For custom builders, older BMW airheads are starting to approach Honda CB and Triumph Bonneville levels of popularity. This one was built by Aric Russom, an artist and photographer from Western Massachusetts. He’s owned the BMW for 13 years, and in that time, has given it two major overhauls.
This is a café racer in the truest sense: it’s had a serious bump in performance as well as a change in aesthetics. Russom has fitted higher-compression heads with bigger valves, Nikasil cylinders and a lightened flywheel. The carbs are now Mikuni flatslides and the stainless mufflers are from Cone Engineering.
Handling gets an upgrade with the front end from a BMW K100, fitted with dual-piston calipers to improve braking. At the back are Works Performance shocks and those lovely laced rims are from Woody’s Wheel Works. (A front fender and fork brace will be installed soon.)
The stock bars have been swapped out for Tarozzi clip-ons, nestling behind a custom fairing shaped by Glass From The Past. The seat is an original Knoscher fitment. The rearsets are from the San Jose BMW custom range, and the single minimal gauge is an Acewell, providing just the essential information a rider needs to know.
Dark paint and both ceramic and powder coating provide the finishing touch. It’s simple and sleek, and a delightful new lease of life for a 34-year-old bike.