Whatever the sport, the hobby or industry for it to have long-lasting success and be something others are drawn to like a moth to a flame you need big personalities with an unwavering passion and endless enthusiasm to drive it forward. In the custom bike scene of Germany one such man is Rolf Reick, a.k.a. Mr Krautmotors, who is involved at every level and never seems to run out of new ideas. The graduate industrial designer and head of a school for product design and multimedia in Mannheim can be found doing everything from organising events, to printing t-shirts and building bikes, but what truly gets his own heart pumping is the increasingly popular sport of sprint racing. Pitting man and machine against one another over an 1/8th mile drag race, Rolf comes to the party with his Krautmotors No. 5, a 1937 BMW R5 packing bulk Bavarian BHP.
Sometimes in life you have to be careful who you share your dreams with. They might be shattered, stolen or in this case, they might be bought. You see this 1975 Yamaha R5 was bought by Doug Devine a few months ago after seeing it sitting at his friend’s place gathering dust. “This project started when a friend showed me a ’72 Yamaha R5 he had been storing in his shed for the past five years” recalls Doug. “Upon his move from Austin to Louisville, my friend had intentions of bringing her back to her former glory, but life happened. After a few months of sporadic conversations about the bike, the R5 was mine.” Unlike his friend, Doug didn’t mess around and jumped straight into planning this lil’ smokers reincarnation. We thought we’d let Doug describes the project in his own words:
“Originally, I wanted the R5 to be a low and speedy expression of my personality. My friend, Scott Hableib, and I spent a while just studying the bike trying to figure out how I could make this work. Scott, a graphic designer and fellow bike builder, created a concept drawing for inspiration. I set out to see if the mechanical aspects were there. I bought a battery, points, a condenser, and cleaned the fuel system. Once I fired her up, she smoked badly, but had the potential to run pretty well. I began researching 2-strokes and, in turn, decided to tear down the motor.”