I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

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bic_bicknell
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I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby bic_bicknell » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:39 pm

Don't know about you lot on the other side of the Atlantic but over here we are experiencing a major eruption of shed building frenzy turning old flat twin BMWs into a host of reincarnations. They all defy logic and appear to forget how shit the original bikes were for anything else other than touring Europe, being painted white for the police, or if you're being generous and nostalgic, used in WW2 by the Germans for toting a machine gun. (And even then Zundapps were better).

Their flat, pushrod, two valve engine is a classic but never a stonking powerhouse and rarely associated with performance and speed. So what's this obsession now of turning them into old-skool cafe racers and pseudo flat trackers? I don't get it.

It's like getting a 1970's Lada and dressing it up with flared wheel arches, a roll cage and Ricaro seats and topped off with a rally paint-job and sponsor stickers. Ironic it would be but not that cool.
Past: Honda CB125J, Honda TL125, 1963 Triumph Tiger 90, Yamaha RD250, Kawasaki KH250, Kawasaki 400 S3, Kawasaki KH400, Kawasaki Z400J, Suzuki GS750, Suzuki GS1000, Ducati SS900 Superlight, KTM LC4 Supermoto, Honda VFR 800i, KTM Superduke '07.

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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby jambox » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:52 pm

bic_bicknell wrote:....It's like getting a 1970's Lada and dressing it up with flared wheel arches, a roll cage and Ricaro seats and topped off with a rally paint-job and sponsor stickers. Ironic it would be but not that cool.

Like this?
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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby DribbleDuke » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:13 pm

I semi get it. I have been intrigued with the air cooled twins in many guises. Be it a BMW twin or the numerous parallel twins that filled the landscapes in an ere gone by. I have not investigated what builds are out there now and would fancy more of a traditional, original build, but tinkering for the sake of tinkering alone is okay in my book. I have the SD to move my adrenal glands into motion and the bikes that seem to enter the heart all started in Europe some time past. I could get a new six fifty twin in lots of guises in this day, but I find my taste is all in my mouth and like the idea of old school more than ever before. This may stem from my desire to be a hipster.
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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby Willh » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:18 pm

Something to be said for easy old points or magneto, carb, air cooling, and pushrods with easy screw type valve adjustment and can be made quite reliable and easier to live with with the modern engineering available today. That being said I never liked the idea of the heads hanging out so close to the deck on the beemers. At least on a Guzzi they're up a bit. And shaft drive just doesn't do it for me. Parallel twins just make more sense packaging wise.

I don't think those guys building those BMW specials are expecting them to perform when they're putting firestone tyres on them. Those bikes are more likely just part of the costume...
But man there are a lot of them on the net...
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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby CEREC1 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:15 pm

bic_bicknell wrote:Don't know about you lot on the other side of the Atlantic but over here we are experiencing a major eruption of shed building frenzy turning old flat twin BMWs into a host of reincarnations. They all defy logic and appear to forget how shit the original bikes were for anything else other than touring Europe, being painted white for the police, or if you're being generous and nostalgic, used in WW2 by the Germans for toting a machine gun. (And even then Zundapps were better).

Their flat, pushrod, two valve engine is a classic but never a stonking powerhouse and rarely associated with performance and speed. So what's this obsession now of turning them into old-skool cafe racers and pseudo flat trackers? I don't get it.

It's like getting a 1970's Lada and dressing it up with flared wheel arches, a roll cage and Ricaro seats and topped off with a rally paint-job and sponsor stickers. Ironic it would be but not that cool.

I'm sure they would be dogs to ride just nobody has the heart to tell them. Just nice to look at some times. At the risk of upsetting our friends over the pond those V twins are a case in point. Even the new ones.
I'll duck down below the parapet now :lol:
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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby DribbleDuke » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:35 pm

You aren't talking about the SD are you? You must mean the other orange and black V-Twin. The one your referring to gets not much love round these parts. Doubt you'll be dodging any incoming rounds
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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby dukepaul » Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:22 am

I think that it certainly helped BMW to be noticed again, across all types of riders.

They must be thousands of well looked after air heads been snapped up at the moment, been sold by grey beards with pipes and sold to big beards with tattoos...



You couldn't/shouldn't do it to vintage Triumphs, Ducati's, Nortons, Vincents, MV's, Laverda's and BMW's... that would be sacrilege :evil:

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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby Crotchrockety » Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:44 am

bic_bicknell wrote: They all defy logic and appear to forget how shit the original bikes were for anything else other than touring Europe, being painted white for the police, or if you're being generous and nostalgic, used in WW2 by the Germans for toting a machine gun. (And even then Zundapps were better).

Their flat, pushrod, two valve engine is a classic but never a stonking powerhouse and rarely associated with performance and speed. So what's this obsession now of turning them into old-skool cafe racers and pseudo flat trackers? I don't get it.


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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby 81forest » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:10 am

They may be rarely associated with performance, but there have been a few (relatively) stonking powerhouses. Google "Rennsport RS54". And Pridmore did beat everything in 1976, even the hipster-holy-grail of cafe shed projects, the CB750.

Friends often tell me that I should "cafe-out" my bone-stock airhead, and it will never happen. It has euro bars and that's it. Pod filters make them run like shit and it's never going to be a racer. It is a fun, classic bike that will probably go for a quarter million miles (unlike the modern ones!).

The only bike my wife has ever liked. :roll:

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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby lawman » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:35 am

I am too but...

I built one and enjoyed building it. I turned a tired old R100rs into a thing of beauty (well I thought so). When I parked the thing up loads of people would decend into the area and look (which was a bit off putting) such was it's attraction. I was surprised how the bike pulled and how smooth and steady it was.

I sold it to a bloke from Belgium who is now enjoying it. I'm happy just to say I did it. The BMW bubble will burst some day and people will move on to the next vogue.

The Lada analogy is a bit harsh. These old airheads may not be top performers these days and rely on basic and archaic technology, but back in the day they were up there with the best performers. The R100 would do 130Mph and stay over the ton all day. The Ladas were archaic when they were new! and how many of them do we see on the road these days.

What I don't get is the ridiculous knobbly tyres people put on all manner of cafe racer style builds: trakkers, yes maybe. But road bikes WTF? :D

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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby bic_bicknell » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:00 am

Yes, don't get me wrong, I have a soft spot for the old style BMWs like everyone else. Just a bit gob smacked about how many are being turned into cafe racers, especially in the brat-style. It's like the revival of a past genre of bike that never actually happened, (at least I was never aware of the BMW being revered by cafe racers in the 70's and '80's)

The other one which is even more weird to me is the apparent revival of the Honda CX500. Despised and laughed at in it's day it made it's name as a hardy despatch riders tool. But never a cool bike, never a good looker, never a bike anyone wanted.
So much effort has gone into these bikes, they are certainly better than the donor bike but I don't get it really.
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Last edited by bic_bicknell on Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Past: Honda CB125J, Honda TL125, 1963 Triumph Tiger 90, Yamaha RD250, Kawasaki KH250, Kawasaki 400 S3, Kawasaki KH400, Kawasaki Z400J, Suzuki GS750, Suzuki GS1000, Ducati SS900 Superlight, KTM LC4 Supermoto, Honda VFR 800i, KTM Superduke '07.

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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby lawman » Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:29 am

Agreed on the CX500, silk purse sows ear springs to mind but then again, each to their own.

I do however have a soft spot for the Honda Dominator builds, they look useable on a day to day basis too. If I did another, I think it would be based on the Honda 650 single.

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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby Aphex » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:47 pm

Has to be better than what is being done to the Nine T: http://www.bikeexif.com/custom-bmw-r-ninet

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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby bic_bicknell » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:07 pm

Yes, that build is a weird one!

But maybe done for publicity, I have seen it featured all over the place? Good PR even if it divides opinion.

I like the idea, just not the execution.
Past: Honda CB125J, Honda TL125, 1963 Triumph Tiger 90, Yamaha RD250, Kawasaki KH250, Kawasaki 400 S3, Kawasaki KH400, Kawasaki Z400J, Suzuki GS750, Suzuki GS1000, Ducati SS900 Superlight, KTM LC4 Supermoto, Honda VFR 800i, KTM Superduke '07.

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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby DMacL » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:58 pm

Aphex wrote:Has to be better than what is being done to the Nine T: http://www.bikeexif.com/custom-bmw-r-ninet


Looks like someone rode through a sheet of mesh. 'Orrible!

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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby DougFir » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:40 pm

Page down a few post on this old link for a nice shed build BMW. Best I have see first hand.
On the car build..I saw an old BMW car that had the door in the front in my 'hood sitting behind a store for years.
Always thought about stuffing a litre IL4 into it, with a muffler cut out. Rip around town on the pipe and muffle down and tip toe out of town. :wink: :wink:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21468
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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby Willh » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:51 pm

DougFir wrote:Page down a few post on this old link for a nice shed build BMW. Best I have see first hand.
On the car build..I saw an old BMW car that had the door in the front in my 'hood sitting behind a store for years.
Always thought about stuffing a litre IL4 into it, with a muffler cut out. Rip around town on the pipe and muffle down and tip toe out of town. :wink: :wink:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21468

I don't think I would call Gregor Halenda's Beemer a she'd build. Street fighter, custom Café maybe, shed build no.

His two wheel drive adventure must make you envious eh Doug :?:
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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby count_zero » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:57 am

Original hipster bike.

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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby DougFir » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:57 pm

"His two wheel drive adventure must make you envious eh Doug :?:"

:arrow: Not really. Just more upkeep. I got real dirt bikes. My 950 is wayyyyyyyy over weight for a dirt bike. It's a firkin' tank ! :shock:

I see guys man handling the big 9X0 dogs, but for me, give me my 300 2 smoke and a single track trail and I am one happy camper. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I can do it on a big dog to a point, but they have so much weight, if they get out of line, it's usually game over. :oops:
Kenny Dreier showed up to a BMW rally with a Hardly Abelson Adventure Thor or ?? and we swapped bikes. I had my XR650R. Like a sluge hammer and a stelloto knife swap. We had fun passing the GS 's..The HD was like riding a fat chick, fun but hope no one sees ya. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I guess you heard the remark about 4 wheel drive trucks, you just get stuck worst. :wink:

My Triumph Tiger front end washed out on me on a damp dirt road. It fell over next to a tree and I could not do the girly lift on it because I could not back up into it because of the tree. I had to lift it by the handle bar. I got it up half way and rested it on my knee. I knew I had one good lift left in me. One! I got it up but it was close with the slippery dirt road. These big dogs like to take naps and are real hard to wake them up. Specialy if you are a lone wolf. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Ramblellllll gotta go...later
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Re: I'm getting weary of BMW shed builds

Postby PBRnr » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:39 am

Just to breath life into a long-dormant thread, I have to agree that old airhead BMW's are sadly subjected to many a younger gent's fabrication pipe dream of an "homage" bike that is as historically inaccurate as the futuristic concept art of our era back in the 50's. Most of the bikes I see on pipeburn, bikeexif, etc seem to be mostly an exercise in artistic expression rather than actual performance/function.

That being said, I'm directly contributing to that controversial trend :lol:

Being a long-time airhead BMW rider/owner yet also quite young (if I say so myself), is that airhead BMW's are rather boring but mechanically reliable. Of all moto brands, I think BMW has the least amount of historical sexiness, which leaves quite a lot of room for temptation. There's always that draw to make something more sexy/exciting isn't there? An uncle of mine crashed his '81 R100RT some years ago, was stripped down, parted out, and sat in the garage since then...till I decided to use it for a resto/mod project.

Knowing how old airheads ride, my goal for the finished bike is to marry performance of some newer componentry with the old stuff...give it a *little* sexiness (subjective mind you) but try to make it as practical as the SD was for me as a daily rider. I don't want to sell it, get featured in a mag, or (TBH) build up any other motorcycle ever again, just make a bike that I like to look at and ride from time to time. Also, learning a lot about fab work and general mechanics that I had ZERO background in prior to taking this on.

detailed thread going on advrider here: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/my-r100rt-cafe-bike-the-road-well-traveled.1106418/

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