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‘76 R100RS – La Manufacture Motocyclettes

Posted on March 23, 2016 by Andrew in Other. 27 comments


Sometimes it’s easy to hate the French. The food. The wine. The beautiful women. We’re not quite sure what the country has done to deserve all this mana from heaven, but they must have all been very well-behaved in a past life. And, as if to rub salt into the wounds of the rest of the word, along comes the very attractive Monsieur Fabrice Rude from La Manufacture. With a name that couldn’t be more French if it tried, he’s here as living proof that life is just plain better in the land of the Française. Deciding he just might pop along to the Wheels & Waves show in Biarritz, he seemingly threw together a build at the last-minute only to become the star of the show and subsequently smothered in beautiful women, fame, fortune and bucketloads of la belle vie. Don’t you just hate him?

Hold boards, also makes a decent taco stand

When it comes to building a great bike for an event like Wheels & Waves all it takes is some decent, solid, genius ideas. And while Fabrice though he just may have one of these, what he was really lacking was time. “I just didn’t have the capacity for another flawless build for this year’s show. So I made up my mind to go down there with my daily ride; it’s a first edition 1976 R100RS with spoked wheels that I had slightly modded already.” With the quick and dirty option chosen, there was pretty much no chance that the bike would be chosen as best of show. Besides, Fabrice has already managed one of those the year before with his BMW /5 desert scrambler. “Too bad. When life brings you challenges, you just need to deal with them. The fun comes later.”

The R100RS had a nice patina, a 320,000 km (!) engine, and was very well taken care of by its first owner. Since being purchased by Fabrice, she had been mostly used for commuting to work and back,which was a 100 km round trip. “I decided to get her a new paint job – something that I had in mind for months and months. Apart from the obvious, that would be my only Wheels and Waves touch.” As an aside, Fabrice adds that during his first Wheels and Waves, he was far more concerned about the surf than the bikes. Yes, he is a surfer. Who would’ve thunk it?

An his big idea for the show? “I decided to make something useful – something that could take me around Biarritz with my two surfboards and still allow me to ride straight from the beach to the event and back.” So in his spare time, he got to work and drew up a plan for the rack to beat all racks. After three solid hours of bending tubes he’d found at his friend’s junkyard, he had one perfectly rusty rack, welded and neatly fitted to the bike. “It was really intended to be used, not just showcased, and it did the job perfectly. But only in the city and on slower roads, of course. I’ve never tried it at more than 60 or 70 km/h.” Best keep it that way, we think.

Fabrice’s previous W&W entry, the very sweet BMW Desert Scrambler

So with everything sorted and a good three days to relax before the event, Fabrice’s friend, photographer Gotz Goppert, asked him if he would come to a shoot for a French clothing brand. They needed bikes and were scheduling a session in the Bardenas Desert, in Spain. “We brought a customer’s bike along with mine and we both took off. It was a fun time, meeting the label’s crew and shooting for their big new campaign.” We’re guessing the models wouldn’t have hurt, either.

In the Bardenas Desert, Spain. Fabrice is fifth from right

With the fun done and dusted, Fabrice then headed off to the Wheels and Waves event for more, um, fun. “It was a blast, even with the rain pouring down for 2 straight days. Ironically, the rack turned out to be quite a nice shelter from the wet weather, and an eye catcher for sure.” Enough of an eye-catcher, in fact, that we shared the bike, builder unknown, on our Facebook page. Not only was the response overwhelming, but we were lucky enough to get in touch with the man himself. Little does he know that we’re planning on staying at his place for Wheels & Wave 2016. He best stock up on French food, wine and attractive models while he still has the chance.


The R100 was joined in the desert by another of Fabrice’s builds. Talent, much?

[Photos by Gotz Goppert]

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    Personally I find it very difficult to hate the French what with their food , wine , drop dead gorgeous women , fashion , Wheels & Waves , cars like the Citroen DS and SM etc . But I certainly don’t find it hard to be on the verge of hating this bike . That is the absolute worst dysfunctional idea for carrying a surf board on a M/C I’ve ever seen . One slight breeze and this bike is on its side in an instant . Definitely a case of not thinking things thru placing a rather weak brand of irony over anything even remotely resembling function as well as fashion . My vote for the worst bike of the year .

    • John Wanninger

      Couldn’t agree more. Especially on the bike. This thing is hideous. Talent? I dunno.. How hard is it to whang out an Amish looking “rack” made out of electrical conduit? Worst bike of the year indeed.


      • Soapy Loofah

        Yeah…what a mess. But then again once you rip off that ridiculous excuse for a surfboard rack you’re left with a bike that looks entirely unpretentious and purposeful. So I find myself on one hand wondering how anything this absurd could be featured in blog that celebrates custom motorcycles, and on the other, noticing a bike that underneath it all, I would love as a daily driver.

        • Blackbird

          Ahhhhhhh, i just got verbally masterbated on by three guys i don’t even know. Must. purge. with. flamethrower. Hellllpppppppp! Self congratulatory spunk everywhere…….. help! Anyone? Ask this builder a question anything creative or insightful to the build, anything! ANYTHING! AHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh.

          • Soapy Loofah

            I like the bike underneath the “rack” but I don’t believe for a minute that this is a serious custom build, so let’s stop pretending otherwise.

          • Blackbird

            He is surrounded by cute girls, and you?

          • Soapy Loofah

            That point, I concede…

          • AndrewF

            There are 3 girls to 9 guys in this picture… I think I can contain my jealousy. As for the bike, I agree – nice bike, stupid rack.

          • NateK

            Agreed, this guy could be more surrounded by girls for sure.

    • blackbird

      You know motorcycles, french, fashion food, and wine and the subtlies of irony? Sooooo Hipster ma man. Lol, Ok, so you are one of those 14 year old kids just hateing everything in sight to hate right?

  • The Ogre

    Model/year discrepancy: if it’s a 76, it isn’t an R100RS; If it’s an R100RS it isn’t a ’76. And it’s ugly as all hell, but not really in an interesting way, at least to me. Have to agree with Hardley T, below: Worst bike of the year, so far.

  • Punkyou

    Disaster waiting to happen

  • Jim Stuart

    Checklist…pipe wrap…brown seat…patina…block tires…backyard engineering…check…check…check. Bike of the year hands down until something even more ridiculous comes around, which might be tomorrow so don’t get too used to being king of the dung heap.

  • guvnor67

    Mmmmmmmm, ok, um, so you’re cruising along on a warm summers day, barely a breeze, and as you round the next corner, the wind picks up ….. Or a big rig passes, pushing the air,( and this bike) around like a balloon in a tornado…. So, you go home, put the rack on an old VW or Jeep, and you’re left with a motorcycle that’s sorta worn but cosy, in that old cardigan or slippers kinda way. Maybe.

    • guvnor67

      Having said that, the group photo has some rather lovely young ladies in it, so maybeeeee, he’s onto something. Though the caption says Spanish Desert, and he’s carrying a surfboard …. ?!

  • April’s first already??!!!

    • guvnor67

      Good call!!

  • MayDayMoto

    Worst idea fir a bike, ever. A great way to crash. Every bike manufacturer strives to concentrate the mass and center of gravity as low as possible. This so dumb it’s mind boggling. To borrow from an internet meme: Do you even ride, bro??? (and I’m French.)

  • JayJay

    I’m a huge fan of this website, but this bike is just dangerous. It should have the caption ‘don’t try this at home’.. Custom or not, I think safety is one of the priorities. I also doubt it’s legal.. Underneath the rack, I think it’s a good bike….

  • I’m not sure what is more impressive. The benefit of surfboard shade or the down force they generate at speed.

  • Maxime01

    This is what I see on every custom bike/surf culture blogs posts and comments:

    Haha, wrapped exhausts, what a prick..
    Haha, knobby tires, what a donk..
    Haha, brown leather, what a hipster…
    Haha saddlebags, what a douche..
    Haha, a surfboard rack, what a wannabe..
    Haha, a beard, what a twat..
    Haha, leather jackets, what a wuss..

    Can we get enough of this hate already? Jeeeezzzzz guys, get over it, damn!

    • Maxime,
      I love knobby tires and dirt. Knobbies love dirt…
      Brown leather and saddlebags are cool, ( but they don’t match in every bike, it’s just a matter of taste you know…)
      Firestones are cool, (but they don’t match in every bike either…)
      Surf is cool. Flip- flops are cool. Heck everything that has to do with the sea is cool!
      Fixies are cool also, and if you have the balls you ride them.
      Leather jackets are always in style, and in general I will not judge you by your look, because I don’t want you to judge me wrong either.
      Can you explain to me why are you labeling as ‘hate’ the disapproval of some disfanctional technical aspects?
      Do you think that when a bike looks cool, this equals to a cool ride also?
      Can you explain to me why this bike is cool, but an RSV4, or a CRF 450 motard is not cool??!!!
      Am I a donk because I prefer carbon than fake patina?
      Am I a smartass because I think that there are a lot of ‘wannabe builders’ out there???

  • NateK

    Like this guy or hate him, you won’t be worrying about him for long if he keeps riding this thing around.

  • Glenn

    I knew it will be so dangerous to use it on highway but what if it is for short travel from home to beach on city road and good for long way on dirt road to beach in reasonable speed. It may be useful for remote surf spot that are so far from road.

  • Iggy

    The coolest thing @W&W
    And allover W-coast –
    Cheerup Urselves ;)))

  • mick

    I wanted to build a ski rack for my 81 R100 until I blew my knee apart.

  • mat ath

    It might be a ’76 100 frame and motor, but that’s a toaster tank only on the /5 series from ’70-73!