When it comes to scramblers, the original BMW R80 G/S is the real deal. Originally conceived by an engineer who had been fielding an R75/5 in the International Six Days Trial, it eventually went on to rack up four Dakar titles.
This dirt-worthy BMW from Wang Motorcycles in the Netherlands channels all that heritage, and more. With key mods that make it more than just an aesthetic exercise, it’s about as perfect a G/S homage as you’ll find.
Based smack bang in the middle of The Hague, Wang Motorcycles is run by head wrench Wang Choy, with Tomas Janicek assisting and handling PR. “The main business is repair and maintenance,” Tomas tells us, “but sometimes you just gotta do what a man’s gotta do!”
Driven by the idea to build a klassiek BMW enduro, Wang pieced together the G/S using parts he had lying around in storage. You’re actually looking at an R65 motor, plugged into an R80 G/S frame and hooked up to a Paralever swing arm from an R100 GS.
But the motor’s nowhere near stock: it’s been rebuilt with an 860cc big bore kit from Siebenrock, using the R65 heads and an asymmetrical camshaft. It’s also been treated to Siebenrock rocker covers, and a fully refurbished gearbox.
The airbox is Wang’s own design, and sucks air through a single, chunky K&N filter. For the exhaust, a Supertrapp muffler is hooked up to ceramic coated two-into-one headers.
A set of long-travel forks from WP keep the front high, matched to a new rear shock. The 21” front wheel’s off a KTM; the rear wheel’s a 17” BMW ‘cross-spoke’ item. Both are wrapped in grippy enduro rubber from Mitas.
Wang kept the bodywork lithe to match the Beemer’s new stance. Opting for ergonomics over range, he fitted a 75 Yamaha DT250 fuel tank. It suits the build perfectly, and is sporting the only blast of color—a luscious orange hue with a white pinstripe. (The frame’s been powder coated in cream white to complement it.)
There’s a custom-made subframe out back, with a shorter, kicked-up rear loop. It’s topped off with a gorgeous brown saddle, upholstered by Tessa Bekker.
Wang also fitted aluminum fenders at both ends, and aluminum number boards with glass-blasted graphics. The rear fender ends in a custom-made license bracket, kitted with a tiny (but legal) LED tail light.
The wiring is all new and uber-minimal, complete with a Lithium-ion battery and a new regulator and rectifier from Beck Electric. There’s a car-style ignition mounted in the starter cover under the tank, that both switches on the bike and starts it.
With no turn signals, ignition, starter button or speedo, the cockpit is super-sano. The bars, clutch lever and throttle are all from Magura, and the brake master cylinder’s from Brembo. There’s also a small LED poking through the front number board to light the way.
Wang’s clearly paid attention to every little detail, and carefully considered the finishes, but somehow there’s nothing precious about this Beemer. Instead, it has us wanting to head out to our nearest field and let ‘er rip.