Each year, the famed Glemseck 101 festival produces its fair share of stories—and bikes. This one’s worth sharing.
Last year, photographer Jenny Jurnelius tagged along to the show with the guys from Swedish powerhouse builder Unique Custom Cycles. She was documenting their ‘Stockholm Syndrome‘ BMW R nineT build, and its fortunes in the sprint race.
Also at the show was Ola Stenegärd, BMW Motorrad’s head of vehicle design and an old friend of Jenny’s. “Jenny has a past in the drag racing scene,” he reveals. “Fifteen years ago she used to race a pumped-up 100HP Sportster in the Swedish Harley Drags series.”
“Being at Glemseck, inhaling the fumes and the scent of burnt rubber, awakened the old racing spirit in her!” So Glemseck 101 boss Jorg Litzenburger promised Jenny a spot in the 2015 café race—if Unique Custom Cycles built her a cool bike.
Days after returning to Sweden, Jenny procured an old BMW R100RT. And UCC’s Ronny ‘Ronna’ Norén got stuck in.
“Ronna has an almost uncanny eye for that golden proportion,” says Ola. “He and Jenny both wanted the bike to sit ‘right,’ but still look like a BMW.”
In most cases, shortening the front forks would do the trick—but Ronna’s not known for taking shortcuts. He shortened and fitted a set of K100 forks—and reworked the front of the frame to sit lower. Five more degrees were added to the rake to compensate.
“I wanted to have the motor sit level to the ground, this was very important to me,” explains Ronna. “I just didn’t want the motor and frame to have that ‘going uphill’ look.”
Out back, the subframe was rebuilt to be significantly slimmer. Sitting up top is a new tailpiece, hand-shaped from cromoly steel. Joel Wengström at Stich Sweden handled the upholstery.
Jenny wanted to keep the distinct look of the BMW fuel tank, but not its bulk. So Ronna massaged the stock unit into shape—sectioning, reshaping and narrowing it for a more elegant effect. It’s also been treated to a pop-up filler cap from Tolle.
“This is the extent Ronna will go to, just to nail the stance,” says Ola. “Not exaggerated in any way—but just bringing out and emphasizing the best lines in the vehicle, from every point of view.”
Ronna’s attention to detail also extends to the cockpit. Note the custom-made handlebars, complete with an inset Motogadget speedo. And the controls with built-in switches (from the fellow Swedes at ISR) are pretty neat too. Keeping things legal are a small headlight, a side-mounted rear light, and bar-end Motogadget turn signals.
The exhaust is another UCC one-off, with a pair of stainless steel headers terminating in Cone Engineering mufflers. And not only does the bike sound better, it goes better too.
The engine’s been boosted with high comp pistons and a new cam from Moore Speed, 40mm Dell’Orto carbs, and a Hektik ignition. It also stops quicker, thanks to Brembo four-piston calipers and ISR discs.
A lot more could be done, but Jenny’s playing it safe. “I wanted to get to know the bike, and get back into racing, before going for big performance,” she says.
She got her hands dirty though, doing all the engine and gearbox detailing herself. That meant a healthy workload of dismantling, cleaning, glass beading, painting and contrast sanding.
The paintwork was handled by paint guru Håkan Lindberg. Jenny was watching over his shoulder, making sure the yellow was bright enough and the flowers just perfect. As an added touch, the wheels were given a lick of gold, with polished edges for contrast.
Returning to Glemseck, Jenny rolled up to the start line on this cheerful yet surprisingly quick Beemer. Round One was hers, but sadly Round Two saw her knocked out (by the competitor who would eventually finish second).
Jenny was still smiling though. As the show wound down, she was overheard telling Ronna, “We need to work on the motor, I need more power for next year!”
We’ll be watching with interest—and with fingers crossed.