Written by Marlon Slack
Germany’s Diamond Atelier craft motorcycles so clean you could eat off them. And they don’t do one at a time – the team work and refine a design, gather the parts and build a limited run of them. It’s a clever process that keeps the workshop humming and price well below frightening. This year they’ve nipped, tucked and tidied one of their previous classics to make the Mark II Evo, a lean cafe racer based around a BMW R100R.
The basis for the new Mark II Evo is, funnily enough, their stellar Mark II. “It was our most successful project,” Diamond Atelier’s Tom Konecny says, “But as you know, we never just sit back and relax. The idea behind our ‘series’ bikes has always been to perfect the building process and deliver the highest level of craftsmanship”.
Look at the pics. The fit and finish and attention to detail are as stellar as you’d expect from the teutons at DA. But what’s the biggest difference between the Mark II and the Mark II Evo? The donor bike. “It’s the more modern and technically advanced BMW R100R Paralever, rather than the R80RT Monolever we used on the original series,” Tom says.
There’s a host of reasons for the switch. “The swing arm and shaft drive in themselves are considerable improvements,” Tom explains, “The paralever uses two links to connect the rear drive to the transmission. That keeps the rear drive at a constant angle… and the torque of the wheel doesn’t result in suspension movement”.
Suspension aside, the R100 also means the Evo has a fair bit more chutzpah than the previous version. Each bike has a completely rebuilt boxer engine and is outfitted with an additional oil cooler, open filters, rejetted carburetters and custom-build Spark exhaust system. All that means the R puts out close to 70 horses of reliable, tractable power.
Design wise the Evo doesn’t stray far from the incredible beauty that defined the original Mark II – a bike every bit as low and sleek as the updated model. It’s still a low-slung bit of gorgeous industrial design and it’s still smacked with nicely integrated details. But there’s a few important differences here when lined up against the standard Mark II.
There’s major things – such as the choice of what Diamond call their ‘signature’ tank or the original /7 design. Or the massive 4.25” crossed spoke rear wheel, an ultra-rare prototype piece pinched from the BMW factory. The rear end of the bike has also been modified further – made even slimmer and lighter than before.
But the real difference are details that you can’t see in most of the pics here. The bike runs a full catalogue of MotoGadget accessories. That’s a RFID keyless start, integrated indicators and the incredibly clever m-unit. And, as with all of Diamond Atelier’s builds parts can be ordered in or out. Want an Motoscope Mini instead? No problem.
The electronic mods round out a customised R that’s sure to turn heads and blow minds. And the team at DA are more than confident in its ability. “With the Evo we want to put an end to the endless improvements of classic BMW airheads,” Tom says. “This is what we consider to be the the absolute limit to what can be done with one without sacrificing the character and feel of a classic boxer”.
You can’t argue with that.