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Setting the bar: UFO Garage’s BMW R100R custom

BMW R100R custom motorcycle by UFO Garage
We’re always on the hunt for custom motorcycles that push boundaries. So if you’re going to tread familiar territory, you better do an exceptional job of it.

This right here is a classic BMW cafe racer—a genre that’s quite frankly been done to death. But unlike ninety percent of the airhead cafés we see, this R100R from Spain is perfectly balanced, amazingly well finished, and devoid of clichés.

BMW R100R custom motorcycle by UFO Garage
It’s the work of Efraón Triana at UFO Garage, a builder with exceptional taste. He turned a modern Harley Sportster into a 1950s homage a while back, landing himself in our 2018 Top 10.

The goal here, he tells us, was to build a “real luxury café racer,” with an emphasis on elegance. “With a low and fluid line from front to back,” he adds. “I like the ‘monochromatic’ aesthetic. Thin, long and narrow—with a ‘fast motorcycle’ look.”

BMW R100R custom motorcycle by UFO Garage
Efraón started out with a 1990 BMW R 100 R—complete with BMW’s Paralever swing arm and spoked wheels. He left the motor and drivetrain mostly stock, but treated the engine to a new coat of a textured black paint typically used on Harleys.

The engine now breathes in via a pair of pod filters, and the airbox has been replaced by a custom-made cover. The new twin exhaust system is from GR Exhausts—built according to Efraón’s design.

BMW R100R custom motorcycle by UFO Garage
Moving to the chassis, Efraón swapped out the BMW’s forks for a set of upside-downs from a Suzuki GSX-R.

To fit them, he took all the necessary measurements, then sent them off to have a new set of triples machined up. He also modded the GSX-R’s front brakes to run on the R 100 R wheel, and created a new front fender.

BMW R100R custom motorcycle by UFO Garage
Out back is a new custom-made Hagon shock. It’s a little shorter than stock, but the upper shock mount is in a different place now—so it’s actually lifted the rear slightly, for a sharper stance.

That shock mount forms part of a new steel subframe, made from scratch. Old boxers have bolt-on subframes, but Efraón decided to graft his new design directly to the main frame. And he didn’t just weld it—he also used a technique he picked up on a trip to the States, to smooth the joints out with molten tin.

BMW R100R custom motorcycle by UFO Garage
It’s a neat effect, and we love the drilled gussets—and the passenger peg mounts. It’s topped off with a new seat, covered in Alcantara, with a hidden document pouch underneath. The bottom’s closed off with a metal panel, keeping things orderly.

The taillight sits lower down, in the form of a pair of dual-purpose LED turn signals, mounted to a custom-built license plate bracket.

BMW R100R custom motorcycle by UFO Garage
Efraón’s kept the entire wiring package extremely neat—rewiring everything off a Motogadget control box, and relocating the OEM battery further down.

A ton of consideration went into the cockpit too. Efraón wanted to retain some of the airhead’s DNA, so he fitted the headlight from an R80. Then he installed twin Daytona gauges, creating new bezels for them, joined by a plate that also holds the idiot lights. (The whole layout is a nod to the original BMW dash).

BMW R100R custom motorcycle by UFO Garage
Also present are new clip-ons, Biltwell Inc. grips and bar-end mirrors. The master cylinder’s a Brembo part, and the switches and front turn signals are by Motogadget. We’re even spotting new foot pegs and controls, and an upgraded side stand.

There’s hardly a hair out of place, but what really caught us by surprise was just how much thought went into the paint. At a glance, it looks like a run of the mill monochrome job—but there’s a lot going on.

BMW R100R custom motorcycle by UFO Garage
Efraón mixed gloss and matte textures, and used both grey and black to create the desired effect. The wheels were stripped and refinished too, and the frame and rear shock spring were even treated to a new coat.

More importantly, this BMW wears sensible tires—and there’s not an inch of pipe wrap in sight. Should this be how all modern cafe racers are built?

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BMW R100R custom motorcycle by UFO Garage