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A 21st century update for the classic BMW R90/6

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
Custom motorcycles are often criticized for putting aesthetics over functionality. But performance is still at the top of the list for builders like Analog Motorcycles, who have just completed this ride-focused BMW R90/6.

The Chicago-based shop excels at making bikes look good and equipping them with all the right upgrades. So when their friends over at Motoworks Chicago had a client looking for a custom boxer, Analog got the call.

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
“Colin, the client, is a BMW fan,” says Analog’s Tony Prust. “He owns about five airheads, and Motoworks does a lot of his servicing. Colin mentioned that he wanted a heavily modified custom, so Motoworks said, ‘You should call Tony at Analog Motorcycles.’”

Analog have their own distinct style, and Tony’s pretty adamant about retaining most of the creative control on their builds. But Colin came into the project with a set idea of what he wanted, and was only prepared to give Analog carte blanche up to a point…

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
“So we dug further into what he was after,” says Tony, “and I have to say, I didn’t need to alter any of Colin’s ideas. He wanted a fast, heavily customized BMW that to most people would not look that custom—but to a BMW enthusiast, would check all the ‘I want to do that to my bike’ boxes.”

Analog started with a very clean 1976 BMW R90/6. (So clean, in fact, that they took off all the bodywork and stored it away, just in case they ever needed to restore another BMW.) With the bike stripped, the motor went off to Motoworks for a refresh.

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
No expense was spared. The R90 engine was treated to a 1,000 cc Siebenrock kit, a lightened flywheel, a Boyer Bransden electronic ignition and a deeper oil pan. The carbs were swapped for Mikuni units, and the air box was drilled and kitted with a K&N filter.

The motor was painstakingly restored on the outside too, and now wears black split valve covers. Analog also fitted a pair of their own catalog mufflers, produced by Cone Engineering.

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
Analog have a proprietary subframe that they manufacture in-house for all of their vintage boxer builds, so naturally they bolted one of those up. Colin had also purchased Öhlins rear shocks, so those went on too.

The front end was upgraded with a pair of BMW /7-model forks, so that the bike could run twin front disc brakes.

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
A set of Race Tech Gold Valve emulators went into the forks too, and the brakes were upgraded with EBC rotors. Analog also added an aftermarket fork brace, trimmed the front fender, and braced the swing arm.

The wheels were rebuilt with new spokes from Buchanan’s, and the rims and hubs powder coated black. While the guys were at it, they also added some machined detailing to the rear hub, based off a reference that Colin sent.

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
With the chassis and stance sorted, Analog turned their attention to the bodywork. An original /6 tank was matched up to a plush and roomy seat upholstered by Dane Utech. A new battery box and rear fender were fabricated, along with a pair of headlight ears that mimic the OEM units, but with a sleeker effect.

The whole bike was rewired around a Motogadget m.unit control box, with an EarthX lithium battery. Other ‘Motogadgetry’ includes the switches, bar-end turn signals and mirrors—all parts that Analog use frequently, and sell in their online store.

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
Tony tapped into his own Analog Motor Goods catalog for most of the finishing kit. That includes new rider and passenger foot pegs and mounts, the top triple clamp, bar risers, tank badges and rear lighting kit. His crew also installed Renthal bars, Magura controls, and a Daytona speedo that’s been sunk into the headlight bucket.

Artistimo handled the classic piano black paint job, but the detailing on this airhead goes beyond just the iconic pin stripes. Tony figured that the detail applied to the rear hub should carry throughout the build—so bits like the fins on the valve and sump covers were machined back.

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
“It was a very challenging detail to do right,” Tony reveals. “All the parts are cast, and getting the details to look uniform took an insane amount of hard work. The end result is pretty great—we were going to go with a classic white pin stripe on black, but decided to change to a very subtle silver to help tie it all together.”

We especially love the sneaky touches hidden all over—like the custom machined Analog logo that covers the old choke lever mount.

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
“The majority of those ideas were things we had done in the past, or Colin wanted on the BMW,” says Tony. “Put all of them together and the result is a quick, very classic, very custom and very modern version of an R90/6.”

Colin is reportedly over the moon with his new Beemer, and let Tony borrow it for a 780-mile tour run by Cycle World magazine.

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles
Three other builders were invited to submit bikes, and there was a People’s Choice award at each stopover—with an overall winner picked at the end.

Analog’s BMW took top honors. Why are we not surprised?

Analog Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Grant Schwingle

BMW R90/6 cafe racer restomod by Analog Motorcycles