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M Power: Giving the BMW K100RS a modern edge

BMW K100RS cafe racer by Motocrew
A few years ago, building a cafe racer usually meant imbuing it with a sense of nostalgia. But these days, the custom scene is just as much about modernizing older motorcycles. So we’re seeing more and more builds that combine sharp lines and a sense of minimalism, with performance upgrades matched to ‘neo-retro’ looks.

This deft BMW K100 from Motocrew, the one-man custom shop of Chris Scholtka, is a textbook example of the trend. Based in Cottbus, southeast of Berlin, Chris is a firefighter by trade—but his background as an industrial mechanic means he knows his way around a garage.

BMW K100RS cafe racer by Motocrew
This 1984-model BMW K100RS was built for a friend. “He picked this model because he likes the German engineering,” Chris tell us. “After seeing my BMW R80, which was a little bit underpowered for him, we chose the K100.”

“The technology for a bike that was built in 1984 is awesome, in my opinion!”

BMW K100RS cafe racer by Motocrew
What Chris didn’t regard as awesome was the K100’s silhouette. But reworking the entire frame without violating Germany’s strict TÜV regulations wasn’t viable. “So I decided to build a bolt-on rear frame to complement the tank line, and give it a nice shape.”

The new frame runs from under the fuel tank right to the back, ending in a kicked up loop. And it’s finished in white, so that it catches your eye before the main frame does.

BMW K100RS cafe racer by Motocrew
Underneath it, Chris trimmed the original frame rails to just behind the shock mount, and embedded a pair of LEDs in them to act as taillights and turn signals.

Gone is the K100’s fairing, but the OEM tank remains. Chris shaped a pair of ‘wing’ plates to finish off the front section, creating a more cohesive shape.

BMW K100RS cafe racer by Motocrew
But the changes to this K100 are more than just cosmetic. There’s a set of Suzuki GSX-R750 forks up front, and an adjustable YSS shock out back. Chris fitted the forks using the Suzuki triples, by modifying the steering stem and installing new bearings.

The wheels are a pair of 17” BMW K1200 units, wrapped in sporty Shinko tires. Chris had to machine up custom spacers for them to fit, and only barely managed to wedge the rear tire in. The GSX-R lent its twin front brakes to the project too, matched up to the K wheels by way of bigger discs.

BMW K100RS cafe racer by Motocrew
This particular K100 had been meticulously maintained with a full service history—so there was no need to open up the motor. Chris ditched the air box, and fabricated his own intake with a DNA filter, along with new exhaust headers that flow into a SC Project CR-T muffler.

Going deeper, Chris redid all the wiring around Motogadget‘s Bluetooth-enable mo.unit blue controller. He also installed a Motogadget keyless ignition, switches, grips, bar-end mirrors and bar-end turn signals.

BMW K100RS cafe racer by Motocrew
The cockpit also features clip-ons, an LED headlight, and a tiny Motogadget speedo that sits on a 3D printed bracket, integrated with the headlight. Final touches include rear-set pegs, and a discreet side-mounted license plate bracket.

Chris stripped the bike down and repainted the frame, motor and a multitude of parts in satin and matte black finishes. He outsourced the painting of the tank and additional frame section, then had a friend cover the K100’s new seat in Alcantara.

BMW K100RS cafe racer by Motocrew
His influence for this simple, yet striking, livery is obvious: the white base, tiny M Power stripes and choice of seat fabric all riff off BMW’s M-series sports cars. And it’s the perfect design for this fine BMW cafe racer.

We regularly comment that it’s not easy to stylize the awkwardly-proportioned K. But Chris has dragged this 80s curiosity right into the 21st century, with a vibe that’s lean, compact and very slick. For more of Chris’ work, check out his Honda CBX 750 F from a few months ago.

Motocrew Instagram | Images by Sickshot

BMW K100RS cafe racer by Motocrew

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