It’s not easy to pick out Slovenia on a map. It’s a tiny, picture-postcard country just to the east of Italy, full of mountains and forests and rivers, and home to some of Europe’s best driving roads.
Slovenia is also home to ER Motorcycles, one of the fastest-rising stars on the custom scene. This is the latest build from Blaž Šuštaršič and his crew, and it confirms their place in the premier league.
The story of Voltron can be traced back to last year’s ‘Mobster,’ a BMW R80-engined custom with a strong vintage vibe. “After the success of the Mobster project we couldn’t resist the chance to do it all again—but this time in a different style,” says Blaž.
Mobster was all about the vintage BMW vibe, but Voltron propels it a few decades into the 21st century: It’s a clever, retro-futuristic mash-up of styles and eras. “We’ve used many of the ideas that were going through our heads when designing Mobster,” says Blaž, “but didn’t suit the vintage style.”
Voltron is a scrambler-meets-street-tracker hybrid, with an emphasis on clean lines and visual simplicity. It’s a much more ‘technical’ and ambitious build than Mobster, with more of a focus on the rider experience. “We also wanted to improve the maneuverability and the ergonomics, to make the rider feel even better.”
The core of the bike is a modified and cleaned-up 1964 R69S frame, upgraded with a liberal sprinkling of parts from the later R80 RT. That includes the engine, the complete front end, and the 18” wheels.
The transmission is a rebuilt five-speed BMW R100 unit, and the fuel tank is the famous R60/5 ‘Toaster’ design. A few modern components have been discreetly integrated, such as the Brembo calipers, Renthal bars and a whole raft of top-shelf Motogadget electrics—including the instrument, switchgear and an m-Unit master controller.
The distinctive upright shocks have been rebuilt with Hagon internals and the tires are Heidenau K60 Scouts—classic 50/50 dual sport rubber with an excellent reputation. Ancillaries include Tarozzi pegs and Ariette grips. Everything else is custom-made to an extraordinarily high standard.
There’s no question about the quality or the design vision here, but what about the name? “We wanted a name that sounds strong and has a futuristic flavor, to emphasize the bike’s modern features,” says Blaž. “Voltron was a giant robot from an old animated TV series, who fought evil forces as the Defender of the universe.
“For us, Voltron represents our most advanced build—fighting its way from past to future!”
If this is the future of custom motorcycle building, we reckon it looks pretty good.
Images by Jernej Konjajev. Follow ER Motorcycles’ news via their Facebook page.
Build time: 4 months (April to July 2014)
Engine: BMW R80 RT engine, replaced: main chain, sprockets, tensioners, gaskets, exhaust, intake tubes, diode plate
Carburation: stock, rebuilt
Exhaust system: custom made exhaust pipes, Spark silencer
Air cleaner: K&N air filter
Transmission: BMW R100 / rebuilt, 5 gear
Frame: stock / modified
Subframe: custom made (solo seat)
Forks: BMW R80 RT monolever / modified
Shocks: Hagon cartridge
Upper Triple Tree: BMW R80 RT / modified
Front rim: BMW R80 RT 18 inch
Rear rim size: BMW R80 RT / modified 18 inch
Tires: Heidenau K60 Scout 120/90/18
Front brake: Brembo calipers / modified
Rear brake: stock drum brake / modified
Brake calipers: Brembo calipers
Fuel tank: BMW R60/5 “Toaster” stock
Handlebar: Renthal Ultralow black
Speedo: Motogadget Motoscope pro
Headlight: 165 mm
Taillight: custom housing, LED lights / integrated into subframe
Hand controls: Motogadget M-switch
Handgrips: Ariette grips black
Footpegs: Tarozzi footpegs
Electrics: completely new electrical wiring, Motogadget m-Unit
Fabricated parts designed by ER team
Subframe, seat pan, leather seat, headlight brackets, brake caliper holders, honeycomb mesh side panels, front shield, license plate, custom front and rear fenders, exhaust pipes, battery box.