Twenty-twenty hindsight is a truly wonderful thing. It turns drunkards into teetotallers, sleaze bags into prudes and fools into geniuses. But for those of us of a more creative bent, revisiting a previous piece of work without the deadlines and lack of sleep can be a godsend. This second bite of the cherry is rare…
If you’ve been building motorcycles for a long time, you will start accumulating parts like a housewife collects Tupperware. My garage, for example, is full of old parts I have taken off, upgraded, bought cheap at swap meets or had thrown in when I’ve purchased a bike – it’s damn hard to say no to free spare parts, right? Like many builds featured on these pages, the Bavarian Knight began as a big pile of metal from a multitude of different bikes. The owner, John Yeosock, initially purchased a stash of old cast-offs from John Landstrom at Blue Moon Cycles. Then, not knowing what to make out of all the random parts, he contacted Bryan Fuller from Fuller Moto in Alanta to see if he could help. Together, they went back to John’s warehouse and rummaged through all his bits and pieces until they had picked up all the parts they felt they could build a modern, yet classic BMW cafe racer.
Words by Martin Hodgson.
This is the story of three friends who get by on wheels, good looks and attitude to burn. They dress the same and they work together but all perform very different functions for their automotive crazed owner Stan. “Von Doom”, Lil Doom” and “The Raft” are a car, bike and trailer combo that’ll leave any motorhead wanting their own and it all started when Stan decided his newly completed 2014 SEMA bound BMW show car needed a little something more, a motorcycle to match and a trailer for the journey. But this is Pipeburn, so let’s start with the little bike that could, a classic BMW called “Lil Doom”!
If you’re like me, and many other custom bike riders out there, you’ve had to face the rather daunting task of getting that dream bike out of your head and into the skillful hands of your chosen builder. There’s probably as many ways to do this as there are custom bikes on the road. Photoshop, sketches, emails – why, I bet there’s a guy somewhere who’s described his ideal two-wheeled vision using his deft mime skills. But if you’re taking sheer cool efficiency as a means of judging the best brief, then Shane Balkowitsch’s ‘make it match my ’65 Porsche’ really takes the cake. And that’s just the brief that Sothern Californian Josh Withers received when he decided to take on the classic BMW build of a lifetime.
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The guys from Spanish shop Café Racer Dreams are truly making a name for themselves on a global scale. The garage was born out of a lack of vintage custom shops in Spain and founder Pedro Garcia hasn’t looked back since opening its doors a few years ago. This is the first BMW to roll out of their small Madrid based garage and we love its stripped down simplicity. The bikes engine has been rebuilt with the expertise of Javier from Maxboxer who specialises in boxers. At this stage it’s still a work in progress but we definitely like where they are going with this project. Pedro tells us it should be complete by the end of next month so we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime there’s a solid build thread worth checking out on the CRD blog.
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Chris Hodgson, owner of San Jose BMW (SJBMW) has been building and racing BMW‘s for over 35 years. This stunning R75/5 Cafe Racer was built a couple of years ago when Chris discovered he “had enough spare parts to build a new airhead”- we wish we had enough spare parts lying around to build a bike of this calibre. That’s not to say that this bike was built overnight. It was a year in the making with Chris ensuring the bike was built to be period correct, either using vintage parts or having them custom made.
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