How much power is enough? For BMW Motorrad, that figure currently sits at 199hp: the output of the class-leading BMW S 1000 RR.
That’s an intimidating number for mere mortals like us. But for Steven Decaluwe of Motokouture Motorcycles, it’s not nearly enough. So when BMW dropped an S 1000 RR off at his Belgian workshop, he knew exactly what to do: go overboard.
“BMW made it hard, presenting me with a high-tech sport bike,” says Steven, “full of electronics, with an already superb chassis, engine and performance chart.”
“Being bored of the moderateness in the so-called ‘custom scene,’ I found my inspiration in starting from scratch—no rules, no expectations.”
As he stripped the bike down on the bench, Steven tried to figure out a direction for the project. “I wanted to prove that the chassis and electronic riding aids are so extreme they can even tame a turbocharged engine,” he says.
So that’s exactly what he did; after weeks of studying the bike, he installed a Garrett turbocharger with an electronic actuator connected to the ECM. And he did it stealthily too: the turbo’s neatly hidden away, between a custom-made fuel tank and air box.
But one does not simply install a turbo, so the engine management software and mapping had to be revised too. The engine was also blueprinted, and the compression dropped to 9.2:1—“to ensure sustainability.”
Here are the new numbers: 296 hp at the rear wheel; 145 Nm of torque at 9100 RPM; and a top speed limit set at 319 km/h (which can be reached in fourth gear).
Setting up the turbo also meant fabricating new air intakes; one at the side, and two poking through between the headlights. Steven reworked the fairing to make space for these—and for the custom exhaust headers, which terminate in a Spark muffler.
Öhlins front fork internals—with ceramic coated upper fork legs—help the chassis cope with the extra kick. There’s a carbon fiber swing arm wrap too, and a pair of BMW HP4 wheels.
For an extra visual hit, Steven redesigned the RR’s tail end with a custom-made seat and electronics box. He then turned to his wife, Sophie, at Motokouture Leathers to handle the upholstery—requesting a “Lydia Lunch-inspired custom seat.”
Rear-sets, clip-ons and brake parts from Bonnamici round out the upgrades. All told, the changes have brought the bike’s weight down to a respectable 196 kilos (432 pounds).
Steven’s named his beast ‘VDC#92/MK30,’ as a tribute to his friend and Belgian racer, Vick De Cooremeter, who tragically lost his life in 2014.
“Vick was an exceptional character,” he says, “and would have been the best test pilote ever to test ride this extremely dangerous piece of weaponry.”
We’d be too damn scared to swing a leg over this thing ourselves. So, for now, we’re just going to sit at our desks and stare for a while.