Modern Elegance: Cardsharper’s plum-hued BMW R100 bobber

BMW R100 bobber by Cardsharper Customs
As far as Jacek Mulak is concerned, there are far too many custom BMW boxers around. That said, he’s not one to turn away a customer. So when he recently got the call to build this BMW R100 bobber, he was all too happy to oblige—just as long as he could do it his way.

“A customer who wants a custom BMW R100 often expects to get a copy of the WalzWerk Schizzo motorcycle,” says Jacek, who runs Cardsharper Customs in Lublin, Poland. “That’s not a bad thing in itself—but I wanted the opportunity to show something of my own.”

BMW R100 bobber by Cardsharper Customs
“While showing me his inspiration pieces, my customer, Marcin, also referenced these bikes. However, being an incredibly cool guy, he quickly agreed to my request to trust me. I promised that the motorcycle would retain the characteristic elements of a ‘typical’ custom BMW R100—that it would be minimalist, elegant, and would make an impression.”

Marcin had a few requests consistent with quintessential custom BMW build styles, but Jacek led him towards more practical pastures. “I dissuaded him from using clip-on handlebars,” he tells us, “which in my opinion is a terrible mistake if you’re building a motorcycle for relaxing Sunday rides. He agreed, so we used a drag bar that doesn’t look too bad and is much more comfortable.”

BMW R100 bobber by Cardsharper Customs
Next, Jacek tweaked the BMW R100 bobber’s stance by way of new suspension components. The front forks and brakes are off a Suzuki GSX-R; a popular mod on classic boxers. The forks are held in place by a set of custom yokes, with a unique two-piece design for the top clamp.

A YSS shock props up the rear, lengthened to improve the ride height. Jacek says that he did this partly for comfort, and partly so that the bike would look good with a rider on it. “Plenty of custom bikes look amazing on their own, but when someone sits on them, they look like a hunched-over dog.”

BMW R100 bobber by Cardsharper Customs
The brief called for a bobbed seat, so Jacek obliged by fabricating an abbreviated bolt-on subframe. There’s a subtle kick at the end of it that forces the seat pad to taper towards the rear, and a subtle lip at the front of the leather upholstery that blends with the fuel tank. It’s hard to tell, but Jacek has tweaked the mounting angle of the tank too.

Other custom touches include a knurled gas cap and a generous handmade front fender mounted on custom struts. “At first I made a short, minimalist fender,” Jacek tells us, “but it somehow disturbed the balance of the whole thing. It looked too sporty—so I created this one, which, in my opinion, suits the bike.”

BMW R100 bobber by Cardsharper Customs
Higher up, you’ll find an LED headlight mounted on a pair of stubby brackets to tuck it in tight. A Daytona speedo sits just behind it, while the drag bars are fitted with aftermarket levers, grips, and switches. The bar-end mirror and turn signal assemblies are from Highsider in Germany.

The foot controls are custom too, but their slick appearance belies how much work into making them fit. Jacek trimmed off the original mounts (along with the R100’s unsightly passenger peg mounts), then had to fabricate new attachment points for the pegs, levers, and linkages.

BMW R100 bobber by Cardsharper Customs
The BMW’s classic boxer engine is mostly stock inside, but it’s been treated to new paint and polishing. Jacek removed the airbox, opting for DNA pod filters instead. A custom-made box now sits where the airbox once did, hosting the ignition switch and key electronic components.

A Siebenrock oil sump extender sits lower down, fitted in lieu of an oil cooler. “Marcin and I agreed that he wouldn’t be too harsh on the bike so that we could remove the oil cooler,” Jacek quips.

BMW R100 bobber by Cardsharper Customs
The blacked-out exhaust mufflers are Brock’s Performance items—but that wasn’t the original plan. Jacek had something else in mind at first but decided to roll the dice on the Brock’s cans when he came across them. The result is a short, aggressive aesthetic that, although unusual, suits this build perfectly.

One thing that is missing from this BMW, is its fuel petcock and lines. Jacek confesses that he couldn’t quite button it up in time for its scheduled photo shoot; “Rest assured, since this session the motorcycle has traveled several hundred kilometers with Marcin!”

BMW R100 bobber by Cardsharper Customs
One important task that did get done in time, was the BMW’s alluring paint job. Marcin’s only request was that it had to be “dark and elegant”—so Jacek dug into BMW’s archives, opting for a riff on the marque’s classic ‘Topaz Red Violet Metallic’ hue. Details include black pinstripes and roundels, with assorted galvanized, ceramic-coated, and painted finishes on the bike’s hard parts.

“The motto of the entire project was that nothing should be too much—that nothing should be visually strange,” Jacek adds. “A simple, elegant engine on wheels, with custom solutions that complement the look rather than stand out.” Amen.

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BMW R100 bobber by Cardsharper Customs