Police forces around the world love BMW motorcycles. But we’ve never seen one quite like this. It’s a law enforcement R80 RT from the late 80s, which originally ran with flashing lights, a fairing and police-spec panniers.
Only the scars and the original blue emergency light remain. But this Swiss-built custom attracts way more attention now than it ever did in service.
It’s the work of Daniel ‘Dani’ Weidmann of VTR Customs in Switzerland, that famously law-abiding country. VTR is a shadowy crew of urban customizers and racing fanatics who live in the basement of a mainstream BMW dealer, the oddly-named Stucki 2Rad.
To date, these men and women have built numerous café racer and brat bikes from the weathered remains of classic two-valve Boxer-powered BMW bikes. Then a collective decision was made to build a machine that wasn’t road legal, but would still promote everything VTR Customs could do.
A donor bike was found. Or three of them, to be more precise: all ex-police R80 RT patrol bikes from the Italian-speaking division of the Swiss Police force. “We buy as many as we can, because the classic Boxers are obviously becoming very sought after,” says Dani.
Dani races in the Swiss Supermoto championship and many of his VTR colleagues are also race technicians, so it was a simple decision to turn ‘P1’ into a quick café racer. And there’s a whole heap of serious racing and performance technology attached to this 27-year-old engine and chassis.
Fuel supply to the blueprinted engine is now by fuel injection, and the original twin carbs have been ditched in favor of a ‘home-made’ injection system, using injectors sourced from eBay. The identity of the ECU system remains a secret, but Dani is prepared to say that it’s a programmable system with a switch on the top fork yoke giving the rider instant access to different fuel and ignition maps.
If the fitment of fuel injection wasn’t enough, there is also added spice of a Rotrex supercharger. It’s a belt driven ‘charger’ that takes its drive from the former alternator assembly. The mounting for the charger, the outrigger bearing plate and various pulleys have all been fabricated in-house.
The supercharger gearing is set to ensure maximum flow from the impellor at low rpm, with the final drive ratio set to produce maximum acceleration. There is no pressurized airbox (plenum chamber) because the forced air intake is pushed directly into the inlet stubs of each cylinder head.
Unbelievably, there’s also a compact nitrous oxide injection system. This cools the intake air, which increases air density and oxygen content. It sounds like overkill, but then you have to remember that ‘P1’ is built to cover an eighth-of-a-mile as quickly as possible.
Work is still ongoing, but the engine is finished. “It’s been stripped and rebuilt to original specs. The only difference is the heads flow better, and the connecting rods have been replaced for stronger items.
“We have seen some big flames from the exhausts, so it will look exciting at the events.”
When that happens—we want to see the videos.