You don’t have to see the latest build from Untitled Motorcycles to recognize its racing pedigree. Hear it on the street and you’d swear you were at the track.
“This BMW is very fast,” says Adam Kay, co-founder of the workshop with the strangest name in the custom business. “The sound of the under-seat exhausts really gives it away.”
UMC-028 was built for a British customer, a man lucky enough to grow up around high-performance motorcycles and cars. It’s inspired by the evocative endurance racers of the 1980s and based on a 1986 BMW R80 Mono.
“We chose the R80 for its smooth and progressive power delivery,” says Adam. “Transforming the bike into a racing machine started with an engine rebuild—which meant complete disassembly, with new big end shells, piston rings, valves and guides added.”
Untitled then bead-blasted the engine, and laboriously hand-brushed the surfaces to bring back the original luster.
There’s a custom alloy cover in place of the stock airbox, and free-flowing bellmouth inlets attached to the 38mm Bing carburetors. These are not merely cosmetic mods: tuning the bike on a rolling road has optimized performance beyond the factory specs.
The original frame was de-tabbed, sandblasted, and powder-coated in a satin black. The battery has been replaced by a smaller gel version: it’s been relocated under the engine, inside a custom-fabricated stainless steel battery box.
Modified Mombaerts rearsets and a modern Hagon shock reinforce the clean, purposeful look.
There’s a new sub-frame designed to fit the racing seat unit—and accommodate that most unusual exhaust pipework. It’s a beautiful over-and-under system, designed and fabricated in-house, and exits dramatically from the sides of the (insulated) tail unit.
A spoked rear hub was re-engineered by UMC to fit the Mono’s final drive, and laced to a painted 17-inch GS rim. Both the rear and 18-inch front wheel carry BT45 Battlax tires—”which handle beautifully and distribute tire wear equally,” says Adam.
The original BMW tank, now with a Monza-style racing cap, was kept for its extended range and classic look. Custom brackets and mounts were crafted to accommodate the 1970s-style Ducati 750 bubble fairing and modern headlight. And then everything was painted in a striking metallic blue color with gold pin striping.
Fast bikes need fast brakes, so progressive forks were fitted to accommodate twin Brembo calipers and deep EBC discs. Up top, a machined yoke keeps everything solid and controls from a 1970s Kawasaki Z1000 are attached to modern clip-ons—with a modern brake master cylinder too. A Motogadget tacho completes the simple, race-style cockpit.
It’s a refreshingly different take on the ubiquitous BMW cafe racer, and finished to an unusually high standard. Consider it the thinking man’s airhead.
Thanks to: Rex Martin, engine rebuild | Nikos Kartampanis, fabrication | Anita Chatelan, electrics | Denis at D’Lucks, paint | Glen Mogor, solo seat | Armourtex, powdercoating.