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‘The Heartbreaker’ BMW R75/5 – Ironwood Customs


Posted on July 19, 2016 by Andrew in Bobber. 15 comments

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Written by Mark Turner.

Amsterdam-based Ironwood Customs create some of the finest and most unique ‘brat style’ bikes you are likely to see. ‘Heartbreaker’, or IWC27 – to give it its formal name – is the latest creation to be born from Ironwood and man, this is a wild child that makes Hunter S. Thompson look like your Aunt Shirley on a Sunday afternoon. Rebellious, challenging and unrestrained, this stripped back BMW strikes hard and fast and leaves a lasting impression. And some decent emotional scars, too. Like most heartbreakers, you commit four of the seven deadly sins just looking at it. And to ride it? Well…

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So, what is it? You tell us. Part bobber, part scrambler, part tracker – and maybe even a hint of cafe racer? IWC describes it as an ‘off-road brat style’. New genre, anyone?

An R75/5 was sourced as a base, although it’s clear that not much remains in the finished bike. R80 front forks were slotted in and the front was lowered by 60mm to sharpen the steering and improve the stance. While they were there, the forks were further enhanced by the addition of an aluminium upper fork brace to keep thing where they should be.

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Anyone lucky enough to ride the Heartbreaker will find themselves reaching over an R65 tank for the relocated ignition, sat in a firm Biltwell bobber-style seat and looking out over a brand new Acewell speedo. We could think of much worse places to spend time, and not many better ones.

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The engine is from an R80, and it sits inside a ‘73 R75 frame which has been expertly and extensively modified in-house at IWC. The rear subframe has also been chopped back, leaving just the bare essentials needed to support the rider. The twin shocks have been binned, replaced by a HyperPro mono shock which Arjan, Ironwood’s main man, assures us it was way harder than it sounds; various combinations and positions were tried until the perfect balance of ride quality and handling was found. Then everything was welded into place with millimetre-perfect precision by their mate and welding wunderkind, Marjin.

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IWC’s aim was to give the Heartbreaker that low and mean stance, but still be able to offer a composed and calm ride into the city when you’re wanting to escape the bulldust for a few days. But with looks like this and the combo to back it up, we’re not really sure we’d ever want to leave the dirt for the downtown. Ever.

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This bike is so many things: intimidating, impressive, imposing and just plain wonderful. Those knobby tires, the minimalist frame, the 797cc boxer twin-engine and so many more details merge together in perfect harmony to forge a unique and breathtaking creation. And the icing on the already-iced cake has to be that new tank art. Beautifully recalling the original graphic designs of the BMW brand in the 30s and 40s, it adds a whole new level of retro coolness to this amazing build.

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If you could see yourself as the new owner of the Heartbreaker, it’s now for sale. Hit the guys up on their Instagram or Facebook page and this savage beast could be yours. And while you’re there, take a minute to check out this and many, many more of their incredible builds. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

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[Photos by Jackson Kunis]








  • Slick

    And so the streak of great bikes ends, as the hipster bike with knobbies and pipe wrap returns.

    Don’t get me wrong, it looks good, but why not atleast put some decent tires on there.

    • Helmet

      Silence! Nary an ill thing be uttered against any iron steed, lest the ban hammer be swung upon you…..

    • shalbleib

      I don’t get people’s beef w/ 80/20 DS tires on these old bikes. Why would you think they need modern sport rubber? They don’t make any power. Completely unnecessary and if knobs provide the look he’s going for (looks badass) so be it. Trolls

  • guvnor67

    It’s different! My favourite view is from the rear-looks tough!! I think the wrapped pipes might look better painted black, with stainless tips? And I only say that because in this cases I feel it cheapens the look of an otherwise splendid motorcycle.

  • the watcher

    Still loving your work, boys. Although I’m sure someone’s going to notice the pipe-wrap, sigh…….

  • Mark Blacktopmedia Turner

    I think the pipe wrap and knobblies work. It enhances the urban decay, post apocalypse bad boy feel. You’re right, it would probably ride better on road tyres but so what 🙂

  • Jim Roberts

    ” Rebellious, challenging and unrestrained “… good criteria for a “comments”section.
    ” intimidating, impressive, imposing and just plain wonderful ”
    ” So, what is it? You tell us ”
    ” New genre, anyone? “….i suggest ” moto-potpourii “. the ethos of this genre will be that everything is as good as everything else. the only rule is no rule.
    by the way, i’m doing a market study on pipe wrap that is scented. it’ll be heat activated of course and will come in a variety of smells that usually are categorized as odors but test well in our sample surveys.

  • Jester the Clown

    Dump those ridiculous tyres and the pointless rags on the exhausts; fit a real snug, narrow rear mudguard and call it a bobber.
    Now that would really work.

  • rein skugler

    The detail on this bike is just amazing. The whole feeling is on target, regardless the knobbies and the rags on the pipes. On the contrary, those features fit one 100 % into the ambience of the bike. At least the tyres are not “cross-ply” … The prominent tank rightfully serves as the centre-piece of this self-propelled sculpture for me. The ONLY downside = the mirror, but that’s just me ….

  • Hot doggies! Yet another knobby tired (really tired!), no fendered, pipewraped, stripped (read super custom), Beemer.

    • Mo Denaro

      Heartbreaking the trend has gone on as long as it has………

  • Andy Rappold

    Certainly does not break my heart :/

  • That’s one hell of a saddle detail…

  • katman

    This thing is beautiful, regardless of what all the cynical “experts” on this forum may post about tires, exhaust wrap, fenders etc. The proportions, the paintwork and the detail are, for me, near perfect. Sure, I might have gone for black pipes and maybe small fenders myself. But this is not my bike. And as someone else’s project, I absolutely love it.

  • shalbleib

    Super cool. Question, are you running a battery or some sort of capacitor? I don’t see a battery anywhere…