out a beautifully finished machine and I like the classic look given by the mudguards and shocks/forks – but it’s yet another bloody paint-by-numbers Beemer! If I had my way, the next pro-builder who apologetically wheels in another mild mannered, porridge oat flecked, beige leather gripped Bavarian piglet, would be taken out the back and given a good kicking by Bill Murray.

  • BobFalfa

    The back end doesn’t look right at all,
    I’d suggest it’s not down to the mudguards(fenders)
    PS In general,What about giving the exhaust wrap a bye, that or someone produce data that shows it’s worth

  • Generally very nice but if I had paid for a custom bike and the end product had a center stand that could not retract fully because it conflicted with the exhaust, I would be more than a little miffed. Seems like a pretty bone-headed move considering how nice the rest of the build is.