BMW’s R series is seriously challenging the Honda CB as the custom platform of choice; over the past few months, a remarkable number of stylish 70s BMW customs have been popping up in the Bike EXIF inbox. This one was built by Karles Vives of Barcelona, Spain, and it’s an RT model—which in BMW’s complicated lexicon, means it’s a tourer. (This was best explained by Cycle magazine’s April 1979 test: “The new RT can best be described as a full-house touring version of the RS, which is a semi-touring version of the S, which is a sporting version of the pipe rack R100T, which is a bunged-out version of the R80/7. Which is a slightly overbored and subtly refined update on the discontinued 750cc model.”) The RT was also the most expensive motorcycle in the world in the late 70s, surpassing even Harley-Davidson’s Electra Glide.
Anyway, back to the vehicle in question. “I always wanted to have a unique motorcycle,” says Karles, “the bike that I couldn’t find in any store. I have never done any job on a bike: I have never changed brake pads or removed the battery, so thinking about a custom project seemed to be an impossible mission.” Karles decided to give it a go, and found an R100 RT from 1982 that was the perfect base for his project. “I started to work hard with a lot of enthusiasm and patience, looking for accessories, removing all the parts I didn’t want, and trying to fix the new ones. At my side I had Jerry Churchill’s book, BMW 2-Valve Twins 1970-1993—a great tool for beginners like me—and also the help of some ‘masters’ from the BMW Classic forum.
“The main idea was to get a comfortable riding bike with a cool look, and trying not to spend a lot of money. So I went for the Scrambler style, with a high handlebar, solo seat and off-road tires. After three months, this is the result. Hope you like!”