“Squat, bulky and ready for a ruck, rugged…that kinda look!”. When a build meeting starts with those sentiments, you know it’s going to go in an interesting direction.
When we first sit down with someone who is keen for us to build their new bike, part of our conversation is to find inspiration from what they loved about the bikes that they have already owned or are leaving behind. Knowing what already works for a rider can make it a lot easier to head in a particular build direction. In this case, the owner’s previous bike (ST from here on in) was an air cooled GSA. Once we knew the parts that ST loved about his adventure bike we opened a discussion about what his dream bike would look like, thumbed a few dozen photos and added his ‘genesis’ bike to the virtual mood board - the place where all the inspirational thoughts derive from. ST was very clear with his vision, something solid in the middle with classic looks that look like Steve McQueen might like to ride it over a mountain or two to his local DGR ride!
Top of the list of requests was a crew cut, “flat on top!”. ST wanted the bars and high points of the bike as flat and low as possible to achieve the bulky end result.
Our first task to achieve this, was swapping out the OE 7” light for a typically classic Bates style 5 3/4” headlight - black of course. Second on the crew cut list was the clock/gauge. ST had his heart set on a Motogadget Motoscope Pro, however, this is not an application that currently works on post 2017 models, so we hit the drawing board. We ended up designing a slick solution of a clock relocation mount to nestle the clock low and cosy into the top yoke, a goal we achieved much to the delight of the owner. This was all topped off with a blacked out front end, short bar end mirrors and contrast cut handlebar clamp.
Next, the rear end; squat, short, no passengers - easy, right? Not so much on a BMW R nineT Pure. We got the grinder out for this one, chopping the rear end down and notching the frame ends to make room to receive a seat hoop. The hoop then housed an aluminum rear mudguard to ensure a match for the front, with a Bates style LED brake/running light matching the front headlight to ensure flowing lines. To keep it clean and squat, a side mount number plate mount was just the ticket to complete the rear end.
The middle of the bike didn’t need to be played with too much, we just looked to align it’s design with the rest of the bike. We blackened the seat mounts and rear shock spring, locking that in place with a pair of black anodised lock rings, adjacent to this we fitted a battery cover - two components that previously the eye was drawn to, now just simply melted into the darkness of their surroundings.
The stock paint worked surprisingly well, so well in fact, that we all decided it would be the best decision to leave it be and simply accessorise it with a smart set of LuisMoto badges.
The seat and grips got the sweet treatment of a reupholster from our buds at SM Trimming with a dark, rich auburn leather combined with a classic quilted finish, dipping the toe of the build ever so briefly into the steampunk world.
A big highlight of the build for owner was the completion of a single offside yellow running light attached to the engine bars. Not only for the reason of practicality, but also for the reason of style, the bike simply wouldn’t look as aggressive and stout without it. A yellow lensed 4.5” Bates style headlight was the only direction for this, mounted on a fresh set of black engine bars with internally run wiring, keeping the slick factory finish.
A black cerakoted exhaust system, black exhaust wrap, a refinished Roadster exhaust can hanging from a low mount, an anodised black sump guard and a fat, chunky pair of Continental TKC 80’s (140 up front, 180 on the rear) brought the build to a conclusion. With the cost of the donor and build combined coming in lower than a new R9T Roadster off of the forecourt, we had an extremely happy client and a bike that draws attention wherever it goes. We were even lucky enough to show it off at both the Bike Shed London Show and the national motorcycle show 'Motorcycle Live' in 2019.
It wasn’t easy, but always worth it!