BMW Motorrad has a gap in its product range large enough to drive a Bundeswehr Unimog through: it doesn’t have a retro roadster to compete with the hugely popular Triumph Bonneville or the expanding Moto Guzzi V7 fleet. Which is strange, given the remarkable popularity of the classic R-series with custom builders.
Here’s the latest vintage Beemer to catch our eye. It’s an R80/7 built by Luka Cimolini in his garage in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Luka’s original plan was to customize a Dnepr, but documentation issues put paid to that. So he snapped up a 1977 R80 in the UK and shipped it to eastern Europe.
It took Luka two years to build this machine, his first custom. But he’s hit the ball out of the park at the first attempt. Slammed low and with a kicked-up seat, he’s given the high-riding R80 a low and sporty stance.
The mods are extensive, with the most obvious being front forks dropped almost two inches and 11-inch shocks fitted at the back. The rebuilt engine is hooked up to universal Megaton reverse cone mufflers, and Luka modified the subframe to take the custom seat unit. The fenders are bobbed BMW originals, and BMW /5 headlight brackets cradle a customized Dnepr lamp. The brake and clutch levers are Triumph, the steering damper knob is from a BMW R26, and the tacho is from an R69S. The grips are Lambretta.
BMW, it would seem, is taking note of the trend. One of the biggest news stories from this week’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan is the announcement of a retro roadster from BMW, to be revealed next year. A development of the LoRider concept, it’s likely to be powered by the current air/oil-cooled, 1170cc boxer motor and feature inverted forks. Can’t wait.
Images © Ciril Komotar. With thanks to Andraž Kopitar of the leading Slovenian custom motorcycle site 7seven Customs.