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A fresh spin on the airhead BMW custom from Vagabund

Airhead BMW: An R100R custom from Vagabund Moto
Vagabund Moto have built some of the sharpest BMW airheads we’ve seen. They’ve developed a signature style too: custom boxers with stark, futuristic lines, and amazing attention to the tiniest of design details.

But the Austrian builders Paul Brauchart and Philipp Rabl don’t want to be pigeonholed into one style. They’ve decided to change it up, since they often find themselves working with very similar donor bikes.

Airhead BMW: An R100R custom from Vagabund Moto
“We try to not stand still in our designs,” says Paul. “If you mostly do BMWs—which was never our intention—then you need to keep it interesting by trying new things.”

This latest boxer (‘V11’) is just as slick as their previous work, but with a slightly more classic bent. According to the brief, this 1991-model BMW R 100 R needed to have “a more vintage touch, with brown leather, and a place for a first aid kit.” (Kits are a legal requirement in Austria, and the client lives in a region with strict policing.)

Airhead BMW: An R100R custom from Vagabund Moto
The most obvious change is the fuel tank. Vagabund ditched the bulky OEM unit, then fitted a heavily modified tank from the Ukrainian-made Dnepr MT.

They also built a new subframe out back, finishing it off with an aggressive kick. Up top is a custom-made brown leather saddle, with a leather bag from Brooks hiding underneath, to house that first aid kit.

Airhead BMW: An R100R custom from Vagabund Moto
Clearing out the space under the seat meant rewiring the old airhead. So Vagabund swapped the airbox for a pair of pod filters, filling in the space with a new cover to house the electronics. The ignition’s been relocated to the engine block too.

This BMW’s sporting a few stance tweaks too. There’s hefty reworking to the forks—they shaved 70 mm off, dropped in new internals and threaded in the fork caps from a Honda Transalp.

Airhead BMW: An R100R custom from Vagabund Moto
The fork sleeves were modded to fit the new headlight, then powder-coated black. There’s a modified BMW R nineT front fender doing duty lower down, along with a CNC-machined fork brace and upgraded brake discs.

This ‘R’ model originally came with stylish 18F/17R spoked wheels, so Vagabund left those on, and wrapped them in new Dunlop Trailmax rubber.

Airhead BMW: An R100R custom from Vagabund Moto
The cockpit features shortened LSL handlebars, a Domino clutch lever and a Grimeca brake master cylinder. The switches are Vagabund’s own 3D-printed housings, and the speedo is a tiny digital number from Motogadget, mounted off the bars.

Being Austrian, Vagabund have kept the BMW fully street legal. There’s a pair of Motogadget bar-end turn signals up front, and a license plate bracket, with LED turn signals that double as tail lights, out back. (The rear arrangement wasn’t fitted for these photos.)

Airhead BMW: An R100R custom from Vagabund Moto
Naturally, the boxer’s motor was given a solid service and clean up, with fresh paint on the valve covers. There are even ‘VGBND’ logos on the sides of the engine. Finishing things off is a SuperTrapp muffler, mounted to the modified (and ceramic coated) R 100 R headers.

V11 might be more vintage-looking than its stablemates, but it’s as crisp as anything else we’ve seen from Vagabund. The steely blue-grey paint is simple and low key—perfect for the minimalist style of this build.

Airhead BMW: An R100R custom from Vagabund Moto
Kudos to Paul and Philipp for stepping outside the lines, while still sticking to their guns.

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Airhead BMW: An R100R custom from Vagabund Moto