Written by Martin Hodgson
Beijing might be one of the world’s largest and oldest cities, with an ever-expanding motorcycle manufacturing industry, but that doesn’t mean its smooth sailing for the customisers who call it home. All the big companies have a presence there now, but that is a recent development, so when a client approached Mandrill Garage to build them a slick 1981 BMW R80, finding a donor bike let alone parts was a major challenge. Never fear, as the team of friends simply pooled their collective skills to craft a truly one of a kind BMW Vintage Racer from scratch.
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.
Most people love the classic looks of a vintage motorcycle, but not everyone loves the maintenance and performance issues that normally go hand in hand with older bikes. So when a customer approached Untitled Motorcycles (UMC) in London wanting to build a BMW R nine T with a vintage airhead vibe, it was like they had been waiting for a project like this for a while. “We’ve built dozens of older BMW’s but never had the chance to customise the R nine T, so we jumped at the chance,” says head designer Adam Kay. To kick the project off, Adam sat down with the customer Nick Wooller to throw some ideas around and work out how this Urban GS should look.
The cat is finally out of the bag. When we say cat, we mean big black purring panther. We caught a glimpse of the BMW 1800cc airhead engine in Austin, Texas last month at the Handbuilt Show. Revival Cycles did a stellar job showing off this beautiful 1800cc boxer engine in the titanium framed ‘Birdcage’. Now here is the highly anticipated BMW Motorrad Concept R18 in all its glory. Launched at the very fitting Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, this R18 concept motorcycle has put a modern twist on BMW’s classic boxer engine design from the 60s and the classic lines of the BMW R5 from the 30s.
Written by Martin Hodgson
Keep those two wheels turning; across the endless climbs through the Pyrenees, before taking the summit of Alpe d’Huez on the way to the finish line. No, it’s not the Tour De France but how Anton Knutsson of Injustice Customs spends his motorcycling holiday in the European summer; and it gave him an idea. What would be the perfect custom bike to complete the stages of cycling’s grand tours? With the help of BMW and Ohlins he’s built the answer, a 2019 BMW R nineT Urban G/S that’s ready to bring the thunder to the mountain tops, rightly named ‘Thor’.
Written by Martin Hodgson
Somewhere in those teenage years most of us, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, are bundled into a careers advisors office and asked what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Given a whole ten minutes, if you’re lucky, you’re soon agreeing to a job you didn’t even know existed. Now leaving dazed and confused many stumble on this path forever; but not Madrid’s Antonio Schefle. At 40 he packed it all in to follow his dream of building custom bikes. Each a unique expression of his client’s deepest desires, like his latest BMW R65 ‘Invader’, purpose fit to monster any type of road.
In the beautiful country air just outside the Spanish city of Madrid, Antonio setup 72 Cycles Performance in 2012 to pursue his passion. But for him, it’s not just the name of a company or a workshop that builds bikes. It represents his own personal brand of artistic interpretation of the customers ultimate custom craving and then bringing each to life in mechanical form.
Yesterday was International Female Ride Day, so we thought it would be fitting to start by showcasing some inspirational females who have all made an impact on the motorcycle industry in their own way. First up we have the legendary Jolene Van Vugt, who is the first woman to backflip a full-sized dirt bike. She is also the holder of many Guinness World Records, and was a regular on the hugely successful Nitro Circus. She is now a stunt woman and Indian Motorcycles sponsored rider, who has definitely helped pave the way for the next generation of female riders.
When you reside within the custom motorcycle world and new people wish to join the fray, they always have one of two questions. What bike should I buy as my first steed or which bike should I choose for my first build. The answer is to both is really the same; cheap, light, basic and reliable. Lucky for all of us David Ewen ignored the advice I would have offered and chose to take up the challenge by building a killer custom for his first ever ride! From the barely breathing remains of a huge 1985 BMW K100 comes his street scrambler, that goes by the name ‘Revive’.
Words by Justin Benson.
Revival Cycles’ latest build; “The Birdcage”, at first glance – looks to be the work of a madman. Showcasing BMW’s newest prototype boxer engine, the frame is entirely comprised of titanium (a first for the Revival team), made up of 150 separate pieces, taking a full 2 weeks, day and night, to finish welding. Almost every piece on the bike was fabricated in house, with great attention paid to design, function, and most importantly – weight. The asymmetrical frame of “The Birdcage” weighs in at a mere 25 pounds, and thanks to the beautiful marriage of hexagonal carbon fiber suspension and CNC-machine aluminum parts, it’s light as a feather. The only hint of color on the bike comes in the form of the frame and titanium exhaust system, which were anodized, adding a subtle peacock purple and green shade to the metal.
Matt Hart’s a photographer – and a damn good one at that. Trawling through his drool-worthy Instagram shows his passion for racing old Porsches and other, lesser marques. But when he was young he lived and breathed bikes, belting around on a little 80cc Yamaha. And lately the moto bug has bitten again…