BMW Motorrad Spezial

Blitz BMW R60/2

BMW R60/2
In the car world, you often see “murdered out” vehicles, painted completely black for a sleek and sinister look. You occasionally see it in the motorcycling world—Steve Jones’ Ducati being an example—but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fifty-year-old classic motorcycle given the “murder” look. This traffic-stopping machine, called “Great Escape“, is a 1963 BMW R60/2 customized by Blitz Motorcycles of France. Hugo, Léo and Fred have restored this 594 cc (36 ci), shaft-driven Boxer twin, powdercoated the frame, fork and handlebar in matt black, and then used high-temperature black for the engine. The R60/2 was completely rewired, stripped of its fenders and fitted with 18” Mitas Enduro tires. It’s a look that seems to suit the bike, especially with that oddball swing-arm suspension at the front as well as the back. Ein schönes Motorrad, ja? [Blitz are building quite a portfolio of rough-hewn customs—there are Kawasaki, Triumph and Yamaha creations on the Blitz website. Photos: Fabrice Berry.]

BMW R60/2
BMW R60/2
BMW R60/2

  • mike

    that “oddball swingarm suspension” looks rather like the stndard “Earles fork” that the bike left the factory with.

  • Yes, it’s the standard suspension, not a Blitz creation. Still looks mighty strange to me.

  • Bald Shaun

    Absolutely stunning. I might have left the engine raw for a little contrast (and because I think it’s a beautiful mill), but this thing definitely grabs your attention.

  • john denniston

    suspension is a Plunger rear, Earles type front

    • Tre_letraj

      No, not plunger rear, just looks that way with the rear fender gone. The front and rear shocks are interchangeable, just have different top covers.

  • PatrickVA

    Beautiful look for a relatively stock bike. Nasty passenger seat though.

  • mingh

    1. buy nondescript old bike
    2. chop fender
    3. paint it black
    hey presto i’m on bike exif!

    there’s dozens of cafe racer forums that are full of this. only the tire choice is original.

  • CT

    Love the look of this bike. Just picked up a ’63 /2 and am in the process of going through the bike piece by piece. Part of me wants to stay true to it’s roots and keep it original and another part of me want to go completely custom and irreverent like this. I would probably leave the engine raw as well, but nearly everything else would go flat, in either black or army green. Most people I’ve talked to about this think I’m nuts, but most of them are BMW purists too. What do you think?

  • Kim of Copenhagen

    John D; This BMW rear suspension is often mistaken for a plunger type (which they used on previous models), but the /2s just have the shock absorbers mounted in a untypical place for their swingarm suspension. For plunger suspension systems, look at a 1940 Indian Chief og a 1950 BSA B33.

  • Ming, even in pure original condition, these bikes are anything but nondescript.

  • SkipW

    Yeah, I really like it. And Mingh, sometimes less really is more. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel to re-invent the bike… I could go on with several more appropriate cliches, but i think i’ve made my point.

  • Cajun58

    Whoever wrote this article has an appalling lack of knowledge about motorcycles. I don’t know if the Earles fork on this machine is original or what have you but it is clearly a leading link type fork. That someone writing copy for the site would not be familiar with this kind of fork is really shocking. I’m not expecting he or she to be able to identify if it is correct for the model year and so forth but to describe the front end of this bike as simply an, “oddball swing-arm suspension” is totally unacceptable. As I said I am really quite stunned by the ignorance displayed by this writer.

    • Hi Cajun58,

      I’m Chris—I wrote the article. Yes, it’s oddball—most bikes use conventional forks. Although it’s known as an Earles suspension, it’s also a like a swing arm in reverse. As mentioned on two definitive authorities—BM Bikes and Wikipedia.

      Have a great day!


  • Al

    That’s a good example of how one can ‘customise’ a bike without having to spend too much time and money.
    And in my opinion it would look even better with the right mudguards.
    Anyway…unique bike…
    And funny too… ‘freaking out’ BMW purist…been there done that…

  • RobL

    What makes this very simple concept look so amazing it that it makes a real-world object look like a black-and-white picture. The entire bike is just contrasting shades, no distraction of color, so the pure form of a classic, no-frills bike jumps out at the eye. Less is so totally more, case in point.

  • Emmet

    That paint job is BRUTAL

  • I like this bike but flat black eventually gets shiny when consistently rubbed. It sort of buffs a shine into the paint. If ridden hard, this paint job, even if it has a matte hard coat will have shiny spots all over real soon.

  • MIke

    WOW – looks STUNNING. and this time the flat twin works (not like the last BMW jobby . its like the ‘pit bull’ of bikes. I take my hat of to the builders!

  • Thiago

    This is definitely a good custom. Not too much done but still achieved that wow factor. Don’t understand why some people would criticize by saying not enough was done to call it a custom. Good paint job and good tire choice. Very sexy indeed!

  • Hiwatt Scott

    I’m sorry, but this is one of the ugliest, most ungainly looking bikes I’ve ever seen on here.

  • Kyle

    Er, this motorcycle definitely does not work for me. It’s well, how should I put it, rather disproportionate. Maybe different, but definitely not going to get me to even swing my leg over it. I love these old bikes, in fact, even obsessive about them but this one is an exception. Sigh

  • RocketRobinHood

    I can’t stop looking at it. It sucks in the eyes; there is none more black (or however Nigel put it in Spinal Tap). I think I love it.

    Cajun: you must be a lot of fun at parties.

  • mack-o-matik

    harrharr, me want to rule zi wörld together wiff darf vater… I’d like to see a yellow smiley somewhere on that black, just to relax a little bit…
    paintjob is nice, though not very creative, and carbs and kickstarter in grey works for me. No, not these tires, mate – it’s like ridin’ on soap. Why not some nice, fat firestones? Mostly I like the courage Blitz have modifying a “holy cow” that way. Tschüss!

  • WillyP

    I’m with mingh on this. If a flat black bike with no fenders and knobbies is really what you want, fine. Yes it is custom, by definition, but more like what some 16 year old kid would do having found the bike in his uncles barn and couldn’t afford to do it right because he’s working part time as a dishwasher. DAMHIK!

    Only he would not have taken the fenders completely off, or put knobbies on it, or paint it flat black, because he intends to actually ride the damn thing. On the street.

  • Jim

    CT, go ahead and customize your /2, it’s not as if they are ultra rare. If it were me, I’d not make modifications that are not readily reversible, hacking the frame for instance. Most if not all the body parts are available either from BMW or as reproductions so if someone wanted to restore it to showroom later they could. One thing you might consider is rather than cutting or modifying any of the original parts, hack up reproductions and save the originals.

  • Toss Pot

    Two Bob!

    Remove 2 fenders, paint flat black add knobbly tires? This succeeded in doing nothing, but taking a perfect bike & making it rubbish. But alas, to each his own.

  • Ethan

    I actually really like this bike but can we all agree the “Great Escape“ thing has been done to death?

    People find a new source of inspiration. It’s a great movie but damn, come on.

  • I’m in total agreement with Mingh, Hiwatt Scott, and Willy P.. This is just an old bike painted flat black with completely wrong tires installed. With all the other cool, heavily modified bikes seen here, this one is what…..?

    It’s not original in any way except that in the way someone pushed the limit of wasting good machinery just a little past too far.

    To say it’s “Absolutely stunning”? “Beautiful look”?

    SkipW- Less is more sometimes. I agree In this case, it took less imagination, less effort, less modifications, old rock hard knobbies making for less traction on the street, less thought about how or where to paint it…….Voila! A less impressive bike!

    Where we need more is in the area of our expectations of what makes a bike cool. Also, if you’re going to modify something, somewhere at some point, improving it in some area should be at least a minor concern.

  • Agree with the ‘Great Escape’ thing. But at least it’s better than checkered stripes on the tank. Maybe the matt black “murdered” look is going to be the next big trend in custom motorcycles?

  • Dear Minge:

    “This site offers a dose of the coolest motorcycles, six days a week. That means new and classic cafe racers, customs, vintage motorbikes, retro track weapons and style icons. I’m passionate about design, photography and classic motorcycles, and Bike EXIF is a way to combine all three—and connect with other people who share the same interests.”

    So, you were saying about what should and should not be featured on this site?

  • Since when has there been a standard of what makes a bike cool or custom? I rarely ever comment on posts to avoid the backlash, but this is getting ridiculous. Some of you just love to stir stuff up too. Nowhere in the article does Chris say it’s a custom suspension made by Blitz, or never-been-seen before. It’s an ‘odd-ball swingarm suspension’ – and it is… Straight from the factory. The end.

    You purists stick out like busted knuckles, and probably do more fabrication to these articles than your bikes, I imagine.

  • Mel

    Amazing bike. Subtle as a sledgehammer and, looks so much tougher than the bike it was built from. It highlights the oddities, rather than covering them up.

  • Purists don’t like these types of bikes at all. Well, newsflash gramps – it wasn’t made for you. Think of all the time the owner will save by not having to polish the chrome on his lawn in front of his neighbors! Don’t get me wrong, meticulous concourse vintage bikes have their place, but they lack individual character IMO, which this and most custom bikes exemplify. I’d love to be the one to wear down those knobbies.

    Ride ’em, don’t hide ’em.

  • To all the people who slagged of this bike:
    please post the link with the pictures of the bike you built, it’s a very simple request based on the fact that words needs to be backed up with facts.
    Many thanks

  • mule

    Wayne, the point here “Gramps”, is that anybody with or without skill or one iota of imagination could spray paint any bike flat black and install some old knobbies in an afternoon while cookin’ hotdogs on the BBQ and watching Leave it to Bevis and Butthead on TV. They’d be profiling their new custom build by the next morning. What makes that so amazing is that ranks as “Original”. Has nothing to do with people being Purists or rookies.

    What is cool. Something that works very hard at trying to be cool or Avante Garde is for sure not going to be cool. What is cool? Thats up to each individual. I guess there are people that think almost no effrort or imagination
    is supremely cool.

  • mingh

    as a follow up to my previous post: Blitz sure can build nice bikes: look at the triumph they did. I’m not saying what should or should not be posted here, just giving a thumb up -or down.
    @ andrea, i’m currently halfway restomodding a 1979 Laverda Jota from the crankshaft up. It’s not black and it won’t have checkered flags. But I like to believe it will actually be a rideable bike for longer than the sturgis strip.

  • Most bad of ass, indeed.
    It brought this one immediately to mind. I think I saw it on bubblevisor.

  • Cajun58

    RocketRobinHood what is your comment supposed to mean?

  • Hi all,

    It seems this bike has generated a lot of reactions so far.
    Good : it was definitely made for this purpose.
    Still, being the creator of this bike, let me enlighten you about its story.

    The friend we made this motorcycle for had an accident with his R60/2. He wisely decided to take it to an official BMW garage so that they could take care of it. One year and a half went through : nothing happened (except a tremendous bill for having kept his bike in their store).
    I conviced him to take the bike back and take it to our place. Which he did, 3 days after.
    He had no money for that rebuilt. And believe me, it had to be rebuilt.
    At that time, we were very much into black mat BMW’s (especially R100/7). That was therefore the only colour we could turn this bike into.
    We disassembled totally the machine, fixed the engine, and simplified the electric wire (this detail given to all the peole thinking we have rebuilt this bike watching TV and cooking hot dogs at the same time).
    After getting the parts back from painting, we rebuilt the machine (while cooking hot dogs, of course).
    Then came the time of mounting the tires.
    This is where I suggested to mount those “knobbies”. From that moment, we knew this bike would not stick to the road as it used to. But the odea was to have a very aggressiv profile. Road holding here was not that important.
    And once the tires were up, since we had not mounted the fenders yet, we stared at the bike, and in a blink of an eye, our mind was made : we would not use the fenders. No argue, no question.

    And after all that, when the time came to find this bike a name, we naturally went to “tribute to the Great Escape” because as it was, it was reminding us of this movie.
    Of course, in the real movie, it is a TR6 pre-unit Triumph driven by Bud Ekins. But guess what : my friend does not have the money to get this very bike.

    And to all the ones who think we did the minimum job here : you are damn RIGHT ! That’s what we did. But we OFFERED this minimum.

    Now if you wanna come to this field ; be our guest.
    Our website has enough pictures of extremely modified motorcycles to meet all your demands. Some you might not even identify unless we give you a tip by writing the original name of the machine on its description.

    You can now unleash hell. This will not change the fact we put all our knowledge and passion in this bike. And I guess that this is what it all should be about.

    Fred (Blitz-Motorcycles).

  • RobL

    What Andrea said.

  • RobL

    Fred, no defense necessary! But that’s a great story, gives the bike even more life. Thanks for sharing.

  • @RobL : You’re right : no defense necessary.
    I was just trying to give a new perspective on this bike and I guess my passion might have lost me on the way :)

    Fred (Blitz-Motorcycles)

  • Zac

    I wonder if the fact that the bike is divisive is proof that it is a good custom. Like rock ‘n roll and rap these things are best when they challenge or even offend the senses.

  • Fred, Nice work. Great story.
    Im keen to get hold of an old airhead (not as old as your friends though…Im thinking 70s) & give it our own take.
    Upsetting the BMW purists is just another great reason to do it.

  • nathan

    @Fred, personally i’m glad your passion gave way, its what makes a difference in this two pot screamer world… To me, I would rather have a bike built with passion, desire and dreams. Its builders like you whom put their soul, feeling and passion into their bikes that make it worth the time, energy and effort of having a custom bike.

    Isnt that why we ride, why we ride, why we desire to have customs, to have that feeling of freedom, to live the passion, to enjoy the ride – no matter what we ride!

    thanks Fred, love your work….

  • Hot! I agree it needs a splash of mango paint on it somewhere though, it’s enough to give you nightmares!

  • mule

    I still don’t like the bike, but really enjoyed the story! AND you have a sense of humor too! Hat’s off to you for the hard work and helping a guy with a low budget. Good job!

  • BryGuy

    @Chris and Fred:

    Thank-you! You have succeeded in spades with both your life missions.

    First I love this bike and feel an unholy desire to take it off-road in a bomber jacket, and breeches.

    Second I love how divisive this machine is. For that alone you should both be proud.

    Everyone else, if you like it, ride it. If you don’t, ride yours! This bike has nothing in common with my Sportster and yet it makes me want to go and ride that right now.

    Someone in Munich has got to look at this picture and think scrambler/enduro sales craze, don’t they?

  • Thiago

    you did an awesome job with this bike. This bike definitely represents what new customs don’t, simplicity with a cool factor. I’m tired of other bike builders completely altering bikes to appeal to the majority. Motorcycles, unlike cars, in my opinion represent individuality and you can definitely achieve that with your build.

  • RocketRobinHood

    Cajun: Come on, man. You know what I meant. You were being a snotty dick and you should know that; I was trying not to be rude about reminding you that you probably don’t get invited out much.

    Thanks for posting, Fred, may I ask what it weighs? (I guess what I’m asking is: is it speedy? and do those craaazy tires allow any sort of handling?)

  • Beside Ourselves

    A great deal of vitriol being splashed about here, one assumption many are making but have not proven is that “custom” is in some way intrinsically superior to a flat-black, mechanically sorted classic with knobblies on. Is it a custom build as that term is commonly understood? Not really… Is that a problem for people who actually like motorcycles? Not really.

    Where I live, I would own a fleet of these before any custom trophy-piece.

    Contrary to public opinion, creativity is not actually a function of man-hours or dollars spent. Unless you are from California.

  • Cajun58


    If your assessment is correct then the comments you’ve made will be of no consequence what so ever in terms of altering my behavior. Your postings are then solely for a purpose which defies my ability to comprehend.
    In the future you are more then welcome to keep your unsolicited and unwanted opinions about me to yourself.

  • Ben-bot

    This motorcycle is badass. I’m a big fan of BMW R bikes and an even bigger fan of making them post apocalyptic hell machines, like this one. The first R bike I ever sweated over, I saw on Central Ave in Albuquerque about 9 years ago, it was an R75/5 and flat black, stickered up, dirty and looked like it had just crawled out of the desert wasteland. Ever since that moment I’ve been hoping for the crashed or trashed Beemer to show up in my life to do something like this with. I completely understand where this builder is coming from. At least I think I do.

  • I am glad to see that the custom spirit seems to to be shared by the big majority here.

    I am also glad that this subject has pros and cons ready to post ; this is what the Internet and this very blog are made for : emulation / taste sharing !



    PS : and I hope our next bike will have the honor of a post by Chris here. So that we can keep sharing our different points of view.

  • @ RocketRobinHood : don’t expect to exceed 90 km/h on this bike !

    And of course, no driving on rainy day…. Unless you wanna look like Hugo (who was testing a second 60/2 we had just finished that supposely summer day) :!/photo.php?pid=6204079&fbid=455770054399&op=2&o=global&view=global&subj=139928366037599&id=768544399

    Fred (Blitz-Motorcycles)

  • Shawn

    This is butt hole ugly. I like diversity but this is just stupid. Please Bike Exif, can you rethink what your site is about.

  • mack-o-matik

    C’mon, what’s all that noise about what this site should be about and not?!?! Man, this is called freedom of speech! Thanks to Bike Exif we are able to share something in common, passion that is, and if guys like Shawn or Cajun58 want to point on precision, originality and me-knows-better-than-yous, why don’t you guys put up your own website about cycles?

  • evilgiles

    Dear Chris…

    First of all may I please congratulate you on your awesome site. Bikeexif is the first page I visit everyday when I flick on my pc. But just so we can clarify things, for those without a webpage who think they have the right to tell you how to run yours, I have a quick question/statement… Bikeexif, correct me if I am wrong, is a site dedicated to photography of motorcycles… Yes? It is then as important to enjoy the photo as it is to enjoy the subject in the photo… If the site was about photography of people, would we stand for mindless comments about how we don’t like the shirt a guy is wearing in a photo? Or how a girl in a photo has done her hair? Well would we? For those of you who enjoy photographs of motorcycles then feel free to comment. For those who don’t enjoy photographs of motorcycles I think I can hear your mum calling you to come inside, now please leave…

    Chris, once again, thankyou for your hard work…

  • mack-o-matik

    yep – evilgiles, thanks! And Chris and Fred and…

  • Jefferson

    Damn, you guys really brought the crazy on this one.

  • Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course. Where I draw the line is when people are telling Chris how to run his web site. It makes me imagine what it would be like for someone to start telling me how to run mine and I start to get very testy.

    And Chris just tweeted that he got his first piece of hate mail over this bike.



    What kind of asshat gets that upset about a motorcycle? Get a life, sir.

  • Ethan

    Hey you guys did one of my favorite bikes, didn’t know it was you: Yamaha SR 500 Dirt Track #76! Tasty!

  • Hi Ethan,

    Nice to read that !

    Coming soon : short movie featuring the 500 SR’s “dirt track”.
    It will be released on our FB page.

    Fred (Blitz-Motorcycles).

  • Cajun58

    You have totally misrepresented my statement and completely under estimated Mr. Hunter who is not a thin skinned, panty-waist, milquetoast that is offended by a spirited discussion. Believe me the man is a professional journalist and I am thoroughly overmatched in a battle of words with him.

  • “Milquetoast”?!

    I haven’t heard that word for a long time, but it’s a lost diamond from the dictionary.

    And let’s all just get on, OK?


  • thomas

    I love that bike. This is my effort, which I thought was cool until I saw Fred’s: Far blacker than I ever dreamed a /2 could be. Bobbed fenders, an appropriate cafe seat (hard to do on a /2) and some retro Firestone rubber (or not…I like those Dunlops I’ve got), I think I have something to work on this winter.

  • Damn! What a machine! Oddball front and semi-oddball rear, boxer, nasty paint – this is what design and rebel motorcycles are about. I want one!

  • @Thomas : you have a beautiful S2 !
    Looking forward to seeing the final evolution.
    FYI : tires are “Mitas” enduro tires.
    Fred (Blitz-Motorcycles)

  • James

    Personally, I love the look of this bike. In general, I don’t care for the looks of cafe racers/vintage bikes, but this… This is an exception to be noted. I’d actually buy this if I had the chance!

  • It disgusts me! …yet I can’t look away.

  • Nice dilemma, Scott :)

    Fred (Blitz-Motorcycles)

  • Florian

    Hi there,

    I just wanted to add my own congratulations about this bike, it is to me the perfect look for these utility machines that airheads are (am a happy owner of a 100/7) : tough and brutal like a tractor :)
    By the way, I’m actually partly living in Paris, is it possible to visit your workshop (I might have a project to discuss with you…)?
    Keep on doing your great job


  • Hi Florian,

    Feel free to contact us here : [email protected]
    We will answer you as fast as possible.


    Fred (Blitz-Motorcycles)

  • Paul

    Looks like the little toy bike I used to play with when I was 6. man, I loved that bike!

  • Paul,

    You had a hell of a toy when you were kid :)

    Fred (Blitz-Motorcycles)

  • Ravenroamer

    I think it is a beatiful example of someones dream and if it makes the owner happy then all that time spent in doing such a personal task and art has truly paid off. Lets not forget that having a motorcycle is for freedom and wild instinctional moments etc and it has been shown here to those people who disagree then i would advise them to relook at there reason for which they ride… doubt somewhere the person/persons will soon relise the old saying rings true! and that is! To be your self and not follow others like a flock of sheep.

    Well done my friend, and I wish you look in your new endevours ride free ride safe. Until the next time take care

  • Vorhese

    I think it looks like crap. Without a rear fender the seat looks too high and the whole thing looks disproportionate.

  • not a HFL hates

    hopefully the guys from HFL don’t see this. they might excuse it of looking like their mates wraith!

  • Hi, not a FHL hates,

    Could you be more explicit ? Indeed, I would be very interested in knowing more about your point.

    If you refeer to the Confederate Wraith (a really radical and beautiful motorcycle), just be aware that we customized this motorcycle 4 years ago.
    I am not sure at that time, the Wraith was even built.

    (Blitz Motorcycles)

  • RobL

    Vorhese, is “looks like crap” the kind of mature comment that is required here? If you want to discuss proportion, form, design aspects, color, mechanics, anything like that in a constructive manner, I’m sure everybody would appreciate your thoughts.

    When I see “it looks like crap”, I think “Yeah? Let’s see your custom bike, and you better be ready for unrefined opinion.”

    We’re all bike enthusiasts here, which makes us friends on some level. Fellow enthusiasts build these bikes we see. We can all act like friends and not throw around insults.

  • iRivas

    I’d love to throw some sand tires on this bike and take it out on the dunes.

  • Bruce

    What kind of paint and procedure was used to paint the engine and exhaust? How does it hold up after getting hot repeatedly? I think my red R75/5 toaster would look good with a black engine.

  • Hi bruce,

    We used some heat resistant painting that can go up to 800°C.

    And so for, we never got desapointed with this product.

    Fred (Blitz Motorcycles)

  • ohio

    Ah, the “I could do that” theme is a recurring one among art critics who don’t understand art. A custom motorcycle isn’t always about finding the fullest expression of the technical skill of the builder. Sometimes it’s about the fullest expression of design. Thousands of people can competently hack a bike to bits or a restore a bike to perfect factory specs. How many who can, have the the restraint not to? I think this bike is gorgeous. Matte black does a stellar job of giving all of the mechanical components equal visual weight, and the knobbies work well with the BMW chassis that, being purposeful and quirky, doesn’t have a fast line on it. It is a new celebration the original design.

  • Damn! What a machine! Oddball front and semi-oddball rear, boxer, nasty paint – this is what design and rebel motorcycles are about. I want one