Check out the ICON Tarmac premium waterproof riding jacket

Mild To Wild: A Brutal BMW R 1200 GS from Cherry’s

New from Cherry's Company of Japan: Not your usual BMW R1200GS modifications
It’s not surprising that we don’t see many customs based on the BMW R 1200 GS. It might be the world’s most popular ADV bike, but it’s also crammed with tech and bigger than Ben Hur. Firestones and pipewrap simply won’t cut it here.

That didn’t deter Kaichiro Kurosu of Cherry’s Company from having a crack at it, though. He’s gone for a high-impact, in-your-face restyle—the bravest move we’ve seen since El Solitario revealed their infamous R nineT ‘Impostor’ three years ago.

New from Cherry's Company of Japan: Not your usual BMW R1200GS modifications
The idea for this most unusual machine came from a Spanish chap who was living in Japan at the time. “At first, it was a vague custom request,” says Kurosu-san. “Then he started planning an adventure tour around Europe and Asia—so we decided that the base vehicle should be a BMW R 1200 GS.”

The brief contained a couple of requests: keep the riding position, so the BMW would still be comfortable over long distances, and keep at least a vestige of tandem seating.

'Ride Rough and Remote' by Cherry's Company: Not your usual BMW R1200GS modifications
Kurosu also imposed a couple of conditions on himself. He thought it best not to modify the frame, and not to mess with the complex electrical and electronic systems.

“The GS is high quality,” he tells us. “If I’d removed the technology, it would have been a backward step. The owner is planning to go on a tough journey with this motorbike, and electronic control is indispensable for that sort of journey. The owner will also need to get maintenance from BMW dealers around the world.”

'Ride Rough and Remote' by Cherry's Company: Not your usual BMW R1200GS modifications
Kurosu is one of the world’s top bike builders; his talents have been forged in the hugely competitive Japanese scene, and he’s won the top trophy at the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show twice. But he still found this brief a challenge.

“Not changing the frame narrowed the area that I can design. It’s different to a chopper, where I can make a frame from scratch.”

'Ride Rough and Remote' by Cherry's Company: Not your usual BMW R1200GS modifications
He was also constrained by the positioning of the radiators, which couldn’t be moved without compromising the BMW’s abilities. So Kurosu started at the front, and built a new aluminum headlight assembly that flows into custom bodywork, which in turn encapsulates the radiators.

'Ride Rough and Remote' by Cherry's Company: Not your usual BMW R1200GS modifications
The arrangement is no mere bolt-on—it has a trellis subframe of its own, which is probably stronger than the seat units of some bikes we’ve seen. “We needed rigidity to support the lights and instruments,” says Kurosu. “I wanted to move the headlight closer to the front suspension, but needed to allow the space.” The stock instruments are repositioned inside the nacelle.

The new fuel tank cover attaches to the same rubber mounts as the original, but dramatically alters the vibe of the R1200GS. It’s smooth, sweeping and uncluttered—apart from the hand-carved script near the fuel cap, with the bike’s name ‘Ride Rough and Remote.’

'Ride Rough and Remote' by Cherry's Company: Not your usual BMW R1200GS modifications
There’s a hunched-forward slant to the BMW, which echoes two of Kurosu’s most celebrated earlier builds: the R nineT ‘Highway Fighter’ and the turbocharged Harley-Davidson Street ‘Street Fighter.’

The distinctive R1200GS ‘beak’ is gone, but the visual balance is kept by a more conventional custom fiberglass fender, larger than the factory item that hugs the front wheel. This was made in-house in Cherry’s own FRP factory, and it’s been treated to the classic BMW black-with-white-pinstripe scheme—matching the lower half of the tank shroud.

'Ride Rough and Remote' by Cherry's Company: Not your usual BMW R1200GS modifications
The leather saddle, by local specialists Skunk, is a work of art in itself. Finished in a warm grey and black, it’s shaped to hug a solo rider snugly, but also has a pad behind to accommodate a pillion.

The wheels are stock, albeit painted black, and are now shod with Anakee Wild rubber, the latest 50/50 dual sport compound from Michelin.

'Ride Rough and Remote' by Cherry's Company: Not your usual BMW R1200GS modifications
The tires aside, these are not the sort of R1200GS modifications you see discussed on ADV Rider. And we can imagine this bike would get a rough ride from the hardcore Aerostich brigade too.

But it’s also a strikingly original take on the big Beemer, and looks like nothing else out there. How many other customs have radically changed the looks of a donor bike, without substantially compromising functionality? Not many, and that is where the true genius of Kurosu-san lies.

Cherry’s CompanyFacebook | Instagram | Images by Hiromitsu Yasui | With thanks to Tadashi Kono.

'Ride Rough and Remote' by Cherry's Company: Not your usual BMW R1200GS modifications