Factory Finish: A BMW R80ST built from OEM parts

BMW R80ST restomod by Renard Motorcycles
We’ve featured some wild customs over the years, and truth be told, we’ve come to expect the unexpected. In the last year alone, we’ve seen car engines shoehorned into motorcycle chassis, electric choppers masquerading as air-cooled V-twins, and even scooters converted into proper off-road machines.

So when this sleek little 1983 BMW R80ST came our way, we were almost shocked to hear that the number of custom parts featured in the build could be counted on a single hand.

BMW R80ST restomod by Renard Motorcycles
Dubbed ‘The Greenster,’ it’s the work of Estonia-based Renard Motorcycles, who deliberately set out to nail that classic OEM vibe. “The concept was to build a better bike than came out of the factory, with only BMW original parts.” says William Sarevet, who handles all things media for Renard.

We’re no strangers to Renard’s creations; roughly a dozen of their uber-clean customs have graced our pages in the past. Renard builds everything from Hondas to hogs when called upon, but vintage Beemers like this are undeniably their bread and butter.

BMW R80ST restomod by Renard Motorcycles
At a glance, The Greenster could easily pass for a top-down restomod, as all the tell-tale signs of a factory BMW R80ST are intact. There’s the distinctive gas tank, that long angled rear fender, and even the original BMW switchgear. And who could miss the upswept two-into-one exhaust that blends so seamlessly into the lines of the bike?

Truth be told, Renard’s new custom isn’t actually too far off from a factory restoration, and nothing on the bike has been chopped, shaved, or welded. We can’t say we’re disappointed, considering that fewer than 6,000 of these beauties were ever built during their short production run between 1982 and 1984.

BMW R80ST restomod by Renard Motorcycles
The angle of the subframe is tweaked slightly, only to allow for the new turn signals and the custom Alcantara seat. But other than that, the frame is entirely unmolested. The same goes for the engine, which remains fully stock—save for a minor overhaul while The Greenster was apart in the shop.

In keeping with their goal of building a better bike from factory parts, the team at Renard sourced a larger 38 mm diameter front end from a 90s-era R100RT. William tells us that the fork improves the ST’s handling, but also comes with the benefit of a Brembo dual-disk front brake setup—a fitting factory upgrade that still looks the part.

BMW R80ST restomod by Renard Motorcycles
Unfortunately those 90s model RTs all came with cast aluminum ‘snowflake’ wheels, and abandoning the ST’s classic spoked look was simply out of the question. A custom solution was needed, and Renard found their fix by lacing an R80R hub to the ST’s wheel—allowing for a dual disk setup without looking out of place.

The remaining modifications followed the same ‘tread lightly’ approach. The original clocks were swapped for a smaller and more elegant dash from a standard R model of the same generation, a less conspicuous set of signals replaced the big blocky OEM indicators, and a taller Lucas touring handlebar was bolted on to improve ergonomics.

BMW R80ST restomod by Renard Motorcycles
Believe it or not, that handsome metallic green paint that the Greenster takes its name from is also a purely OEM inspiration. Renard’s client wanted the bike painted in “the most radical original BMW color” they could find. After some extensive research, this custom color, dubbed ‘Nürburgring Green,’ was modeled after the rare metal flake green BMWs of the early 1970s.

Paint, decals, and pin-striping were all laid down by Jarmo Nuutre of One Eyed Morse customs, whose name you may recognize from previous Renard builds. Jarmo is known for his impressively intricate kustom kulture-influenced designs. If you’ve seen the absolutely bonkers paint on the ‘Anaconda Honda’ we featured a while back, you’ll know this is just a tad more subdued than his usual fare.

BMW R80ST restomod by Renard Motorcycles
The build was finished off with a set of Dunlop’s new Trail Mission tires. It’s another fitting upgrade for the ST, which BMW always intended as a street-focused cousin of the GS that still knew its way around a dirt road.

Renard’s clean take on this rare airhead may not be the wildest custom we see this year, but we’d bet the farm that BMW would have sold a lot more STs if they had come from the factory looking half as clean as this.

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BMW R80ST restomod by Renard Motorcycles