Written by Tim Huber.
Some projects are just meant to be. We can resist all we want, but fate has a funny way of dictating our ultimate outcomes in what we do. Marc from Haseth Motorcycles in Amsterdam recently experienced this first hand. When shopping around for a project donor, Marc came across a used early ‘90s BMW R80R, though it was a bit worse for the wear, so he ended up opting for an R60/2 instead. A little down the road after that build was complete, Marc came across the very same R80R, though again passed on it. But when it came time to find another suitable airhead donor, and the R80R popped up for a third time, Marc took it as a sign.
After looking for an appropriate donor for his BMW project for over a year, Marc from Haseth Motorcycles in Amsterdam finally found a 1967 R60/2 with a 1973 R90 engine conversion for sale in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The owner, an older gentleman who had owned the bike for over 20 years, wasn’t riding it anymore and was ready to let it go. “Keeping in mind that the bike still had a sidecar and was very far from being in pristine or original condition, I felt comfortable modding it,” says Marc – he wanted to make sure he wasn’t partaking in any sacrilegious acts for the BMW purists amongst us.
There’s precious few motorcycles that manage to make it all the way to the top. And I’m not talking about the top of sales, races or popular culture. I’m talking about bikes that obtain something altogether more legendary. Bikes that are spoken about in hushed tones. Bikes that they build museums to house. The bikes that changed motorcycling. Burt Munroe’s Indian was one. The Brough Superior is another. And without a shadow of a doubt, Giulio Cesare Carcano’s 1955 Moto Guzzi, aka ‘The Otto’ can take its seat at the table, too. Ahead of its time and earning a reputation as a widow-maker, the bike’s moment in the limelight was to be short-lived. But with this injustice squarely in their sights Amsterdam’s Numbnut Motorcycles, in conjunction with Gannet Design in Switzerland and Vanguard Clothing decided it was time for the legend to make a comeback.
Amsterdam-based Ironwood Customs create some of the finest and most unique ‘brat style’ bikes you are likely to see. ‘Heartbreaker’, or IWC27 – to give it its formal name – is the latest creation to be born from Ironwood and man, this is a wild child that makes Hunter S. Thompson look like your Aunt Shirley on a Sunday afternoon. Rebellious, challenging and unrestrained, this stripped back BMW strikes hard and fast and leaves a lasting impression. And some decent emotional scars, too. Like most heartbreakers, you commit four of the seven deadly sins just looking at it. And to ride it? Well…
Moto Adonis head honcho Daan Borsje will tell you that his goal is not just to resurrect near dead motorcycles but to re-purpose them for the exact demands of his customers. This leaves him with the creative freedom to take any old busted bike and turn it into anything he can dream of and design and that’s exactly what he’s done with this 1984 Yamaha TR1. From their digs in an abandoned factory in Roosendaal the team received a call from a customer in Amsterdam who wanted just such a bike, but a Scrambler built for his city streets and not muddy rolling hills. “It’s a hard bike to find in the Netherlands, but we have managed to find one and give this bike a bad ass scrambler style look!” But looks are only surface deep and when you scratch at this TR1 you start to find more than a few quality components and just a touch of Supermotard DNA for good measure.
Dust off the drafting table, refill the clutch pencil and grab the dividers. Retired Dutch Architect Henk Woltjer has teamed up with local shop Motogadgets to create the perfect motorcycle to relive his youth; it’s a millimetre-exact Yamaha XS650 tracker inspired by the first bike he built some thirty years earlier.