BMW Motorrad Spezial

Cook Customs Rambler

Cook Customs Rambler custom motorcycle

Cook Customs
bikes invariably have a classy, retro charm, which makes them stand out from the stereotypical Hot Wheels glitz purveyed by many other US builders. Dave Cook’s AMD Championship-winning bike ‘Rambler’ has a distinct vintage feel, and is powered by what he mysteriously refers to as a ‘550 International’ engine—a one-of-a-kind construction using OEM metric and Dave Cook custom fabricated components.

The motor is based on the Honda CB550 transverse four, with a radically reworked case so it can be positioned longitudinally instead of transversely. On top of the case work, Dave also built an auxiliary oil tank and oil regulator. The timing assembly is a one-off too, along with the bell housing and clutch assembly, which runs Aermacchi clutch plates. The transmission housing is an old BMW 3-speeder, which Dave managed to fill with a BMW R75 four-speed gear set; the shaft drive is adapted from a Yamaha Virago.

It’s a lot of work, and that’s before we even get into the engine breathing or the finely-detailed, almost antique styling. Class.

Thanks to Colleen Swartz.

  • Matt

    That’s a beautifully detailed bike, but it looks like it would be miserable to ride for more than 15 minutes at a time.

  • Kozzy

    Like many of the builder championship bikes, it wasn’t really built to be ridden. More of a sculpture than a bike.

  • s0crates82

    i wonder if this has more longitudinal torque than the big bmw boxers… gunning it at a stoplight would make the bike try to flop onto its side!

  • Hiwatt Scott

    Wow, this bike is already at maximum lean in this photo (look at the footpeg). Why all the engineering when it’s just gonna serve as sculpture? Just so you can say it runs?

  • The Phantom

    It’s gorgeous, reminds me of a custom version of the old board track racers.

    It’s being ridden in photos on Cook’s web site… looks quite ridable to me so long as you respect the limitations, like any bike of its ilk.

  • craig

    Billy Lane built a motorcycle like this that he showed last year. He started with a 1917 hendersen engine adapted a bmw transmission with a yamaha virago shaft drive. So much for being original. This is almost exactly the same as his.

  • Lloyd Gloekler

    It does look very much like the Billy Lane Henderson project from the frame, drive shaft angle, tranny, stance, etc. Gotta say that Cook’s bikes are always way cool. This one is like the Ace, Henderson, Indian fours of old and if set up with a realistic frame height and easing up on the drive shaft angle so it would last more than 100 miles it could be a sweet ride.

  • Irb Resyak

    Park this up amongst all the Harleys at Bristol Bike show, and I know where all the eyes would be looking….and it wouldn’t be a V-twin…So very………..O