Showing posts with label BMW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BMW. Show all posts

Friday, September 30, 2016

92′ BMW R100GS Sidecar ‘Avventura’ – OCGarage

Written by Martin Hodgson.
Head south-east out of Italy’s motorcycle capital of Bologna on the E45 towards the Adriatic Sea and eventually you arrive in Ravenna where you are transported back in time and you haven’t even had to reach 88mph. This was the capital of the Western Roman Empire, it’s where Julius Caesar gathered his forces before crossing the Rubicon and you don’t have to look far to see a Basilica decorated with the world’s most incredible mosaics. But Ravenna is also home to a small workshop that takes you back to a time when great craftsman and artists worked from their small studios to create pieces that would remain on the lips of admirers for centuries to come; this is the home of Oscar Tasso’s OCGarage. It is here that he has created his latest masterpiece, from the very best materials in the world, a 1992 BMW R100GS with sidecar, it’s the incredible AVVENTURA!

Even in his teenage years Oscar had one definitive goal, to make his passion his career; he worked on engines and then started with cars but his ultimate aim was to build one off custom motorcycles. With an unrelenting passion and tireless work ethic he progressed further in the motorcycle industry, building race bikes and becoming a deft hand at suspension tuning. Now for the last two decades, all the motorcycles Oscar creates have a name and story to tell. “They are the emotion of a moment in life made tangible, moulded in beauty and filled with essence.” Once each is completed they will never be replicated, what is left over is destroyed and their beating heart comes alive “it is right at this moment that technology stops being cold, carries the soul, changes name and becomes ART.” Every OCGarage motorcycle is special, but it’s hard to imagine anything as good as this chariot fit for a King.

When the 1992 GS came to market it couldn’t have looked more like a Paris-Dakar machine for the road, so it’s fair to say Oscar had his work cut out in crafting one into a suitable steed for the project. Stripped of all its plastics, absolutely every part that was to be reused has been rebuilt, overhauled and brought back to brand new condition. The engine has been treated to a complete rebuild, new seals, bearings and gaskets were thrown at it and with the engines renowned reliability it’s fair to say it won’t need doing again for decades. To give it a more vintage look the valve covers have been replaced with items from an early R series and the entire engine casing refurbished. To extract some more power a pair of modified carbs from an R100rs were fitted and a NOS airbox installed. Then the exhaust manifolds and Y pipe were made out of stainless that run all the way back to a “German origin E2 approved muffler specifically for the R100GS”

But that engine would spend a great deal of time on the bench in a corner of the small workshop while the GS was overhauled to become a three-wheeled machine. The frame was stripped of absolutely everything, ground smooth and given a new subframe to compliment the look Oscar was going for. New mounts were added that swing the custom rear fender that was lovingly sculpted by hand to follow the contours of the rear and provide a more vintage look. Bolted to each side is a motocross number plate that while somewhat hidden in body matching paint is a subtle nod to the bikes racing pedigree. While atop the new fender Oscar fabricated custom baggage wracks as well as a simple numberplate holder and brackets for the lighting assembly. The fuel tank is the standard ’92 unit that has been body worked beyond belief, there is no filler or bondo here and Oscar has replaced the badges with his own company’s logo in timber and a one off fuel cap.
But the timber work really gets serious over on the sidecar, “The surfaces are covered with sheets of precious mahogany” that gives the sides the look of an oversized Stradivarius. The aluminium bodywork that compliments the wood is just as impressive with each sheet arrow straight and forming the most perfect lines; which were not drawn up, simply envisioned and then created. The framing is designed to match that of the BMW’s and sweeps around the side and with an unbroken line comes up past the body that it supports to create a grab handle in front of the passenger. They ride in style being protected from the wind with a small shield that is affixed to the body with marine grade bracketry. The same high end brackets are used throughout, along with fixtures and fittings you would normally find on a yacht valued in the millions. More Mahogany is used to create the rear hatch that provides ample room for a gentleman to store more than enough for a picnic fit for a Queen.
Her Majesty steps into her carriage on a beautiful timber piece that sits in front of the sidecars wheel and waiting to cushion her body is more incredible craftsmanship. The throne, ok I’ll call it a seat, is generously padded before Oscar laid the finest premium grade leather over the top featuring a double stitched diamond pattern in a non-degrading marine material. The sides also feature Mahogany panelling while on the floor and stretching up under the body work is Jaguar X-Type carpet for the most plush of finishes. Should the lady need to write while on the move or use an old map to navigate the door features a tailored leather cover with three pockets for a pen, pencil and sextant. Of course with the GS capable of traversing all sorts of roads a large mudguard was fabricated that provides generous coverage to the sidecars tyre and features a matching leather mudflap. That leather was also used on the beautifully upholstered seat on the bike itself with the same material used to create the small rear luggage and there is a sailing rope thrown in for good measure.
To ensure all this comfort could be enjoyed Oscar spent a huge amount of time getting the suspension just right, but it starts with the wheel and tyre combination. All three wheel hubs are constructed from 6082 aircraft grade aviation alloy that result in hidden spokes and the ability to run modern tubeless rubber, in this case from Dunlop. The bikes rear suspension has been upgraded with a fully adjustable Ohlins mono-shock mounted to a revised position on the swingarm with the adjuster mounted to the side of the bike. The front of course is not at all how the BMW left the factory, now sporting a Ural like leading link combination. Twin coil-over shocks provide the dampening and are also adjustable with a steering dampener affixed to the main chassis also joining the party and proving pretty handy in a cross wind. The front brake is a combination of a single drilled rotor and lever arm supported caliper, while up on the front fender is a yachting cleat and rope for docking.
The buggy itself is also sprung for a plush ride and is attached with rose-mounts that allow for fine tuning of the overall combination. Should a night time ride be required the lighting has been well appointed while remaining unobtrusive to the styling. A classic round headlight sits at the front of the BMW and a second item in the forward step of the side car. There are taillights on both bike and buggy, as well as a full array of indicators all-round, with a bullet shaped item neatly hugging the sidecars fender. The final task before everything was reassembled for the final time was to have all the bodywork sprayed in an aluminium effect paint job that gives an incredibly realistic impression of the alloy without the worry of corrosion or discolouration. Words cannot describe the finished result, simply feast with your own eyes, and for Oscar “It was an intense creative process, where many lives and many passions have crossed. It was a pleasure to design and then build AVVENTURA…. now let’s move on!” Because while his client now has an incredible piece of motorcycle art to call his own, Oscar has more creative passion to unleash!

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sprintbeemer by Lucky Cat Garage

The inspiration for a bike build can come from the most unlikely of sources. In the case of this most unusual BMW sprint bike, it was a vintage M&H Racemaster drag tire.

The tire belonged to the amiable Séb Lorentz of the Lucky Cat Garage, a familiar face on the European custom show circuit. While Séb was figuring out what to do with the slick, his family provided the answer: they bought him an Airtech dustbin fairing as a present. All Séb needed now was a frame, two wheels and an engine.

Séb is not only an accomplished builder, but also works for BMW Motorrad France. And so the Sprintbeemer was born—a bike focused on speed and acceleration, with a hefty dash of style. “It has to look fast to frighten competitors,” he laughs. The goal was audacious: to win the Starr Wars sprint race at the huge Glemseck 101 festival in Germany.

Sprintbeemer is a cocktail of parts from the 50s to the 90s, with an S 1000 RR superbike battery hiding in there somewhere. The modified chassis was an R50/2 in a previous life, and the shortened fork and front stoppers have been swiped from a R75/5. Séb added an air scoop and vent holes to the drum brake, and machined the wheel hub to save weight.

The swingarm is from a BMW R100/7 and the rear end is suspended by adjustable billet aluminum struts, hidden inside vintage shock covers. Power goes through a short-ratio R60/6 transmission. The drag slick that started it all has been mounted onto an 18” Morad wheel, with an Avon Speedmaster wrapped round the 19” Excel front rim.

Séb is not sure what the tank is, though. It’s an unbranded barn find, maybe from a 1950s French or Italian sport moped. It’s been treated to a high-flow petcock, an aluminum cap and an engine temperature meter.

Just ahead are a Scitsu tachometer and Menani clip-ons—wearing black glitter Amal-style grips—and a Domino GP throttle. The aluminum seat pan is handmade, and the silver bottle just head of the rear wheel is an oil catch can—a modified emergency tank from Mooneyes in Japan.

The star of the show is the engine, though. It’s an R 100 RS motor treated to big valves, breathing through Dell’Orto PHM 40 carbs. A 336-spec cam and lightened flywheel help the motor spin up fast, and Vattier race headers hooked up to race megaphones complete the package. The clutch is essentially stock, but beefed up with an HPN ceramic plate, and the R 100 R gearbox has inverted gears for faster and easier shifting.

But just as the bike was coming together, luck ran out: Séb broke his leg badly in a BMX crash and ended up in a wheelchair. Friends rallied round to help, and Sprintbeemer was finished—the night before the journey over the border to Glemseck.

Sylvain Berneron—aka Holographic Hammer—drove Séb and his bike to Glemseck in a truck. Sylvain then donned leathers and a helmet and sent Sprintbeemer screaming down the track to victory, adding to the trophy he won on his own Suzuki at Wheels & Waves.

As winter approaches in France, Séb is rolling the BMW back into his workshop. But keep an eye out for it in the spring. With a new, shorter-ratio transmission due to be installed, Sprintbeemer promises to be even faster next year.
Images by Daniel Beres. Follow the adventures of Séb via the Lucky Cat Garage website and Facebook.

republished from

Saturday, June 13, 2015

"Path 22" BMW

Munich/Biarritz. From June 11th - 14th 2015, the Wheels & Waves Festival celebrates for the fourth time a unique meeting of custom bikes, surfing and art in Biarritz. The festival is a great event that provides a straightforward opportunity for people to get together in a unique atmosphere and express their lifestyle of freedom and individuality. In this special setting, BMW Motorrad presents the BMW interpretation of a scrambler for the first time: the BMW Concept Path 22.

Expression of a Lifestyle. The first scramblers in the 1950s were modified road machines with deep-treaded tyres, somewhat increased spring travel and a raised exhaust for off-road riding. These features gave the bikes a characteristic appearance that came to symbolise an attitude. "A scrambler is the perfect match for Wheels & Waves. It's the epitome of a motorcycle beyond established standards and conventions. Performance specifications are not so much of interest - style and originality all the more so. Scramblers express passion and are as varied as their owners. The Concept Path 22 is our own interpretation based on the R nineT. The latter is the perfect basis for a scrambler conversion", explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design.

Cooperation with Southsiders MC, Ornamental Conifer and Dyer Brand.
The BMW Concept Path 22 is the result of a collaboration that goes far beyond the motorcycle itself. At the initiative of the Wheels & Waves organisers, the motorcycle club Southsiders MC - in particular their member Vincent Prat - BMW Motorrad invited the artist Ornamental Conifer and the surfboard shaper Mason Dyer of Dyer Brand to design the BMW Concept Path 22 together. "Based on our scrambler interpretation, we wanted to create a kind of projection of the particular blend of people and cultures to be found at Wheels & Waves. And we found the perfect partners to do just this. The BMW Concept Path 22 captures everything that makes the Wheels & Waves people, festival and lifestyle so special", says Edgar Heinrich. For this reason, the BMW scrambler interpretation is presented to Wheels & Waves Festival visitors in its own distinctive paint finish complete with BMW leather jackets designed especially by Ornamental Conifer and two surf boards created exclusively by Dyer Brand. All these various facets go together to reflect the creative scene that assembles every year at Wheels & Waves - a constantly growing community.

The name "Path 22" refers to one of the insider secrets among Europe's surf spots. This particular stretch of beach is inaccessible to cars, located on the Atlantic coast of southern France, half an hour's walk through one of Europe's biggest pine forests. The path leading to this spot bears the number 22.

The Motorcycle – The Expression of Freedom.
"The BMW Concept Path 22 stands for freedom – freedom of thought and its expression. There are no boundaries. Whatever you like is allowed - as at the Wheels & Waves-Festival. The Concept Path 22 is based on the BMW R nineT, which we see as the epitome of a custom bike. It is actually designed to be modified - customised according to individual preferences. The idea of a BMW scrambler is not new to us. Now seemed to be the right time to present our interpretation of this legendary vehicle concept," says Ola Stenegard, Head of BMW Motorrad Vehicle Design. At the heart of the BMW Concept Path 22, there is a powerful two-cylinder boxer engine with cardan drive - as is typical of BMW. The single-sided swing arm makes the five-spoke rear wheel visible, again a familiar BMW feature. The remainder of the bike is equally genuine and down-to-earth. The classic circular headlamp, the fuel tank and a short seat ensure clear, agile proportions. The body finishes visually above the rear hub, thereby promising versatile handling. Typical scrambler features such as studded tyres, a large front wheel, slightly extended sprint travel and a raised exhaust mean the bike moves effortlessly over gravel and sand. These elements also create a striking appearance, instantly suggesting the kind of experience the BMW Concept Path 22 is able to offer.

Riding fun in its most original form.
The BMW Concept Path 22 is stripped down to the essentials. Every element and surface has a function. At the same time, each detail expresses both aesthetic appeal and consummate craftsmanship. In addition to the rustic elements such as the studded tyres and the protective grid in front of the headlamp, there are also high-end details such as the stitched leather seat, the handles with leather inserts and the typical scrambler-style Akrapovic tailpipes in high-quality stainless steel that add a touch of exclusive flair. High performance parts by Öhlins and Gilles Tooling, clever solutions such as direction indicators integrated in the handlebar ends, the MotoGadget instrument panel and the contrastcut milled parts created by Roland Sands Design further emphasise the bike's quality detail. The milled aluminium wheels - likewise contrastcut - were produced exclusively by BMW Motorrad, rounding off the motorcycle's minimalist appearance in top-class style. All parts of the concept bike are necessary essentials and offer the very best quality. In this way, the BMW Concept Path 22 perfects the art of reduction and harks back to the very essence that gives motorcycling its underlying appeal: the unity of man and machine.

Artwork by Ornamental Conifer.
The headlamp pan, fuel tank and mudguards of the BMW Concept Path 22 bear the artwork of Ornamental Conifer, alias Nico Sclater. He has been part of the Wheels & Waves movement for a long time and is co-founder of the scene's graphic identity. Stylised lettering and graphic ornamentation are key to his work. The mischievous style of his typography is typically combined with profound and pithy puns. In addition to his work on vehicles, signs and windows, Nico Sclater is especially famous for his graphic enhancement of leather jackets. He not only created the concept bike's special paint finish but also painted a number of exclusive BMW leather jackets for the Concept Path 22 team- each one a unique specimen.

Riding the Waves – boards by Dyer Brand.
A particular highlight of the BMW Concept Path 22 is the surfboard holder on the right-hand side. Specially developed by BMW Motorrad, it is as reduced, functional and high-quality as the bike itself. Made solely of machined aluminium and leather, it is highly variable and can be adapted to different board sizes. When not required it can be folded down to disappear into the bike's silhouette or else simply dismounted. The boards to suit the holder were made by no less than leading shaper Mason Dyer himself of Dyer Brand in San Diego. He is famous for his high-quality custom boards that draw their inspiration from the 1950s and 1960s. Dyer has made two custom boards exclusively for the BMW Concept Path 22: a longboard (9'4) reminiscent of the period when scramblers first emerged and a shortboard (6'8) which meets the needs of modern surfers.

The graphic design of the bike, jackets and surfboards express individual style and creativity. Each one a unique specimen, they also feature a matching colour scheme. This gives every element its own distinctive character while highlighting the core of the Wheels & Waves philosophy once again: joining together to celebrate Surf, Art, Motorcycles and the Freedom to do it your way.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Zadig MC R60/6 Johnny Cash

Zadig Motorcycles walks the line with another fabulous custom build. 'Johnny Cash' is the latest bike to roll around the bend out of the Zadig garage. They seem to be getting rhythm instead of the blues, as this is their second Bike of the Month in a row here on Wind-blown. For those of you unfamiliar, Zadig is a custom shop that produces bikes based on pop-culture icons, and then sells them for charity. Their previous build, 'One Punch', was based on a character from the movie, Snatch. This BMW is based on none other than the man in black himself. Like the artist that inspiration was drawn from the bike has a somber tone, is a little rough around the edges, and of course, is dressed in black. I'd only have to assume that this Beemer was built one piece at a time, but I can be certain that Zadig's customs have got me falling into a burning ring of fire.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Down & Out The Duncster

Duncans R80 1 THUMB
The “my dad’s stronger than your dad, my dad’s car is faster than your dad’s” conversations are standard playground fodder. But unless you are Superman, in a Batcape, driving the General Lee; consider yourself a failure as a father and a poor role model in comparison to Duncan’s dad.
Duncan , the owner of this bike, grew up in the 1980s on airbases in Germany. Yup, his dad was a fighter pilot, way cool! He also loved BMW motorcycles made sure there was always one in the garage. So basically his old man was Maverick, without the cheesy music and questionable chat-up techniques.
Duncans R80 2
So picture this for a memory. It’s the school sports day and Duncan is jumping long distances, lobbing heavy objects around and racing his mates around the track. Then a roar in the distance begins to build as a jet heads towards the school, flying low, flying fast, right over the heads of all the other kids. Guess who. Feeling proud and on top of the world Duncan headed to the gates to wait for a lift home and who should turn up, his dad on an R80. He was handed a helmet and off they blasted, leaving the rest of the kid’s jaws on the floor and parents looking at each other in shame at their woeful parenting efforts.
Duncans R80 3
Fast forward a generation and Duncan is the family man and MD of a leading video production agency. But that childhood memory didn’t wane and the hankering for Beemer continued to grow. A few months of research concluded and a shortlist of builders was drawn up with the aim of scratching that old itch, but properly, not just a cursory tickle. What better place to get scratching than the BSMC Event III at Tobacco Docks in May this year. Despite not meeting Shaun & Carl from Down & Out Café Racers, the selection of bikes on display in the main hall was enough to have Duncan scrabbling for his chequebook.
Duncans R80 4
The donor is a 1982 R80 RT which although in fair order wouldn’t be sufficient for a a customer having waited this long for their dream bike, so a full and complete strip down was required. The frame was blasted and powder coated, with an off-the-shelf  subframe added to make compatible with the other D&O components. A slightly earlier 1975 R75/5 fuel tank with a classic paint job and knee pads suggests scrambling aspirations.
Duncans R80 5
Smokey exhausts isn’t a strong look so the engine was given a refresh. Re-honed barrels were sent off for powder coat while new piston rings ensure a clean combustion from the new Mikuni carbs. These otherwise oil-tight boxer engines are sometimes let down by the pushrod tubes, so these were replaced along with new seals. Older style rocker covers are readily available, easy to fit and improve the Boxer’s appearance; so a pair were fitted. Stainless exhaust headers shout their baritone beat into relatively short reverse cone mufflers.
Duncans R80 6
Years of building custom BMWs and the constant R&D allows for plug and play fitment of some common parts. The punched and flared aluminium battery box fits easily into the subframe providing a home a normal sized battery and negating the need to play hide and seek with Li-Ion versions. A neat tuck ‘n’ roll seat fits, neatly of course, on the slightly kicked up subframe, with ignition relocated below.
Duncans R80 7
Upgraded shocks and refreshed forks keep both ends in check when Duncan is making up for lost time. The ever popular Heidenau Scouts are fitted, 100/90/19 up front and 120/90/18 at the rear, which have proved time and time again to be an excellent choice for road use whilst insinuating dirt potential. D&O stainless mudguards of proper proportions are there just in case Duncan puts the rubber to the test.
Duncans R80 8
A diminutive LSL brake fluid reservoir mounted to a set of British made Renthal bars with a Koso speedo sheds the years from the cockpit while a D&O stainless lamp lights the way, mounted by way of mini LED indicators and custom brackets.
Duncans R80 9
The net result is that Duncan is over the moon with the result and really pleased to have realised a boyhood dream, and for finding the right outfit to make it all happen. Now all he needs to do is obtain his jet fighter licence.
Shaun & Carl have reached the tipping point and can no longer manage in their current workshop. Turning out a full build each and every month plus the growth of their parts business has meant new premises have been acquired, although these too are now feeling a touch full. To commission a build and order parts get in touch via their website and keep an eye on Facebook for build updates.

First published on

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Clean Maschine: Urban Motor’s rakish R80

Custom BMW R80 monolever built by Urban Motor of Berlin.

Every year, 120,000 motorcycles roll off the production line in BMW’s giant Berlin factory. But some of the most interesting Beemers come from a tiny workshop just 15 kilometers to the east, on the banks of the River Spree.
That’s where you’ll find Urban Motor‘s Peter Dannenberg, a man who tweaks the lines and details of BMWs and turns them into something extra speziell.
Custom BMW R80 monolever built by Urban Motor of Berlin.

His latest bike is this incredibly honed ’87 BMW R80 monolever, appropriately dubbed ‘Clean Beem(er)’. It was built for a fellow Berliner Johannes—an architect who commissioned it as a 40th birthday present to himself.
“Johannes wanted a low-riding, short and agile urban racer,” says Peter, “with some non-racing features for more comfort. Like not using clip-ons.”
Custom BMW R80 monolever built by Urban Motor of Berlin.

Urban Rider dropped the R80’s front suspension 2.5” to get a more aggressive stance. Then they upgraded the forks with Wilbers progressive springs, and added a Wilbers Ecoline shock out back.
A set of BMW cross-spoke units replace the stock wheels. Measuring 18” at the front and 17” at the rear, they’re fitted with Avon Roadrider AM26 tires for maximum tarmac grip.
Custom BMW R80 monolever built by Urban Motor of Berlin.

Urban Motor opted to retain the R80’s stock /7 tank, but fabricated a slim tail unit with a leather seat, mounted on a bespoke subframe. The area underneath it is bare, thanks to a full Motogadget electronics installation that includes the m-Unit and m-Button control units, an m-Lock keyless ignition, m-Switch Mini switchgear and a Chronoclassic speedo.
Urban Rider have also made a custom gearbox casing cover to replace the airbox and complete the engine’s line. The battery’s now located underneath the frame, and the engine has been treated to a pair of K&N filters and new mufflers.
Custom BMW R80 monolever built by Urban Motor of Berlin.

When it came to speccing parts for the R80, no stone was left unturned. It’s kitted with a Brembo PS13 master cylinder, Stahlflex brake lines, and LSL handlebars with Magura grips and Tommaselli controls.
There are also mirrors from Oberon, rear-sets from Tarozzi, a new 5 3/4” headlight and LED turn signals with a brake light feature integrated into the rear pair. Finishing it off is a small alloy front fender, and a hand-made, side-mounted license plate bracket.
Custom BMW R80 monolever built by Urban Motor of Berlin.

When all was said and done, Urban Motor designed a sublime green and white paint scheme—sending it off to Sven van den Brandt to execute.
Check the way the lower white section of the tank aligns with the seat unit. Like the rest of the R80, it’s just wunderbar.
Custom BMW R80 monolever built by Urban Motor of Berlin.
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