BMW K100 cafe racer

BMW K100 cafe racer
I’ve always liked the look of BMW’s K-series motors. Simply because they’re boxy and when they first appeared, I thought they looked like something from Star Wars. The earlier R-series is well established as a café racer platform, but now the K-series is starting to gain favor. And this recent build from the Italian custom shop Abnormal Cycles shows what can be done with a little ingenuity. The base is a BMW K100, a one-liter longitudinal four with Bosch fuel injection—marking BMW’s first major departure from the boxer twin layout.

There’s around 90 hp on tap, a useful 20 hp increase over a Honda CB750, and Abnormal Cycles have kept the huge 22-liter tank too. Adding to the look are a custom exhaust system, new (and minimal) instrumentation and a classic round headlight. The front bikini fairing and side panelling have been removed, and a Ducati SportClassic-style seat unit fitted, upholstered in Alcantara fabric. It’s a simple and no doubt cost-effective conversion, but it works.

BMW K100 cafe racer

  • lurch

    I still dunno.
    There’s certainly poetential there, but for a real cafe racer look theres just oo much plastic and not enough polish alloy etc.
    My next step on that would be to polish the hell out of everything and bugger off those nasty handle bars.

  • WRXr

    Very nice indeed. I agree with Lurch’s sentiments on the handlebars and polishing, especially the exhaust, but as a minimal effort affair, I think it is gorgeous and well done.

  • PeteP

    Best looking K bike I’ve seen in a long time. I’ll have to grab one, and get to work.

  • Rex Havoc

    meh… but I can see the potential. A good budget build.

  • johnly

    gas tank ?!

  • zoran

    From the back it’s do-able but from the front…
    Radiators sucks big time, especially when tey are the size of a football field..

  • Jerry

    Gives me a little inspiration for the K75 sitting in the garage. But the radiator needs some protection. I can see carnage after a Texas junebug or grasshopper attack at 90mph.

  • Jonathan

    I like the seat unit. I would remove it form this bike, and find a nicer one on which to install it.

    Don’t like the radiator, the handle bars, the engine is characterless………..sorry but that’s my 2 pennys worth.

  • Andy Carter

    I had to stare at this for a while before it dawned on me why I like it. Jonathan is right that the engine has all the character of a bottle of antiseptic. These K100′s are pretty lardy too compared to any sport bike and it has almost none of the essential parts required for a cafe racer, and yet… The base bike is as cheap as chips these days and look how little has been done to make it a viable alternative custom for anyone who’s not got even modest ammounts of money. I can imagine getting to work or nipping out for a pint on this (they do go on forever like a cure for insomnia). Looked at that way it’s as well chosen as a propper cafe racer or tourer.

    I wonder what the exhaust sounds like?

  • Jerry

    I suspect that the big honking air box on top of the engine can be slimmed down. Also, if one got creative, one could go with a different shape of radiator, which would help. The K-bikes are pretty bomb-proof, and they do make a great commute, pop out for an errand kind of bike. They aren’t the fastest bikes around, and the suspension leaves a little to be desired, particularly the front, which has a tendency to dive (even with the right amount of fluid).

    I’m still looking for a set of ‘C’ bars for mine, just in case anyone has a set sitting somewhere that they’d like to sell.