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BMW R45

1979 BMW R45 custom

It’s hard to believe that Louis Nel is only a part-time builder. The bikes that roll out of his South African garage are a testament to his passion and keen eye for detail. Until now, most of his builds have been personal projects—this 1979 BMW R45 is his first commercial build. The owner had been…

BMW R45

BMW R45 custom: ‘The Gonzo’ by El Solitario

One of the more original builders working today is David Borras, a Spanish vintage motorcycle racer who runs El Solitario (“the loner”) MC. He’s got an idiosyncratic style, and his disregard for contemporary fashions has won him a lot of attention. This is Borras’ latest bike: it’s unlikely to be as controversial as his Triumph…

BMW R45

Francesco Pagnin’s BMW R45 cafe racer

There’s something about the compact, muscular stance of 70s-vintage BMWs that makes them prime candidates for customization. This cafe racer comes from leading glass artist Francesco Pagnin of Treviso in Italy, who calls his motorcycle workshop ‘Franz Garage’. It’s based on a BMW R45, the 473cc boxer-engined middleweight built throughout the late 70s and early…