Written by Martin Hodgson
When it comes to customising a motorcycle the ‘what’ hasn’t changed for more than 100 years; speed, sight and sound. But the ‘how’ has been constantly evolving and we regularly feature those at the cutting edge. One such firm is UK-based Auto Fabrica, who entered the scene six years ago firing on all cylinders and continue to refine their incredible designs. Brothers Bujar and Gazmend Muharremi can do it all under one roof and utilising the latest technology deliver custom cool with an OEM finish. Their latest example is a stunning 1980 BMW R65 that leaves the Southend-on-Sea workshop with the designation Type 10B.
So impressive is their work and so high the standards they set that their corporate clients include some of the biggest names in the world and companies known for adopting an ‘only the best’ attitude. So it was no surprise when Bujar told us, “We are currently working with BMW on a big project which we are excited about. More and more we are getting approached for automotive design jobs, this includes electric motorcycles.”
The Type 10 builds are based on the well-loved BMW R series and this particular machine was commissioned by a client, Richard. The bike had previously belonged to his father-in-law, Malcolm, who sadly passed away before the build was completed; but Auto Fabrica found a way to make sure his legacy would live on forever. For Bujar the design inspiration comes from a look that says late ’80s concept bike. “Type 10 builds are heavily inspired by automotive design, these bikes are some of the simplest, usable and elegant designs we execute.”
To start the process the stock twin shock R65 went up on the bench and was not only stripped of all its parts, but so too the paint from every surface; this really is a fresh canvas. The bare frame is smoothed out and any imperfections taken care of before fabrication commences. An entire new rear end and subframe is constructed that not only converts the BMW into the more appealing mono-shock setup but its narrower dimensions allow for a beautiful flowing transition at the crucial tank to seat juncture.
Putting the bike into a rolling chassis meant bolting up a BMW single sided swingarm and the open look only adds to the clean lines of the bike. To support the rear, a custom mono-shock from fellow Brits at Hagon was manufactured to Auto Fabrica specs. While up front the standard forks have been lowered with new uprated springs to match the new rear end geometry for a perfect ride. The brakes too get a modern switch without any loss of the classic feel with the clever choice made to adapt new BMW R nineT Brembo’s for epic stopping power.
Now work could begin on the cosmetics, and as with all bikes that flow from the mind’s of Bujar and Gazmend, the philosophy of beauty in simplicity is applied. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this is easy, this level of finish requires a high degree of skill. The BMW tank has been completely smoothed out for an incredibly clean finish. And is topped off with a custom filler and the paint is as good as it gets, with the colour a classic Ferrari Silver.
To match the seat is upholstered in high quality deep blue suede and has been shaped to brilliantly mirror the design of the subframe while mounting flush against the tank. The lighting is no less impressive, the headlight is a ‘Trucklite’ LED unit that is mounted inside a custom-made ring. At the back is more of the Auto Fabrica genius, the tail light and rear cowl a signature piece for the Type 10 that draws your eyes in. While tiny e-marked indicators are housed in bespoke 3D printed housings; it’s old and new at an elite level.
It would be more than a shame to have such a devastatingly good-looking bike only to be left broken down on the side of the road. So Auto Fabrica keep their clients well looked after and the engine has undergone a complete overhaul and rebuild. Then the bike is stripped of its decades old loom and wire by wire a new one is created by hand for simplicity and Motogadget components used throughout. In all black paint the famous boxer twin is framed in a fashion that truly captures its iconic status and custom engine covers with louvres match the cooling fins for a brilliant final touch.
But when it comes to the intrinsic transformation of speed, sight and sound; that set of pipes does it all! Flowing rearward in perfect organic form they have a subtle sweep like the turn of a ship that lends a majesty to the completed product. But there was one final touch, a personal addition that truly makes 10B; the Brother’s removed the BMW tank badges and replaced them with 3D printed items that read, ‘MALC’. A fitting tribute to Richard’s late father-in-law who now rides on his bike where it all began. With design talent to burn and the latest technology at their fingertips, Auto Fabrica are at the top of the game, but it’s these little touches that make them so special!