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‘77 BMW R100S – Relic Motorcycles


Posted on May 18, 2016 by Andrew in Bobber. 28 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

Ah, Denmark! A beautiful nation with friendly folk who have given the world such gifts as Lego, the Pastry and the Vikings. Have fun, eat well and die! Maybe the lads from Relic Motorcycles eat pastries for their breakfast, of that I can’t be sure, but when it comes to building things from pieces and murdering them out, they never let their heritage down! Based in Aarhus, Denmark the team of builders are forging a reputation for creating low and lean machines with a dark attitude. In steel we trust is their motto and there’s no plastic here, just the best old school bikes infused with a new beating black heart. When it came time for team member Kristian Bech to build himself a new ride he’d always “liked and admired the look, performance and history of these old boxer twins” so why not go straight for the top, take one legendary 1977 BMW R100S and give it a full Relic Motorcycles make over.

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Having ridden a Yamaha XS11 for sometime now it was time to step onto a new beast and with fellow Relic, Jonas, also building a BMW R it was time to create a pair of siblings. “I like my bikes looking old school; Stripped down to the bone with nothing but a clean machine to ride on. The idea was to build a low-stanced bike that could sit somewhere between a cafe racer and a bobber, and would be comfortable to ride.” It’s not often someone can get any BMW to come close to resembling a bobber but Kristian nails it with the first modification coming straight from left field. The standard tank is gone and in its place is a Honda item from a CL360. Its teardrop styling instantly gives the visual appeal and a lot of time was spent ensuring it sat just right! “The tanks lines follow the lines of the rest of the bike and engine and I positioned the headlight low and close to the forks to really connect it to the small tank.”

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“The hardest part of any build, I think, is getting the lines right. I always try to get a few visual lines running through the bike.”

Painted just in gloss black it would have looked great but with the addition of silver pin-stripping, a chrome filler cap and classic BMW logo it takes retro cool to a whole new level. With the frame completely de-tabbed cleaned up and painted the entire rear subframe was also removed and it wasn’t going to be coming back. Instead the main frame is extended just far enough back to support the Biltwell Diamond Stitched Harley solo seat that completes the bobber half of the equation. Again just like the tank it wasn’t a matter of simply slapping it on and hoping for the best but ensuring that each item complemented the other. After jokes about applying pipe wrap Kristian confessed to the aspect of a build he spends the greatest amount of time and attention on.“The hardest part of any build, I think, is getting the lines right. I always try to get a few visual lines running through the bike.”

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Getting the bike down in the weeds was one of the vital design aspects of the build and matches the low to the ground stance of its Relic Motorcycles sister BMW. To get the process under way a minimalist upper triple tree was cut on a CNC machine that does away with the old BMW lump. The front forks were then drastically lowered through the trees exposing more than a few inches of the stanchions out the top. It creates a mean look whichever way you approach the bike and with no front guard and just a set of gators going lean takes on a whole new attitude. If the front’s wild the rear is equally as crazy and makes for one bad ass back-end; with the subframe gone XL 420mm trail Hagon Shocks now bolt to mounts on the main frames hoop and you start to wonder if this BMW has been placed in a torture rack!

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Looking the part the big BMW has been completely rewired with many of the accessories the tourer had fitted now no longer wanted nor needed allowing for a neat look throughout. To power the system a new lightweight and powerful JMT lithium battery is hidden behind the engine block. With all the wiring tucked away the headlight no longer needs to house a birds nest so taking its place is a much smaller retro item with an LED tailight tucked up under the seat. The long and low look of the bike is further aided by having no instrument cluster poking up in the way but instead side mounting an old BMW analogue speedo as the sole provider of information. A pair of custom-made clip-ons are another element of Kristian’s commitment to the lines of his builds being spot on and keep the throttle, switchblocks and master cylinder below the line of the highest point of the bike.

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Powering this Relic is the 100R’s legendary 980cc Boxer twin with enough ponies and the right gearing that allowed the old sports tourer to not only hit the ton but cruise at that speed comfortably. With such an engine in place a raft of performance modifications for a street bike aren’t necessary but polishing the block back to a nice shine creates a beautiful contrast to the black body work and is further accentuated with black barrels and polished valve covers. New braided fuel lines insulate the go juice from the airheads heat and feed the big 40mm Bing carbs that draw their air through the original metal airbox. The exhaust is all business with pipe wrapped headers keeping the heat from the airheads and twin black mufflers giving the thumping twin the sound it truly deserves.

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The Beemer on the left was the one we featured here

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Relic’s Jonas (foreground) and Kristian. They look lost…

You can’t ride a bike that won’t roll and the wheel/tyre combo will surely get people talking. Mounted up to sanded hubs are powder coated spoked rims, another distinction from the other Relic Boxer. But it’s the tyres that do the talking, the heavily treaded Bridgestone TW42 120/90 rear and Michelin Anakee Wild 120/70 front give a buzzsaw effect when rolling down the Danish roads. That Relic Motorcycles does so in a pack of old school cool, hand crafted, steel shaped and murdered out machines is proof positive you don’t have to ride a heavy Harley’s to dominate the mean streets. It’s not only Kristian’s personal bike that he loves to ride, that’s half the goal, it’s also a rolling display of what the Aarhus based workshop can produce. So if it should happen to get you talking then consider it job done and done!

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  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    In reality I shouldn’t like this custom what with it being yet another Beemer and its ubiquitous and ever present for no good reason knobbies that will do more to hinder the bikes ridability than in any way increase its versatility . But in fact I do like it . A lot . Whether its the brutality of the thing thats ringing my bell , the verging on a drag bike stance or just the fact that this custom would look the part under any outlaw 1%er’s tail end [ assuming that 1%er had a modicum of original thinking in him ] I like it . ” Bad to the Bone ” and looking for a fight ! Not to mention unlike many customs this bike looks even better with rider that it does without . Two thumbs up !

    • Gascon Intolerant

      How is this bike any different than the one you went full troll on just a fortnight ago?

      Not that one expects anything approaching credibility from TJ Martin…

      • Jim Stuart

        In defense of HTW3 and his behavior of a fortnight ago, it was I that went full troll, Whipsnake only went 3/4’s troll…get your facts right slick.

        • Hardley T Whipsnade III

          Many thanks Mr Stuart but its Whipsnade not Whipsnake good sir . Although Whipsnake does have a definite ring to it . BTW I’m smiling as I post that last bit . Just so there’s no misunderstanding between us .

          • Jim Stuart

            BTW…smile or not I’m offended regardless of the clarity of your intent. The problem with going full troll on someone is the after effect that includes thin skin. I assure you and all others that this calamity will pass within a fortnight and a half. Until then may I suggest you steer-clear?

      • Hardley T Whipsnade III

        In my own defense ; 1) The differences between this bike and the one you’re snarking about are massive and if you can’t see them for yourself its not worth the time and effort to try and explain them to you 2) Since when did expressing an honest opinion/ criticism become ” full on troll ” ? 3) As Mr Stuart said ” get your facts right slick ” before dumping all over someone’s comment 4) But more importantly ; Exactly what level of credibility do you think you garner yourself by using a moniker like Gascon Intolerant ? And finally 5) Why do I by your comment here get the very distinct feeling you’re somehow related to that bike a fortnight ago now shilling on its behalf ?

        • Really? How the hell can you tell the difference between the all black, knobby tired, clip-on equipped low-rider BMW featured here and the last twenty we’ve seen in succession?

      • Hardley T Whipsnade III

        Funny thing is Gason Intolerant the only criticisms I made about that Relic custom Beemer a fortnight ago was about the ever ubiquitous and useless pipewrap along with the even more worthless extreme knobbies . Stating very clearly that had the builder ( Relic ) not used pipewrap and knobbies on it that custom would of been excellent . The fact that this bike appeals despite the knobbies says much about this specific build .

        ( Apologies Andrew if I’m appearing a bit contentious here but in light of Mr Intolerant’s tone I do believe my responses in my own defense are justified )

        • Gascon Intolerant

          Wanksnake, you exhibit the same proficiency at knickers ventriloquism that one associates with politicians. But enough of pointing out the obvious; let us proceed to your own words from a fortnight:

          ‘Another potentially good design gone wrong and another waste of a
          perfectly good Beemer due to the builder’s genuflecting before the
          throne of the almighty trendiness.

          Apologies Andrew for the
          additional words here but this must be said . Somehow on the horizon
          I’m seeing a massive business opportunity putting all these trendy
          Beemer customs back to right : eliminating all the form over function
          aspects returning them to being ridable and usable motorcycles
          rather than aesthetic dysfunctional nightmares”.

          So much for the appeal of excellence…

          No need to address your 5 “points”, now is there?

          • “Wanksnake.” Tee hee hee…

          • Hey! I heard about a new trend. Guys are taking all those weird, custom, jacked-up BMW builds form the twenty-teens and turning them into function riders with good road tires…for the road! Who could’ve imagined?

          • Gascon Intolerant

            Optimism!

            Motorcycling needs that badly.

  • pennswoodsed

    Front brake hose routing will end in tears.

    • Completely agree. Ill advised and dangerous. Other than that and lack of fenders, this is a great looking bike.

    • It’ll snatch the beard and man-bun right off a hipster’s head.

    • Yes, agree also. Not ones to get down on details too much, but best get those brake lines up out of harms way before learning the hard way….or worse still, starting a dangerous trend!

  • 1957 Panhead

    So, the engine and valve covers are polished? I must be doing my polishing wrong because I can usually see my reflection when I’m done. Otherwise, it’s not a bad looking bike.

  • Blackbird

    On the eight day, the lord rested,……then went out to the shed and got out 10 cans of high temp flat black and murdered out his ride. It is was so, and the people rejoined as they saw the lords work and said unto him, ya, for it is good that black and motorcycles shall from this day to be set forth as awesome. And the lord agreed to them saying. Go forth and multiply upon the earth with the holy masking tape and spray paint and murder all motorcycles and the people rejoined, for it was so, from that day on.

    • Gascon Intolerant

      But the serpent tempted Eve with candy apple red. She handed it to Adam, who thought it was, you know, like totally badass. They were then driven out of the Garden of Exif with the mark of ghost flames and skulls.

      • Blackbird

        lol….ghost flames. People still do that?

  • Jester the Clown

    You should never use different brands of tyre at each end of a bike. In fact, in some European countries, it’s illegal.
    Having said that, the tyres used here will be completely useless anywhere except in a ploughed field anyway.
    Which is a shame because, fitted with suitable rubber, of a sensible size (and a rear mudguard of some kind) this would really be quite impressive.

    • ccc40821

      Not to mention street legal too….

  • Honky lips

    Bummer this tread got hijacked by infighting. Would have been nice to hear more about this bike.

  • The Ogre

    The knobbies just ruin the bike for me. Otherwise, I kinda like it.

  • JayDub

    Did the front start as disc brakes? Or is that a conversion? If it’s a conversion, can I get any info on that?

    • Manx Ryan

      They’re the standard ATE front brakes by the looks of it. If you have a drm brake BMW (like me) you can do a conversion using Cognito Moto parts (which I’m in the process of doing).

      • JayDub

        Manx, I’d love to see your conversion and how you’re doing it. Including the parts. 🙂 Thanks!

  • the watcher

    Yeah ok, looks cool enough, though anyone who’s been to a motorcycle bash/party/show etc. in the U.K in the last 30 years has seen its like dozens of times. The REAL mystery is: how do those feet fit through those jeans? A real “camel thru’ eye of needle” job!