The custom world is saturated with chopped-up BMWs, so it takes something unusual to pique our interest. This sleek little number from Berham Customs of Berlin will do just nicely.
Part café, part roadster, ‘VENR’ is a 1978 airhead with an odd mix of styles—slender bodywork sitting above the hefty stock motor, in perfect contrast. Builders Felix Pilz and Martien Delfgaauw have achieved a strange harmony, but it sure wasn’t easy.
They started by ditching the original R100/7 bodywork. The fuel is now held in a Honda CB50 tank, modded to fit the frame and plumbed in with twin taps. It’s been treated to a Lowbrow Customs fuel sight gauge too.
The seat unit’s a one-off, made from 2mm aluminum. The subframe it’s sitting on was hand-made by Marvin Diehl from KRT Framework; it’s been designed to give the tail a floating effect. The rest of the frame’s been de-tabbed too.
Up front, Berham fitted a nose fairing taken off a Spanish moped, packing a 5½-inch headlight. Other lighting duties are taken care of by tiny LED turn signals, and a discreet LED taillight.
The rest of the cockpit’s equally interesting: from the modified K100 handlebars, to the matching Magura controls and the stainless steel brake line running through the steering tube.
It’s also very clean, thanks to a set of Motogadget switches with internal wiring, and a tucked away Motogadget speedo.
On the mechanical side, Berham rebuilt the BMW’s engine from the ground up, and treated it to a pair of trumpet mufflers with custom baffles.
The bike’s also been completely rewired, and now runs off a Lithium-ion battery (hidden away behind the gearbox), with an electronic ignition by Israel.
Berham then lowered the front forks, and made a pair of black upper stanchion covers. They also converted the brakes to a floating disc setup, and wrapped the stock spoke wheels in Bridgestone Battlax rubber.
A lot of attention’s gone into bits and pieces that might be missed at first glance. The brake and clutch levers have been re-shaped to match each other perfectly. There’s a small inner fender at the rear, and the airbox has been adorned with neat ventilation fins.
The front turn signal brackets are particularly nifty, and will be offered for sale soon (along with the stanchion covers). All the electrical bits are concealed in a small aluminum box, hidden away under the seat.
And as an added bonus, all the custom work meets Germany’s strict TÜV approval standard.
The ‘VENR’ build was not without its drama, though. Berham had originally planned to reveal the bike at Wheels & Waves, but an unreliable paint shop stalled the project.
The launch was pushed back to the BMW Motorrad Days. At 10pm the night before departure, the paint was ready—but minus the pinstriping. Frustrated but out of time, the crew re-assembled the bike, taking care not to smudge the fresh paint. At 4.30am, the BMW was back in one piece.
The 750km trip from Berlin to Garmisch-Patenkirchen wasn’t without incident either: Berham’s van broke down and a rental had to be procured. But as soon as Martien reached the event, the tide turned.
“A friend pointed out that BMW factory pinstripers were offering their services on site.” The bike was stripped right there, and the parts hauled off to the ladies at the paint booth. Their intricate work is the perfect finishing touch for this quirky airhead.
It was a long road to perfection. But like they say, nothing worth having comes easy, does it?