Words by Martin Hodgson.
When you’re a Frenchman who desires a German BMW to carve through the streets of London England then who better to turn to than Portugal’s Ton-Up Garage. This cross-continental custom BMW R80 is both a testament to its builders and the great state in which the custom motorcycle scene finds itself. Borders disappear, there are no limits other than your imagination and the skill of your builder; the language of cool customs is universal. Ton-Up’s Daniel and Pedro have proven themselves master builders and their BMW’s are some of the best in the world.
Inspiration is a fickle thing. Fickle, and sometimes a little bit crazy. Take the case of this BMW R100RS from the late Seventies. It was made in a very different shape to what you see here but now, almost forty years later, it’s been reborn in a new form. A form that’s been inspired by the same company’s brand new RnineT. Which itself was inspired by bikes like this. Confused? Well don’t be, because if the end result is a ride like this you’ve just got to trust that whatever the path was to get here, it must have been the right one.
Written by Marlon Slack.
I like just about every bike featured on Pipeburn. From yard-built bobbers, lean café racers and scramblers of questionable practicality there’s always something of merit in their design and execution that warrants a closer look. But there’s a special place in my heart for performance-based bikes built with a singular purpose in mind. Products of consideration, calculation and engineering, often ridden with stupidity paraded as bravery. So today, here’s a real treat – a gorgeous, beautifully thought-out and immaculately crafted 1987 BMW R100 salt racer designed, built and raced by Adrian from Skrunkwerks in Melbourne, Australia.
Thankfully, life has its little sure bets. Those things you can trust in with an unwavering faith because you know they’ll come through for you. Warm baths. Steak and chips. Cold beer on a hot day. They’re classics because they never let you down; no matter where you are or how you’re feeling. But we think it’s time to add another classic to that list – BMWs made by Kevil’s Speed Shop in Devon, on the English Riviera. It seems to us that they just can’t put a foot wrong. And here’s another great build of theirs. Just don’t ride it while you’re drunk, eating or naked.
Written by Marlon Slack.
Rome-based custom house Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche have taken a 1989 BMW R100RT land ship and have stripped, welded and ground their way towards a light streetfighter-cum-tracker that is destined to carve up Roman traffic. Under instruction from a customer to build a bike that blended tradition and futurism this small Italian company say they received aesthetic inspiration from Tron and Daft Punk to realize their customer’s wishes – and I certainly think he was able to ‘Get Lucky’ with this mean looking motorcycle.
In this life, you’ll soon find out that there’s friends, and then there are friends. Friends are the ones who will drop you home on their bike after you’ve had a few too many. Friends are the ones who’ll wash the vomit off the back their favourite leather jacket and never mention the night again – until your wedding day. And afterwards, they’ll take you aside and tell you that they skipped all the crap on your wedding registry list and made you a custom motorbike instead. Needless to say, Junior Burrell from the Texan shop Retro Moto is one of those friends and this is the bike he made for his buddy.
Written by Marlon Slack.
While possibly the least effective language to serenade someone, the German dialect has an unusually large repertoire of words to describe some very particular feelings. For example – deppenfahrerbeäugung is the glare you throw a bad driver after overtaking them and backpfeifengesicht means a ‘a face that asks to be slapped’. UK-based Kevil’s Speed Shop have seized this wonderfully descriptive language to name their 1983 BMW R80 the Uber – a German prefix meaning anything great or superlative. And also an affordable crowd-sourced taxi company. But mostly the superlative bit.
What a renaissance the good ol’ BMW K-Series is having of late. From humble beginnings as the laughing-stock of the second-hand bike scene, the model has enjoyed a slow and steady rise in popularity over the past few years. And why wouldn’t it? Terminally underpriced second-hand examples can still be had for a little as US$2,500 in most countries. And, if you take your time, you’ll land a low mileage German-engineered motorcycle to have your wicked way with. What’s not to love? Which is exactly the attitude Herr Marc Robrock from Nuremberg’s Motofication took when he began this, his second ‘K-Fé’ K100 build.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
In the crowded world of the custom motorcycle scene new builders can easily be lost in the mix of high end builds and the well-established big names of the industry. So when Smokin’ Motorcycles of Rotterdam completed their third build and first to be revealed to the public they knew to make their mark they had to go all out. Enter build #003 Elegant Bastard; A BMW R nine T, with CAD designed parts, CNC machining, hand formed aluminium and leather from an African Antelope. It’s just the kind of splash that levels plenty of ripples and still scores a perfect 10!
We are happy to introduce a new writer at the ‘House of Burning Pipes’. Marlon Slack is our latest recruit and we’re happy to have him on board for the ride.
Tattoo Custom Motorcycles have taken this 1972 R75/5 – a traditional, commuter-style bike – and turned it into a neat scrambler with a few particularly nice, subtle touches. There’s quite a few boxer engine custom bikes kicking around these days, but it wasn’t always the case. Eight years ago I sat in the café attached to Deus Ex Machina and between bites of breakfast and the occasional superior scowl I tried to throw at the Deus clientele, the side doors opened and a mechanic wheeled in a BMW R65, propping it up in a window display that overlooks the cafe. Behind me an older guy looked up at the motorcycle with a scowl. ‘Please,’ he groaned, ‘we’re trying to eat.’