Ritmo Sereno’s racy custom BMW R69S

Radical BMW R69S custom by Ritmo Sereno
When this R69S rolled into the workshop of Tokyo resto-mod specialists Ritmo Sereno, it was a slightly gawky custom with mismatched curves and a shapeless silver tank. With their usual attention to detail, Ritmo reworked it into a beautiful cafe racer with more conventional BMW lines and a useful performance boost.

The front wheel was dropped down a notch from 18” to 17”, and Excel rims fitted both front and rear. A front brake from a Suzuki GT750 was installed, and the stock Bing carburetors were replaced by a Keihin FCR setup—breathing through new intake manifolds machined from a 70mm bar of 2017S aluminum.

Radical BMW R69S custom by Ritmo Sereno
New rearsets pushed the riding position forward and the new tank, although it looks authentic at first glance, is actually a fiberglass skin over a handmade 13.5l aluminum interior. A full rewire and custom accessories such as new blinkers completed the job.

Radical BMW R69S custom by Ritmo Sereno
Radical BMW R69S custom by Ritmo Sereno
Radical BMW R69S custom by Ritmo Sereno
Radical BMW R69S custom by Ritmo Sereno

  • http://www.newyorkparis.com YJH

    There is BMW München and there is RITMO SERENO, Tokyo
    I see no other

  • Adam jenkins

    really cool bike, but whats with the back of the motor being all dirty? especially if its going to have pictures taken.

  • gary

    That looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for the smiles.

  • hi

    I do love a nice front drum. At first I didn’t like the silver/black/silver combo of the fairing, tank, seat combo. I thought just choosing one or the other color for everything would have looked better but after a minute I noticed it’s a reflection of the black/silver/black combo on the bottom formed by the front tire, engine lump, rear tire. Kind of a neat idea.

  • el vencejo

    Upgraded and improved, smoother than the original but nothing on it is out of context. Suits me :)

  • johnrdupree

    GT750 brakes are just hot, but I think they should have shaved the caliper mounts.

  • craigj

    Very nice! I see the reflection idea though I still would have painted the fiberglass black.

  • mack-o-matik

    Ritmo Sereno… aaaaargh! Only two letters come out of my shortcircuited brain: WOW!!

  • Brad

    I have to say .. I hate it.

    You’d think that proper period BMW racing was sexy enough:
    http://i623.photobucket.com/albums/tt313/757terryb/1939TTBMWatKausersMunich1974-2.jpg

    Because it was:
    http://i623.photobucket.com/albums/tt313/757terryb/bmw20motorcycle20TT20racing20histor.jpg

    Why in the world world would you put a faring and seat that doesn’t belong on a BMW on a BMW when doing it right with BMW heritage looks way better and appropriate?

    If you’re going to put those on a cafe racer, please do it on a proper period british bike. This just looks silly.

  • NEIL HARRIS

    “it was a slightly gawky custom with mismatched curves and a shapeless silver tank.”

    Apart from a black tank I think the quote still applies

  • Tony

    Love the dirt on the motor and the bluing on the pipes. Show this bike gets ridden. Otherwise why else build them?!

  • http://canberrariders.org.au Lurch

    *That* bike is sensational.
    The Dunstal-esque fairing really suits it.
    As for the peeps whining about authenticity, its a Custom for gods sake, it doesnt have to be 100% authentic. Its simply the builders idea of what they like.
    And regards to the dirt – I agree with Tony – its shows the bike actually gets ridden. Too many nice bikes a built only to be rolled on and off trailers.

  • Brad

    @Lurch

    There is a point though when it’s too much. This was a vintage bike with a lineage and a classic in it’s own right. That’s like converting a ’71 mustang mach 1 to electric, or converting a vintage Porsche boxter to have a big fat F1 racing wing. It doesn’t need it and it looks really silly.

    It isn’t like this is a new bike paying homage to a vintage bike.

    This is a vintage bike made to look like a different vintage bike … of the same timeline, which makes it no different then taking a brand new Ford GT 4.0 and making it look like a Zonda or a Ferrari. Why? It’s silly!

    I’d say if you wanted a bike that looked like a British bike with Dunstall pipes, then buy a british bike and put on Dunstall pipes.

    It’s beautiful on it’s own way and it isn’t like there wasn’t ways to make it look fantastic as a BMW.

  • KIK

    SWEET PIECE OF WORK..I LOVE IT

  • Big mike

    Pretty cool looking bike, not really my thing, but still looks cool. I just noticed how the shape of the fairing is complimented by the arch of the pipe, creating a kind of yin-yang effect. Slightly off subject………Why ya gotta do a contest on Facebook? I would like a chance to win one of those DVDs too. Some of us have a Facebook allergy, could be clinical, might be relieved by a free DVD, not cured just relieved, like ice cream post tonsillectomy.

  • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris

    Big Mike, I appreciate your concerns about Facebook and realise that some people are not users of the site. I used it for the DVD promotion because it’s the quickest and easiest way to run and administer a giveaway. The Britten guys, like me, are not a big outfit with big resources.

    Also, a huge number of our regular readers are on Facebook, and it’s one of the biggest traffic drivers to the website.

    In future, though, I’ll try to look for ways to run a promotion that don’t require readers to be Facebook members. Maybe the third party will simply have to take on the admin, I don’t know. With around a million page views a month, that’s the biggest issue here.

  • Harry Farquhar

    When did Dunstall ever make mufflers that looked like that? They did make mufflers for BMW’s but they did not look like that. Also, I disagree that the so called period correct bike is better looking I actually don’t care for either machine. Since Nakajimasan did not start with an irreplaceable priceless historical piece he should be able to interpret the bike however he wishes.

  • http://vx800-restoration.blogspot.com Stephen F.

    Wow, the comments are hilarious on this one. Everyone’s getting bent outta shape about period correctness, country of origin of different styles etc, etc. Hey, why not throw in the fact that it’s got Japanese parts on there from a different decade?! That must ruin it for some people too. Oh well, sometimes knowing too much prevents you from enjoying things IMHO. The bike is very cool to me. The work top notch. But man, that tank is hideous now matter how cool it was 40 years ago. The tank is the only thing that doesn’t seem to go with the lines.

  • Big Mike

    Chris, thanks for the reply, and thanks for the sight, I read it every day. I know it takes a lot of work to pull off such an endeavor, and it is appreciated. I guess I’m showing some age with the whole Facebook thing, maybe after I take my Geritol, wash it down with a Boost nutritional supplement drink, change my Depends, and get out of my rocking chair, I can see what all the cool kids are doing on Facebook. Before I do any of that, maybe I should get a bike with an electric starter………….nah, I’m just gonna park on top of a steep hill.

  • Sportster Cafe

    Love it! I don’t care about period correct, if you want that, go restore Vespas! As for the dirt, as some one who lost out on a Best Engineered trophy because his bike wasn’t clean enough, what does clean have to do with engineering. Hay, I build them and ride them, I leave cleaning to the Tooth Brush Brigade!

  • GB400TT

    I LOVE this. Typical for his style. He’s good at reshaping beemers…customizing. That’s exactly what this is all about…someones interpretation. cool addition of the fairing-love it. seat, not so much my style with the little flares on the sides sweeping out, but i do like the rest of the seat with separate pads. love the carbs. love the exhaust-its raw. love the aluminum wheels considering the originals. wow. love.

  • Mingh

    now there’s a usable custom/classic.
    if it were my bike i’d do the silver bits in pinstriped black, like the tank. Other than that its fantastic. Amazing how the ritmo guys can turn a dull looking original into something really exciting.

  • Anti

    That bike is killer. It just looks like it wants to be ridden, enjoyed and shown out. Love the idea of starting it at 6am, hitting the icebergs for a swim then meeting a buddy for breakfast in Surry Hills, causing all the design studio freaks to loose their whole day daydreaming about that bike.

    How much is a custom like that gonna set you back?$?

    Oh yeah, Facebook. I can’t stand that thing, joined years ago then quit it after a week and 50 so called friends that I couldn’t care less about. It’s either full of douches networking their tits off, or people waisting their lives pretending to be busily awesome.

  • poor young john

    I wonder why they bothered to use telescopic forks…..the original Earles type were much better. The original R69S front brake stopped the bike in 30′-0″ on its own…….why replace it?

  • zi germanz

    @brad
    you are hating it, right? I’m glad you do, ’cause I love it, and I would ride it as is. And race you on your proper whatever classic bike, eat sushi and drink german beer afterwards with you and get laid while looking at those nice asian girls round my RitmoSereno 69S

  • el vencejo

    @Brad.. old airhead BM’s are not rare or special in EU. This one looks like a real rider; for show it would need lugs cleaning off etc…
    For me customising bikes is just that, using parts from whatever source to make something that works for the builder or customer… I have to say that to my taste, any change should be equal to or an improvement on the original.
    2 rules for me:
    1. Bikes are to ride.
    2. No-one but me knows what bike I want, so anything factory-built needs modifying. (Stand up Mr Average!!!)

    A separate gallery for “Readers Rides” would be good. :)

  • Tanner

    I’d consider going back to an 18 or 19 in front – or taller rubber at least. The proportions are a bit off IMO. With that said, the front tire on my bike is smaller (or rear tire is bigger) than I care for too!

    All of the ‘haters’ make me like this bike even more. It’s not 100% spotless – good! It actually gets ridden! I have an oily two-stroke street bike that I ride as much as possible. It will NEVER be spotlessly clean at least short of completely tearing it down, repainting and then not riding it. That coupled with the collection of parts shows me that the guy is less concerned with having a period correct garage queen and more interested in riding.

  • Ethan

    @ Brad

    “Why in the world world would you put a faring and seat that doesn’t belong on a BMW on a BMW when doing it right with BMW heritage looks way better and appropriate?

    If you’re going to put those on a cafe racer, please do it on a proper period british bike. This just looks silly.”

    That is the stupidest thing I have ever read. Why? Because it’s your bike and you like the way it look sand handles. Simple.

  • Mule

    When I was a kid, we built model cars by the dozens. We tried all sorts of wacky combinations. After a while you’d begin to see what looks pretty good, what looks like crap, what’s too much of a good thing etc. It seems in this day and age guys are doing it with full sized motorcycles. Its a lot more work and expense to build up a theory into a viewable piece of hardware just to learn the same basic lessons. Except guys get all pissed off when you state the obvious. “Why don’t you build one then?”

    To me this bike is sort of an odd combo of parts/styles. Yes, there is such a thing. It may be exactly what the the builder was trying to achieve and then again, it could merely be what he ended up with when he was done and put the wrenches away.

    Something I’ve noticed on this site that is one of it’s unique traits: If you set an old piece of crap on fire, dipped it in mud, made it a hardtail or in someway unridable, polished a couple parts on it, added knobbies and had a picture of a guy blazing down the Autobahn, there’s a shitload of people that would love it and think its cool! Bike building is way easier than I ever realized.

    The fairing and seat sorta don’t match the “style” of the bike, the front wheel is a 17″(?), the pipes have an overheated/melted look like they are hanging or drooping really low. He confuses me again with a drum front (I really like that hub) and plunger rear suspension, then he sweeps 180 degrees to billet pegs and FCR carbs and later forks. Yes, if you’re going to use a drum, take the caliper lugs off! Too many themes or styles crashing into each other. I think sticking with any one of them would have been great, but not all styles at once. I would love to build one of these air cooled BMW’s but I would tend to focus on one style I think.

    Since we can’t ride, sit on, feel, smell, hear or lift the bikes featured here, really all we can do is critique pictures of bikes and the styles they portray.

  • Brad

    @el vencejo – good luck bringing any of those asian girls home on this bike. I suppose asking them to come over to your house on the bus is too much to ask.

  • Brad

    @el vencejo – I didn’t say that BMs were rare, but there are lots of ways of making a BMW look great before adding parts that just don’t belong on the bike. It’s a vintage bike to begin with. I just think it’s a bit of a waste by putting parts on it that just don’t suit the bike. I mean that faring has as much to do with that bike as the fairing of a brand new hayabusa … and to me looks just as awkward.

  • Brad

    @Ethan

    There are far stupider things to read on the internet. If you think that’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever read, you must be new to this internet thing. Try 4chan. LOTS more stupid things to read on that site.

  • http://bikemoto.wordpress.com Al

    ….it might just be part of HIS ‘evolution in bike design’…just like US humans in general…we are just at the beginning of it all…
    cudos to creativity anyday…imagination is more important than knowledge A.Einstein….encouragement my friend…encouragement…just like for children…or as they say…the glass is half full…half empty…for the engineer its twice as big as it needs to be…go RITMO…go

  • Thiago

    Me like it alot. Sexy and looks fun!

  • Mule

    @Al, Thats greast! Quote of the week!!! “The glass is twice as big as it needs to be!”