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‘Shadowboxer’ BMW R nine T – K-Speed Customs

Posted on June 9, 2016 by Andrew in Café Racer. 20 comments


Written by Nick D.

Last week we lost one of the most renowned Heavyweight Champions of the World. He called himself “The Greatest.” The whole world knew him as “The Champ.” Muhammad Ali’s technique and speed set him apart from all other fighters. His shadowboxing was the stuff of legend. So after talking to EAK of K-Speed Customs in Bangkok, there could be no second guessing as to how he came up with the name of his latest creation, a brawny BMW R nine T cafe racer called ‘Shadow Boxer.’ The bike had to be named after the Champ, right? Guess again. EAK insists the name was inspired by the “boxer” engine format, coupled with the bike’s color palette. EAK explains his passion for bikes as being “born out of a nagging need to feel free and the belief that motorcycles can take you anywhere.” He describes his build approach as outside the box with a love and focus on timeless design and creating unique machines.


Fueled by passion and friendship, K-Speed opened its doors for business back in 2002. From boyhood, EAK’s father would load him up with all the best Japanese motorcycle magazines. “I would dream as I looked at the bikes, and convince myself that I would one day be the #1 custom bike builder in Thailand,” he laughs. “It all really started when my friends wanted me to work on their bikes and then their friends and so on…”


With the likes of powerhouse Asian bike builders, like Winston Yeh’s, Rough Crafts (Taiwan) and White Collar Bikes (Indonesia) setting the stage for the global appreciation of their bikes across social media like wildfire, it’s no surprise K-Speed was soon to follow suit. After participating and being photographed taking part in last year’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, EAK was introduced to the world sitting dapper on his breathtaking single-saddle BMW R100 Brat Bob… and the pictures went viral.


So what attracted him to the R nine T platform for ’Shadow Boxer’? EAK reveals he had “always wanted to work on the R nine T and liked the style of the stock bike but wanted to play around with one and make it more unique.” He kept the bones of the bike that he liked then he implemented and fabricated, based on the distinct vision he had in his mind.


After powder-coating the cylinder heads, swingarm and triple tree, EAK blacked out the forks and replaced the stock bars with CNC clip-ons. The tank was painted matte and custom-made side panels were installed. The rear frame was modified. A custom single saddle was formed and upholstered. The stock instrument cluster was replaced by a Motogadget speedo. LED lights replaced the stock headlamp, tail light and turn signals. A new set of Pirellis improved footwork and an updated exhaust system added a nice throaty growl.


Not to say that this was the easiest bike to reimagine. EAK had to re-fabricate the hand-made aluminum front fairing three times then repeatedly reformed the back-end until things felt just right. With irony he admits on completing the bike that his favorite features on it are its fairing and the rear end and saddle set-up. So it seems, as with all loves, it was a delicate balance of frustration and unrelenting effort… not so much a fight, more like shadowboxing.

[Photos by OverRide]

  • guvnor67

    Love it!! Urban warrior meets caff meets survival (to my eye anyway). The rider-on-board shot makes it look small and agile too. Yer, nice work!

    • the watcher

      True, buy I bet Rough Crafts are calling their lawyers as we speak.

  • Jester the Clown

    I really like the “darkness” that’s been achieved here.
    Personally, I’d want the seat to be a bit longer and finished with some kind of tailpiece and I’d get shot of the pipe rags and the Mickey Mouse tyres but the overall effect is excellent.

    • Not sure I would categorize Pirelli dual sport tires as Disney… The tires are bad ass. To each their own.

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      Extreme knobbies on a street bike are Mickey Mouse whereas Dual Sports on the right bike such as this are bad***ed plain and simple considering the pathetic state of roads across the US and much of the world these days .

      • Jester the Clown

        “Plain and simple . . . ?”
        That’s entirely subjective.
        If the roads where you live are so poor that tyres like these are a prerequisite, then I feel for you.
        Here in the UK, while our roads do indeed, sometimes leave a lot to be desired, “normal tyres,” even “sports orientated, near slicks” are capable of sticking to the tarmac without the need to dig into it.
        As Nick says above, “each to their own.”

    • These look to be Pirelli MT60s… those are the tyres that come standard on the Ducati Scrambler, which I can honestly say (from experience) is no slouch through the corners. I think he’ll be fine.

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    Now that is one seriously bad***ed Beemer R-nine T not to mention the very epitome of what an urban warrior should be . With nary a hint of retro , cafe , knobby wretched excess , poor tire choice , pretense patina , 1 x 6 saddle or form over function to be found . Love it .

    • Would love to see your bike Hardley. Can you post a photo?

      • Hardley T Whipsnade III

        Guaranteed Nick you already have . 😉

        • Nope. Categorically not. Show…

  • the watcher

    Great, but so what? You start with a tasty new Beemer and you don’t fuck it up. Not rocket surgery, is it? As for Ali; the most over-rated, self-publicist of all time and proof positive that most people STILL don’t understand the significance of Pavlovian theory.

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      Good lord in heaven . A snasrkasaurus rises among us . Neither offering constructive or reasonable criticism on the bike in question while trashing a Pop Culture icon in the process . FYI y’alls got the wrong theory when it comes to Ali’s disproportionate popularity TW . ” Cult of Personality ” [ re;Wikipedia etc ] is the one you’re reaching for .

      • the watcher

        Your version of constructive/reasonable criticism usually amounts to simplistic nit-picking of entirely subjective detail choices; I admit I do try to avoid such silliness. And no, I know exactly what theory I meant and why and I’ve never looked at Wikipedia in my life, so I don’t get that bit.

        • you sound like an over-rated builder from the bayou. This is but one of several this builder has done and will do; and one of 300+ days of the year that Pipeburn has to find something to entertain

          • the watcher

            I confess myself utterly mystified by this post

    • I think you’re either angry or you’re cross pollinating comment streams or both?…

      • the watcher

        Wow, is this the same Nick D. who was ranting about freedom of expression before Mule forced an abrupt about face, followed up by an even more petulant tantrum about agreeing to disagree? Angry,me? No, just saddened by the lack of discernment that seems to characterizethe vox populi.

  • jokerrs13

    Looks like everyone who’s sh*tting in comments are able to build better bike.
    The only thing I would change is front fairing, could be a bit smaller. Other than that it’s a cool looking bike!

  • rein skugler

    What a piece!!!