Building a custom motorcycle is about judgment: knowing what to change, what to leave alone, and when to stop. It’s about proportions, lines and shapes. The balance between color and leather, paint and metal, gloss and matte.
It’s a fiendishly difficult mix to get right, and requires a keen eye as well as advanced mechanical skills. But Willie Knoll of Paris-based Clutch Custom Motorcycles has got that eye, and he’s used it to great effect on this BMW R75/7.
Nico from the French site 4h10.com has seen the bike in the metal, and reports: “The idea was to build something low-key, with the beauty being in the details. Almost everything has been reworked, turned, milled or welded—but nothing draws attention to itself.”
The somewhat stately looks of the original R75/7 have gone, replaced by a sportier, less cluttered appearance. The bike has been lowered—four centimeters at the back and eight at the front—with the help of modified forks and more steeply raked shocks. (The mounts have been moved forward on the new rear frame loop.) The swingarm mounts are also new, along with the simple but effective fenders and the classy brown leather seat.
To reduce visual distractions, an Odyssey battery is now hidden in a custom-fabricated box. The original wheels have been powder coated black, with black spokes laced onto stainless nipples. They’re shod with Coker’s classic Diamond Tread blackwall tires. The finishing touch is a beautiful custom alloy gas cap, sitting atop the deep blue tank.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Paris right now, you can see the BMW in the metal when it’s unveiled today at the 4h10 Soirée #4 at Le Bellerive. Otherwise, head over to Clutch Custom’s stylish website or Facebook page to keep track of M. Knoll’s future builds.