Blitz Motorcycles have been enjoying a long love affair with old BMW ‘airheads.’ To date, more than a handful of unique (and often eccentric) boxer customs have rolled out of their workshop. One of their earliest builds was ‘Great Escape‘—a murdered out BMW R60/2 that had everyone’s tongues wagging and arguably helped put Blitz on the map.
They’ve just finished up another ‘/2’ but this one’s been given an entirely different treatment. “Since we are known for having built the ‘Great Escape'”, says Blitz’s Fred Jourden, “we thought it’d be really challenging to go for a totally different colour scheme.”
The donor bike, a 1963 R60/2, wasn’t running when Blitz received it—its owner, an older gentleman who resides in Paris, had owned it for 15 years, but not ridden it for the last 10. His only request was that the rebuilt bike should have an electric starter (by his own admission he had become lazy with age and didn’t want to have to kick start it). For these reasons the engine was swapped out for an ’83 R80/7 mill and a new ignition system installed.
The stock frame and suspension, including the quirky Earles front end, were left intact to retain the quintessential “/2” look. They were powder coated matte dark grey, the wheels matte black, and the engine and a few key bits gloss black. Another stock item is the bike’s original Denfeld solo seat.
The centrepiece of the build is a vintage BSA fuel tank which, in Blitz’ trademark style, was mounted in the exact condition it was found. According to Fred, “We’ve wanted to mount that BSA tank on a ‘/2’ since we built the BSW.” Since the owner is French, Blitz thought it obvious to add some red to the already blue and white tank, creating a Tricolore theme. This was achieved with a bespoke leather harness, made by leather specialists Fleet Ilya (who also supplied the tank harness for the BSW).
A full rewire was undertaken, with the starter button integrated into the front brake lever clamp. Everything now runs off a new lithium-ion battery. The tail light is from a vintage bicycle, converted to 12V, and the headlight has been replaced by a number board with a single 12V bulb peeking through.
Custom made alloy air filters take care of intake duties. The headers have been wrapped, and lead into Campbell mufflers. The ‘/2’ now rolls on Firestone Deluxe (rear) and Coker Diamond (front) rubber. The blue cannister attached to the frame is a genuine vintage motorcycle fire extinguisher.
The result is a quirky yet cool bobber, loaded with character and vintage flavour. As Fred puts it: “Nobody might even understand it, but the owner loves it. And that’s all that matters.”