A camouflaged BMW K1100 (with an e-bike to match)

BMW K1100 cafe racer with camouflage paint by Impuls
Traditional cafe racers are typically designed with restraint high on the agenda. But we’re just as enthused by customs that trade reservedness for loudness—like this BMW K1100 with extremely sharp lines and a reflective livery.

This left-field custom is the work of Impuls in Munich, Germany. And as we’ve seen from their previous work, the team of Philipp Wulk and Matthias Pittner don’t care much for tradition.

BMW K1100 cafe racer with camouflage paint by Impuls
They’ve embraced the K1100’s angular nature rather than trying to smooth everything out—and made some real bold moves on the finishes.

The donor bike was a 1993 BMW K1100 RS that had acted as a shop bike for a couple of years. With 25,000 km on the dial and regular services under the belt, the motor was in tiptop shape. But Philipp and Matthias wanted to use the same subframe design as their previous K100 builds, so they transferred everything over to a 1984 K100 frame.

BMW K1100 cafe racer with camouflage paint by Impuls
From there, they lopped off the original rear triangle and built up a new subframe. At first, they designed it to trace the bottom line of the fuel tank all the way to the back.

But then they changed their minds—choosing to keep the main rail parallel to the motor instead. (Version one of the subframe’s been stored away for a future project).

BMW K1100 cafe racer with camouflage paint by Impuls
A neat rear cowl was shaped from a skinny sheet of stainless steel. Impuls considered embedding an LED strip out back, because “that’s what everyone does, including us.” But in the end, they integrated the OEM taillight from a K1200—BMW roundel included.

Dominic Jones at Leatherworx handled the seat upholstery, with a mix of black leather, red Alcantara and contrast stitching. He also added gel pads to add an extra level of comfort.

BMW K1100 cafe racer with camouflage paint by Impuls
Everything below the seat’s been tidied up for a clean effect. Impuls built a custom airbox too, then modified a K1100 exhaust to suit the build.

They also tweaked the K1100’s stance, by taking 8 cm out of the front forks. And they installed new front internals and a new rear shock—both from Wilbers (but only after these photos were taken).

BMW K1100 cafe racer with camouflage paint by Impuls
The wheels are intentionally mismatched; the stock, chunky 18” mag out back, with an 18” cross-spoked unit from a R100R up front. Both are wrapped in grippy Pirelli Angel GT tires. The brake calipers are stock, but the system’s been upgraded with a Magura HC3 front master cylinder, and an ABM rear master cylinder.

Moving to the controls, Impuls installed new rear sets and clip-ons, and a whole whack of Motogadget bits—including grips, turn signals, and the German brand’s new glassless mirrors. There’s a new, clean top triple clamp too, with an integrated Motogadget speedo and ‘idiot light’ strip.

BMW K1100 cafe racer with camouflage paint by Impuls
The K’s unique headlight almost had the guys stumped. After trying a bunch of options, they decided to build their own, but settling on a concept proved tricky. The final design came to Philipp at 2am one morning—so he phoned Matthias awake and pitched the idea.

Matthias literally started work on the housing immediately, finishing it before the sun came up.

BMW K1100 cafe racer with camouflage paint by Impuls
But it’s the one-of-a-kind graphic treatment that pushes this K1100 over the top: the pattern is based on the camouflage that wraps Ford’s development mules. But Impuls have used a reflective foil in certain places too, earning the K the nickname ‘Visible / Invisible.’

The design is the work of artist Florian Huth. “At the time we started on the bike, Florian was doing research on development mule camouflages,” Philipp says. “When I asked him if he wanted to do artwork for us, he basically already had everything worked out.”

BMW K1100 cafe racer with camouflage paint by Impuls
“The basic purpose of mule camouflage is to hide the form and details of a vehicle, through harsh contrasts and different shapes. The outer form dissolves due to the confusion of the pattern.”

“By using reflective foil that reflects close to 100% of the directional light hitting it, the effect is even more intense. The visibility of the motorcycle is increased drastically, but its form is unrecognizable—resulting in a contradiction between ‘Visible’ and ‘Invisible’.”

Custom Fazua ebike by Impuls
It’s completely over the top, but we love it. And it ties in to another project that Impuls were working on at the same time—an e-bike.

The commission for the e-bike came from electric bicycle manufacturer, Fazua. Impuls picked their prototype hardtail frame, then specced it for road use. It’s got a 3T carbon fork, Magura MT8 brakes, and a whole lot of carbon bits to keep weight down.

Custom Fazua ebike by Impuls
The bike’s set up as a single speed, with a Gates carbon drive belt and slick tires. “It’s a blast to ride,” says Philipp. “It’s as effortless as riding a single speed road bike, but you don’t have to think about curbs, tram rails or road bumps.”

It seems like a weird pairing, but it makes perfect sense to Philipp and Matthias—they’ve been into road cycling longer than they’ve been into motorcycles. And the opportunity to work with Fazua was too good to pass up on.

BMW K1100 cafe racer with camouflage paint by Impuls
We’re told that Impuls have got more e-bikes and motorcycles in the works, and are nowhere near done experimenting. And as lovers of two wheels of any description, that makes us happy.

Impuls | Facebook | Instagram | Studio images by Philipp Wulk, action shots by Stephan Bauer

The Impuls custom motorcycle and bicycle workshop in Munich, Germany