Every now and then a bike pops up that completely flouts the established vernacular of custom building. This is one of them. It was built by Revival Cycles, a shop run by three committed motorcycle enthusiasts in Austin, Texas.
Founder Alan Stulberg tells the story: “Four years ago, Bill Twitchel was gifted a pile of parts that resembled a BMW R75/5. It belonged to a friend, who realized he would likely never get the bike together again. The friend decided to let it move on to a new life with Bill instead.” The inspiration for the build was the iconic BMW R32 and its exposed, business-like mechanicals. “The R32 represented a simpler time in BMW’s history,” says Alan.
The parts that turned up at Revival were in rough shape—the R75 motor literally had dirt inside it—but the workshop persevered. They decided that a BMW chopper was the way to go, starting with the coffin-shaped stainless tank and a stack of C-channel steel. Neat details are the LED strip taillights built into the frame, the dirtbike pegs, the tractor seat (“surprisingly comfortable on long road trips”), the reverse hand levers and the nail-puller/brake pedal that belonged to Bill’s great grandfather.
The R75 has evolved over time: it’s been ridden to both coasts of the US, and used as a daily rider for years. “The extra brake cable lovingly strapped to the front of the bike is proof that this chopper is ready for most anything,” says Alan. Bill reportedly refuses to wash this bike, but sometimes treats it to a wipe down with an oily rag.
So, no trailer queen here then.