Words by Tim Huber.
Dirk Oehlerking and his shop, Kingston Custom have a heap of stellar BMW-based builds to their name, but when one does something over and over again, you run the risk of things getting a bit stale. So, when a new order for another boxer-twin project came across Kingston’s desk, the German customs outfit knew it wanted to buck the status quo and create something different.
Reviving clapped-out road bikes from sheds and garages is all fine and good, but spare a thought for the old racers of years gone by. More likely to end life upside down than right-side up – and probably on fire – it’s a tough gig to survive without some serious war wounds. So when Spain’s Macco Motors had a customer bring them not one but two BMW R100RS ex-racers…
With the boom in popularity of the R series BMW’s of late the men who designed and worked on its many incarnations must be sitting back and scratching their heads, this they would say is not what they had in mind; BMW until recently had always been a very conservative manufacturer. That’s even more true of the R100rs that was built with the purpose of slapping on some panniers and cruising the highways of Europe, with the first review by Cycle Magazine describing it as a “Basic long-haul BMW”. But Craig and Thor of Route 62 Customs from Port Elizabeth in South Africa saw in this a 1982 BMW R100rs what so many others have seen, solid engineering, mechanical strength and a sense of unique style that would be perfect for their shops first custom.
Goddamn Steve McQueen. There – I said it. Am I jealous? A little bit. But mostly I’m confused. Just how does one single, solitary guy amass so much coolness in one lifetime? The stunts, the flying, the racing – but mostly, the bikes. And especially the desert sleds. It’s almost as if he was bored one day and decided to invent his own genre. Talented bastard. Clearly Anvil Motociclette agree. Obviously this isn’t the first time that a build has been influenced by the Big Mac, but we’d wager that it’s never be done quite like this. Here’s the Milano duo’s latest – their sled-inspired BMW R100RS ‘Arsenica’.
Somewhere along the way BMW Motorrad missed an opportunity. An opportunity to build a real factory café racer. A bike which would make the heart race faster. To continue the tradition that was born in the R90S, that of BMW saying ‘hey guys, look, we can build exciting bikes’. Don’t get me wrong, the R100RS of the mid seventies was a nice bike for its time. But it could have been so much more. Luckily, Donovan Muller of Cytech could see the potential in this 1977 BMW R100RS, and utilising factory componentry, has managed to produce what might have been. And it would have been good.
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.
La Corona Motorcycles is one of the latest shops in Europe to be producing this stripped back street tracker look. Based in Barcelona, this is their fourth build by the four passionate Spanish builders. Each of their builds has used a different donor bike, but they all have the ‘less is more’ La Corona aesthetic to them. This time they decided to use a 1981 BMW R100RS. It’s the second incarnation of this beemer, originally being built red with black detailing. The stock bike had a sizeable complete fairing, which was the first thing to go. Their goal, like most of their builds was to build something simple and “naked” – we think they acheived this with flying colors.
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If you are going to use a race car as inspiration for your BMW scrambler project, there is not a better, more famous or outrageously cool race car than the 1970 Gulf Porsche 917 featured in Steve McQueen’s movie ‘Le Mans”. The classic Gulf powder blue with marigold orange trim is one of the most iconic racing liveries in history. Kevin Hill from Kevils Speed Shop in Devon, England, decided to use these iconic colors and Porsche 917 as motivation for this sensational street scrambler he has named “Le Mans”. Kevin has a serious soft-spot for old BMW boxers and has built too many to count over the years. He started working in the motor industry straight from school in the early eighties and has had a varied career since, including industrial model making. “I suppose that’s how I got a keen eye for detail and design,” he says. It wasn’t until 2009 that he decided to make his passion of building custom motorcycles his full time job – and we’re sure glad he did.
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