In the playground of custom BMWs, the K100 is the kid that always gets picked last for the team. It’s awkward, bulky and hard to restyle—but it’s packing a gem of an engine.
Munich-based lawyer and photographer Philipp Wulk will testify to that. He wasn’t planning to customize a K100—but then he decided to tear into his R65, and needed a daily runner to tide him over. He picked up a K100, fell in love, and began sketching out ideas.
“I thought it had great potential,” he says, “but the rear part of the frame just didn’t work for me. Stripped down, the K looks like a Hyena. I don’t mind hyenas, but that was not the look I was after!”
Philipp wanted a more streamlined effect; a continuation of the tank and engine’s lines. Held back by a lack of welding skills, he nearly shelved the idea. Then his good friend Matthias Pittner arrived for some beers, and things snowballed.
“Matthias is a master craftsman,” says Philipp, “and used to be a graffiti artist—until he got caught painting a metro in 2008.”
“I took him to the garage to show him what I wanted to do with the R65, but when he saw both bikes he was all about the K100.”
“I said I thought it would be very hard or very expensive to make the bike look good. He did not care, so we started on the K.”
According to Philipp, Matthias “can weld like a robot.” The K’s new subframe was rebuilt post-haste, and finished off with a concise cowl. Ralf Richter from Sattlerei SAM handled the nubuck leather saddle.
Then things got really interesting. Both Philipp and Matthias have ties to different artists—so they decided to pick two artists, duplicate the bodywork, and have each create a unique ‘kit.’
“We did not tell them what we wanted or expected from them,” says Philipp, “we just let them do what they felt was right.”
Fabian Gatermann did the grey version—by replicating the fuel tank and cowl in CAD and hand painting them with a mesh of polygons.
The second artist Matthias Edlinger took his parts and wrapped them—combining paint and collages to create the desired effect.
Each kit got its own set of wheels too. Gatermann’s version is matched to a 17” spoked set, with a R100R front and R1150GS rear wheel.
Edlinger’s has the original K100 wheel up front, and a K1100 wheel out back (both 18”).
There’s a lot more to this K100 than an art study though. The guys have beaten its stance into submission, with an 8cm drop up front and a new, custom-built Wilbers shock out back.
And the final drive and gearbox have been swapped out for newer K1100 units—to make room for the wider rear wheels.
Extensive wiring work has been done too, with special care taken to tuck everything between the frame rails under the seat. Rubber mounted snap locks were used to make it all accessible without traditional fasteners.
(“It looks pretty, but it’s a pity most people will never see it,” quips Philipp.)
There’s a hefty dose of Motogadget componentry keeping things light, including a keyless ignition, speedo and discreet bar end and rear turn signals. And a clean sweep’s been done of the controls and cockpit (details are listed below).
Moving to the engine, the lads re-routed the airtake and fitted a K&N filter. The exhaust’s hand-made, and is “a little too loud to be street legal in Germany.” (Apparently there’s a street-legal version in the works.)
Other fabricated bits include the headlight brackets, license plate holder and speedo bracket. The headlight’s decidedly modern, but we love it. It’s matched to an integrated LED taillight.
Apart from the two artists’ interpretations, the bike’s been finished in black throughout. Even the foot pegs—which only come in one color—got the murdered out treatment.
“We anodized them at a friend’s place. We destroyed a couple of pots and a pan… his girlfriend was pretty upset, but the parts are deep black now.”
The guys have adopted the name ‘Impuls’ for their company, and have three more builds in the queue already.
They’ve built a second rolling chassis for the K100 (now dubbed the ‘K101’), so they’ll be able to show off both custom styles at the Lost Weekend exhibition in Munich on Saturday 26 March.
And to think: all Philipp wanted was a new runabout…
Front: BMW R100R, Pirelli MT60RS 120/70-17”
Rear: BMW R1150 GS, Pirelli MT50RS 160/60-17”
Front: BMW K100, Bridgestone Battlax 110/17”
Rear: BMW K1100, Pirelli Angel GT 160/70-18”
Front: stock, lowered 8cm
Rear: custom Wilbers shock
Clip ons: ABM Multiclip
Foot pegs: ABM, modified
Levers: ABM Synto EVO
Brake lines: ABM
Rear master cylinder: ABM
Front master cylinder: Ducati ST4
Battery: Linearly 12 cell LiPoFe, in custom-built box
Control unit: Motogadget m-Unit
Ignition: Motogadget m-Lock (keyless)
Switch wiring: Motogadget m-Button (inside handlebars)
Front turn signals: Motogadget m-Blaze Disc
Rear turn signals: Motogadget m-Pin
Speedo: Motogadget Motoscope Mini
Air intake: custom
Air filter: K&N
Coolant reservoir: custom
Gearbox: BMW K1100
Final drive: BMW K1100
With special thanks to Festool, Castrol, Pirelli, ABM, K&N, Motogadget and Weekend Heroes.