Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

TITLE FIGHTER. A BMW R80 Neo-Racer from Nozem Amsterdam


Posted on January 12, 2018 by Andrew in Café Racer, Classic, Racer. 53 comments

Written by Marlon Slack

If the original design team at BMW knew that their sandals-with-socks tourers would get turned into bikes like this they would haves choked on their strudel. Despite their uninspiring origins, over the last ten years we’ve seen old Boxers shift to the forefront of the custom scene. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, the Netherland’s Nozem Amsterdam come out with this 1984 BMW R80 boxer that punches well above its weight.

Nozem’s bike builds are fantastic – heavy on fabrication work, incredible attention to detail and with some of the best colour palette selection we’ve seen. But over the last few months they’ve been quiet. The sad reason for this is Nozem’s co-founder Lorenzo’s father passed away at the tail end of 2017. As a result the BMW R107R is the first foray back into bike building and the mercurial world of social media for Lorenzo.

But the open-ended brief must have been a inviting return. ‘The customer wanted a monocoque bike,’ Lorenzo says, ‘and gave us plenty of freedom to do what we wanted, within the budget’ so the team went out hunting for a donor bike. A brief search had them finding this 1984 R80 at a local BMW specialist, and the customer supplied an already hopped up Siebenrock 1070cc big bore engine.

Work for Lorenzo and build partner Daniël started at the front, with a pair of Honda CBR900RR forks fitted to a custom top triple clamp, recessed for a Motogadget Pro unit. Curiously, those high-performance forks were mated to a front drum. It’s strange seeing a drum on a bike like this – but it ain’t no mortal bit of braking hardware. It’s an original Ceriani 4LS 230mm model that the team tracked down in Belgium.

“It’s strange seeing a drum on a bike like this – but it ain’t no mortal bit of braking hardware.”

We’ll never get sick of that Beemer back wheel

Like all their builds, the BMW’s frame was extensively modified, cut, shut and then painted by Lifecreations 187. The exhaust system was also made by the team, and runs a scratch built 2-1 system that ends in a Laser GP-style exhaust. All typically clinical work by Nozem – but one part of the process had them tearing their hair out.

‘The hardest part of the build was the swingarm,’ Lorenzo says. ‘It’s all because of the space required to fit the new rear wheel. We had to cut part of the swingarm out and fit a new drive shaft to clear the rim. To reinforce it properly and get everything lined up was quite a hassle’.

Oddly, the highlight of the bike, the unibody design of the tank and seat, wasn’t too difficult for the guys. Also made in house by the team at Nozem, every inch of the thing is perfect – the cut outs for the frame, the scallops for the legs and the way it seems to blend the best parts of a traditional cafe racer with something out of a hard-angled KTM superbike catalogue.

Front brake is an original Ceriani drum

The BMW R107R is an exceptional way for the Netherland’s Nozem to announce their return to the market, and the better times that this year will bring. ‘I’m looking forward to 2018,’ Lorenzo says, ‘I’ve got a few new projects, a new workshop coming and a few other things to look forward to’ Well, if Nozem keep building bikes like this we’re looking forward to 2018 as well.

[ NozemFacebookInstagram | Photos by Gijs Spierings ]








  • Bultaco Metralla

    Wonderful bike, love the way the motor dominates but looks so sleek. Getting rid of the air cleaner does wonders for the air cooled flat twin and a four shoe Ceriani is better than a brick wall. Really clever use of space around the motor but a ‘monocoque’ bike this isn’t and it is not a ‘Cerani’ brake! Really, two mistakes in one post. Have you been eating too much Xmas pud with extra Brandy sauce.

    • Marlon

      You’re quite right – Ceriani!

      I think I stopped the Christmas beers around a week ago and can still feel it in my system. Time for a shower.

    • the watcher

      Three, actually. Those are definitely rwu Fireblade forks!

      • Bultaco Metralla

        Good one! I believe we both deserve a piece of Xmas pud with that potent Brandy sauce!

        • the watcher

          And we could raise a glass to the memory of “Fast” Eddie Clark, the last of the original Motorheads. Rest in anything but peace, man.

          • Bultaco Metralla

            Amen to that

          • guvnor67

            Yes indeed. Amen

          • Motorhead re-united again and rock the skies!!!
            https://youtu.be/gwtg4ZX6uKU

          • the watcher

            We are looking in on you now…..

          • Bultaco Metralla

            Brilliant

          • Greybeard1

            Any relation to Nobby?

          • the watcher

            Culture vulture!

          • Greybeard1

            ?
            Who?

          • the watcher

            Settle down! Why not look it up before taking offence?

          • Greybeard1

            Then have a pint on me.

  • Al

    Strudel…hmmmm.
    Dual spark/plug/ignition with Dellortos plus Siebenrock goodies on an Airhead is the Bees Knees.
    The Geriani brake, the Mod’s on the frame and the rest is nice too.
    I look forward to when the bike is finished…the fenders are made.

  • guvnor67

    The thing that struck me first is how light it looks. The drum brake and upside-downies go together like Christmas pud and Brandy custard, and the colours are very classy. It’s simplicity belies the work that’s gone into it. Awesome.

    • Al

      No upside-downies.

      • guvnor67

        Jeez, I’m more tired than I thought!

        • Bultaco Metralla

          It’s the curse of the Xmas pud. May I recommend http://www.pudforallseasons.com.au/category/puddings
          if you’re gonna give in to temptation, you’ve gotta have the best….

          • guvnor67

            Damn, now I’m in trouble!!!

          • Bultaco Metralla

            Not that I’ve road tested every Pud in the Catalog but I do have a brother living in Maldon and we reckon that the traditional Plum Pudding in the 800g size with some Farmhouse Gold Custard Vanilla and a good slug of Brandy is the way to go for a couple of accomplished eaters.

          • guvnor67

            Sounds like a plan!

  • the watcher

    Always liked Nozem’s “hot-rod” style customs, but I’m not so sure of this. Everything forward of the tank is gorgeous, but the reason modern bikes moved to perimeter frames was to counteract the high c of the caused by spine frames. The space round the motor may look good but must adversely effect handling.

  • Greybeard1

    Redemption!

    • Wait until you see tomorrow’s sweet bagger…

      • Greybeard1

        Oh…”sweet” bagger!
        I thought you said “two” bagger which would be far too conservative.

    • Al

      “A dark time has passed over the land, but I see the light is shining again”

      • Greybeard1

        “The sweet smell of a great sorrow lies over the land
        Plumes of smoke rise and merge into the leaden sky”

        • Al

          Pipeburn?

  • Vince Martinez

    Great looking Airhead! Love the front drum. Airhead CG is low because of engine placement, it won’t change much due to the frame or bodywork height. I would like fenders too, but I’m not the client…

    • the watcher

      Give me a long enough lever…..(and a 13 stone rider). It’s gonna drop into corners like nobody’s business, guaranteed.

      • Vince Martinez

        I’ve never had a problem with aggressive cornering on any of mine, from the SWB ‘72 to the ‘92 R100R but I only weigh 150lbs.

  • Very cool…form over function with drum brakes…

  • Wow! Two weeks into the new year and we already have a boatload of great bikes. I like the way the big drum brake and upside down forks anchor this Beemer visually while the upper structure is light and sleek setting off that big ol’ hunk of airhead right in the middle. The colors are just right. The orange is the perfect accent to the silver/grey.

    • the watcher

      But the forks are RWU!

      • I’ve been drinking the same thing as guvnor67. When you can’t tell one end from the other you’re in trouble.

        • the watcher

          To be fair, Big H did make them look (at a glance) like USDs. Strangely, they went on to claim that by making them thin-walled they fitted the “add lightness” design brief better, into the bargain.

  • Fido Zombie

    Great looking bike. With the seat height it looks like a “sit on” rather than “sit in” ride.
    As always a photo with a rider would give a clearer picture of the stance.

  • I was intrigued by the colour combo. Olive green and bright orange. Yes or no?

    • Fido Zombie

      Fine for me as highlights on the overall neutral grey palate.

  • Al

    The following is taken from an article entitled, “ITALIAN COMPETITION BRAKES” written by GIANNI PERRONE…:
    “The larger model (Ceriani front brake) was fitted originally only to the MV three cylinder of Agostini (78hp, 120kg, 260km/h, 7 consecutive World Championships…Ed.) but some were later sold to certain selected riders (I was the first); after that they were regularly placed on sale. They were fitted to all the Laverda SFCs of those years, until the arrival of disc-brakes.

    The Ceriani drum brakes were the finest ever produced; they were resistant to fading, highly efficient and free from problems of cracking of the cast iron inserts which had always afflicted the racing drum brakes and were rugged enough to stand up to the punishment of racing, lasting the 24 hours very well on the not-so-light Laverda 750 SFC in the Endurance races.”

    • Bultaco Metralla

      and they were better than a brick wall.

      • Al

        Haha…I was trying to find a direct comparison of how good (or bad) they really are compare to modern disk brakes, but I haven’t found any info yet.
        I guess, at best, they might be comparable to a single disk.

        • Bultaco Metralla

          My experience is with the 4LS on the original Suzuki GT750 water bottle. By the standards of the time, it was superb in stopping power and modulation. However, It was heavy and complex and probably too expensive to manufacture. Contemporary disc brakes were wooden in comparison and useless in the wet. I didn’t use a disk brake as good until I rode the Ducati GT860 with its twin cast iron discs.

          • Al

            I found a great site that compares a lot of drum brakes (70!) in a lot of different way’s, very interesting…
            Google ‘Drum brakes by method’ (saves us waiting for approval of a link on a Sunday)…its the first one that comes up (Victory library)

          • Dave Coetzee

            Not having read your link yet, I recently read an article (that I cannot find) comparing drum brakes to disks and remember an interesting fact, along the lines of … “the reason why a good drum brake is so effective is due to the larger braking contact patch vs disk brakes smaller contact patch”.

          • Bultaco Metralla

            Found it. Thanks for an interesting read.

  • AB

    There is so much goodness on this bike right down to the tyres 🙂 however I just don’t dig the super skinny seat fad – it is out of proportion in my eyes.