1974 BMW R75 – Krautmotors Street Tracker
When it comes to finding inspiration on building a custom motorcycle, most people search the internet, look in magazines or pray to a higher being to give them a brilliant idea. Not Rolf Reick from Germany. He was inspired by people telling him he couldn’t do what he always wanted to do — build a BMW using an old frame and a new engine. “I guess the overall motivation was that people told me it just wasn’t possible to build it like that” says Rolf. Rolf is a product designer and head of a private school for product design. Besides that he works as a freelance designer and also owns a clothing label called Krautmotors. So between doing all those things we have no idea how he has time to build so many amazing bikes. Like this one-of-a-kind ‘BMW Frankenstein’ Street Tracker…
“I started modifying motorcycles about 30 years ago” says Rolf. “Without any focus on selling them, just for my own sake and fun. Somehow I tend to customize whatever I own. I built this one because I wanted to have a faster old BMW. Instead of tuning the old motor I simply put a newer model’s motor into the frame. Anyhow, I disliked the new BMW models ever since because they keep getting higher and higher. To be honest I had BMW frames lying around and got hand on a cheap 4V GS. It was fun and didn’t make any sense at all.”
So what actually makes up this BMW tracker I hear you ask? The frame is from a 1974 R75 – which Rolf just had lying around. The engine, swing arm and rear wheel are from a 1100R, and the gearbox is from a 1100GS. Front wheel and fork are off a 100GS. And the carburetors are from a R100 GS-PD. The only thing that isn’t off some kind of Beemer is the fuel tank which comes from an old 1970 Honda Enduro.
One of the most eye-catching features of the bike is the unusual alternator placement. “I had to place it on the side because there was no room under the frame in the middle of the engine, so i cut the tank for the compressor look” Rolf tells us. “Also the gearbox housing had to be trimmed to fit into the frame. The fork had to be cut by 14 centimeters and the modern technical gimmicks like the anti-lock braking system and fuel injection got lost, somehow.” And finally the paint job was done by Rolf with good old fashioned spray cans. The entire build took him around 4 months, working two days a week. Not bad when you consider the amount of work thats gone into it.
Rolf’s next project is designing the fairing for the Ducati bike for the racing team he is part of called Now Salt. The bike will run on the Bonneville salt race track in September attempting to break the record as the world’s fastest Ducati. We wish him all the best and we’ll keep you posted how he goes.