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‘Type 10A’ BMW R80 – Auto Fabrica


Posted on June 2, 2016 by Andrew in Café Racer. 45 comments

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Genres are something that the human mind seems to crave. Show our primitive brains something that isn’t easily classifiable, categorised or catalogued and we get nervous. But when it comes to bikes, it seems that it’s always the customs that defy the genres that are the ones that outlast them, too. Whether it’s Hazan and his yachting bobbers, or Diamond Atelier and their stanced racing brats, the harder the bikes are to pigeonhole, the better we all seem to like them. So when it came time to post tonight’s bike, we took the fact that we had to stop and think about what to call it as golden mana from heaven. With its not-quite-cafe looks mixed up with a dash of brat and even a smidgen of modern sports bike, we reckon that this, the latest and arguable the best build from London’s Auto Fabrica, is destined for great things. We spoke to Bujar Muharremi, the shop’s co-founder and Creative Director to find out more.

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“The Type 10 was our first build to use a BMW airhead as the base,” said Bujar from their south-eastern UK headquarters. “With the infamous boxer engine being such a unique and distinctive piece of engineering, it is clear why it has become a firm favourite amongst both the purist and custom motorbike scenes.”

With this ‘Type’, the Auto Fabrica team clearly tried to take a different route to most other airhead builds you’ll see. Going for a sleek, almost cafe racer-ish stance, they then turned the thing on its head by adding some modern twists to the bike’s natural good looks and strong lines. And, as always, they were sure to apply their shop’s continuing ethos of ‘simplicity’ to the whole build.

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“From its launch, we have always had a fantastic response to the Type 10. With multiple requests to build more, we always saw larger potential in the design than just a one-off. So this is what prompted us to start exploring a second bike. As soon as we leaked the first rolling chassis image of the Type 10A, we had someone claim it as their own.” Needless to say, things quickly evolved from there.

As with most bike shops that are based on creativity and good design, Auto Fabrica have a tendency not to build the same bike twice. So with a lot of learnings from the first build, they started to evolve the design. Buja notes that they decided to go slightly narrower on this subframe, which has resulted in more sleek shape, as well as affording them the ability to run the lines of the tank quite naturally into the seat. Another notable evolution was the introduction of the straightened rear support tubes which replaced the original’s curved sections. As you can probably see, it manages to both simplify the bike’s lines and toughen its stance, too.

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They call it ‘unmellow yellow’

“Utilising the bike’s original tank, while also heavily modifying it, allowed us to clean up its look. We removed anything unnecessary and then hand-finished all our new construction features. We also redesigned the underside of it to relocate a modern battery within its walls.”

But with all this rampant minimalism, there was one area which they allowed themselves to add embellished details rather than to simplify, and that’s in the bike’s new rear light. “Louvred fretwork details are now a constant feature in our builds. It was kicked off by the unique and quite radical lighting & seat end features from our ‘Type 9’ build, and it has now evolved to find a place on the majority of our builds.” The Auto Fabrica team also run a successful design consultancy, where they work with private clients and companies in many varied design projects. Bujar notes that these sort of features and exploratory details are areas which they practice and learn from in both the automotive and product design sectors.

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“On the Type 10A, we have constructed the louvres vertically out of red perspex. We set out to mimic the shape of the rear using a simple and harmonious side profile. The louvres are set between the open ends of the subframe; it’s a construction that moves away from the usual looped rear section, and also manages to house the indicators neatly.” Adding some unexpected intricacy to this normally dry, functional area has allowed them to up the excitement and uniqueness to the build.

Meanwhile, the engine on the Type 10A underwent a full rebuild, during which all its worn parts were replaced. It was also upgraded with a 1000cc kit and underwent some mild work on the heads. The performance has increased accordingly, and the removal of so much of the bike’s original weight means that the Type 10A is an extremely quick bike with the handling and looks to match.

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“The pipes have been constructed from 316 stainless in our signature style; hand-made with custom engineered stainless baffles inside. This sculpts the sound to give it just the right exhaust note.”

A Motogadget ‘Tiny’ takes care of instrumentation duties, along with custom handlebar controls. The handlebars themselves are finished off with cross-stitched leather grips and bespoke aluminium ends.

The Type 10A was only required to be a single-seater, so the team tightened up the seat’s angles and went for a slightly narrower side profile. This was then trimmed in a premium, automotive standard, perforated brown leather.

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Attention to detail, much?

One of the only processes which wasn’t kept in-house was the paintwork. As you can see, the bike was beautifully finished in the customer’s favourite shade of yellow; an extremely bold choice, but one that which compliments the exciting nature of the bike as well as looking great next to the original Type 10’s blue finish.

“Looking forward, the Type 10B is already in the design stage and we aim to add a little more aggression and to further evolve the approach while keeping the nature of the bike true.”

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The award for tail section of the year goes to…

With the beauty of the original Type 10, and the way this evolution of the design has stepped things up, we’re certain the Type 10B will be even more of a jaw dropper than this. Is it possible? Watch this space.

[Photos by Auto Fabrica]








  • That is one cool BMW. The brake light set-up something I’ve never seen before. An Auto Fabrica original apparently. Very imaginative.

    • guvnor67

      Clean, sharp and minimal, cooler than a Polar Bear’s nostrils!

    • Agreed.

  • Jim Stuart

    In the world of brat bikes this might perhaps be the best example ever made but the plank seat concept doesn’t work for me, however this doesn’t prevent me from admiring it for what it is.

    • the watcher

      And whatever it is, it ain’t brat so……

      • I think it has a touch of brat…

        • the watcher

          I honestly think AF would be appalled, but it would be interesting to find out

  • Jim Roberts

    this is one of the better internet sites too practice that old adage that your mom probably taught…..”if you can’t say something nice then try not to say anything”. paint looks good…decent bars…good tires

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      Other than the saddle this bike is fine . But your mother misled and deceived you . Discernment and constructive criticism are the very essence of adulthood especially when it come to the creative arts & crafts sites like this . Thats the only way things ever improve . Criticism . Deal with it .

      • Jim Roberts

        i think some of what mater sought to bring to the fore was that if you didn’t have a firm grasp of the subject at hand, then perhaps you should exhibit some constraint and seek to inform yourself before voicing an opinion that later you might wish you’d withheld…or not. i offer your posting as an example.

        • the watcher

          REstraint, please, Jim. Nonetheless, your comment could apply to almost every one of HTW’s missives. Often wrong, never uncertain, eh Hardley?

        • If I had a dollar for every two-bit anonymous commenter with a beer and angry fingers who, after 5 seconds of contemplation, swears black and blue that they know better than the builder themselves who has been on the project for the last 6 months… I’d be a moderately wealthy man.

          • Jim Roberts

            so….are you making a comment pertinent to motorcycles or is this just a riff on commenting per se. if it’s about motorcycles, then i missed your point entirely. now if it’s about commenting then all i can say….they’re like assholes and i’m sure that you’ve heard more than your fair share about the subject

  • I have the feeling that the only cacophony in this beemer is the color of the saddle, and not its scheme. If it was black and the tank had a pair of rubber knee pads, it might look better and more aggressive. Nitpicking nevertheless…

  • Dave Coetzee

    Lots to like about this build. Seat shape is a bit too radical for my conservative tastes. Cherry on the top would be to align the engine at the same angle as the bottom of the tank and seat, as most noticeable in the top/first photo.

    • Cherry on top indeed, but this align task seems impossible Dave. The joints on the drive shaft would suffer with such a steep angle.

      • Dave Coetzee

        I agree GeoKan but wouldn’t it be nifty if someone could engineer an adjustable show-mode then revert it for road use.
        If anyone “Kan” do it then it would be GeoKan!

        • No way Dave, no way! This task is beyond my skills even in my wildest dreams. But I think that the solution to these stance problems comes from Sweden, though the tank and seat angle is milder than this one to compromise ‘show & go’. Take a look at the stance of this beemer, and read about how they achieved this result:
          http://www.bikeexif.com/unique-custom-cycles
          Amazing skill or what??!!

          • Dave Coetzee

            Jenny’s Beemer sure is amazing, thanks.I vaguely remember another build where a Beemer’s engine angle was altered?

          • I am almost certain it was Kiddo Motors. Love AF’s work, this one’s stunning as usual.

          • the watcher

            Probably the best two bike-builders (of this type) in Europe, yes. Easily confused? I think you must be Wesley.

          • I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about.

          • the watcher

            The only thing Kiddo’s work and AF’s have in common is quality. I see no overlap in style whatsoever. In fact, AF have a style so unique I can’t see how it could be mistaken for anyone elses. Clear?

          • I think you’re confused, mate. I wasn’t comparing their work. Dave said he remembered a BMW where the engine angle was altered, and I said I think it was a Kiddo build. Then I complimented AF’s work. That is all.

          • the watcher

            Easily confused? Sorry, I’m getting on, ya’know.

          • Lol, no worries… aren’t we all? 😉

          • Dave Coetzee

            I found a Kiddo built air-head that’s engine seems well aligned but no mention of the engine angle alteration but will do some more research, thanks Wes.

          • Wes is right, here is the one Dave:
            http://www.bikeexif.com/kiddo-motors

          • Dave Coetzee

            By George! You and Wez are a wealth of information!

  • So fresh and so clean. I will steal as many ideas as possible for my K75.

  • Just as an aside…Why does BMM make the outside hub of it’s single-sided swingarm units so ugly? This is one of the better examples, assuming it wasn’t cleaned up by Auto Fabrica.
    But they are umm…singularly ugly.

  • Larry Kahn

    YAY! GOOD TIRES! and I like the rest of it.

  • Gregor Frome

    It’s a great show, but where is the go ?
    Where do you ride one like this ?
    Not a road leagal.
    Where’s the licence plate holder ?
    It’s essential, just like an engine itself.
    I preffer a go. No need for a show.

    • Plates and mirrors are often removed for the photos, Gregor.

      • Racing Enthusiast

        I often wonder if those who complain about such things find lingerie models unattractive, since they often appear inappropriately dressed for heavy gardening work.

  • I’d love to see this same bike with a tuned v-twin shoved in their. It would really slim it down visually from front rear profile while filling up all that empty space that is rather glaring with the boxer engine.

  • the watcher

    Bloody Hell, these people can just not go wrong! Again and again, little SR250 or big old Guzzi (and I think I even remember a classy as fuck XJ550 way back in the dim and distant) they just leave almost everybody else looking like amateurs. You could start to loathe the sods, couldn’t you?

  • One of the things that I like best about BMW’s is the Tank emblem. But I guess I’m in the minority, because the rules for building the thousands of Brat style builds flooding the net require they be removed.

    • I am with you on the tank emblems Richard. In fact I really liked the sandcast alu roundels on the RnineT from Deus, and I also have a soft spot for the Motorsport edition emblems.

    • the watcher

      Yes, the emblem of a fighter planes’ prop harks back to the good ole days of the 20th century when one country could bankrupt an entire continent just because they wanted an empire!

      • Racing Enthusiast

        I think you just failed the BMW logo Rorschach test.

        • the watcher

          Nope, that’s what it is; fact.

  • Jeff Loffert

    While a really clean, beautiful bike, I just don’t get the concept of tapering a motorcycle seat to the rear. I like the bike, but if it were mine, that seat would have to go.

  • What’s the cost of this bike?

  • Where’s the chain?