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Speed Read, 15 November 2020

The latest motorcycle news and customs
A peek at a seriously cool cyberpunk scooter concept from BMW, plus an R100 rescued from the wrecker’s yard in Spain, a gorgeous Guzzi T5 from Italy, and a Suzuki V-Strom clad entirely in wood. Yes, really.

BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04
BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04 The problem with most compact scooters is the styling. They’re spindly, plastic-y things, and look like they’d splinter into a dozen pieces if dropped. There are a few exceptions though, such as Piaggio’s Vespa brand and the Honda Zoomer—and it looks like BMW is about to join that party.

BMW Motorrad Definition CE 04
The ‘Definition CE 04’ is an urban electric scooter concept, and it looks good. BMW as a company is heavily focused on EVs right now, and Motorrad prototypes have a habit of making it into production, in slightly revised form. So it wouldn’t surprise us to see this scooter hitting the showrooms late next year.

BMW says the concept has ‘production readiness’—and the company already has a lot of experience with electric scooters, via the pricey but effective C Evolution model. We’re hoping it goes into production looking exactly like the prototype, with agreeably chunky bodywork and vivid color highlights. [More]

BMW R100 cafe racer by Ønix Design
BMW R100 by Ønix Design BMW is definitely looking towards the future, but there’s still a lot of love for older Bayerische Motoren Werke bikes amongst owners. Most bikes that are four decades old and falling apart get sent to the wreckers, but airheads tend to get a reprieve.

Like this 1977 R100 from Valencia in Spain. This was a basket case built up by an enterprising (and young) mechanical engineer called Iñaki Bellver, who runs a workshop called Ønix Design in his spare time.

BMW R100 cafe racer by Ønix Design
The rescue job was commissioned by a local doctor, and Iñaki has performed the surgery very well indeed. There’s nothing radical on the build sheet, but lots of neat details—from lifting the fuel tank slightly to even out the lines, building a new subframe and seat unit, and completely revising the cockpit with Renthal Ultra Low bars and all-new controls.

BMW R100 cafe racer by Ønix Design
The new stainless steel 2-into-1 exhaust system is fully legal in Spain, the engine has been refreshed for the next four decades of service, and there’s a Motogadget Motoscope Tiny speedo flushed into the top triple tree. The forks have been dropped a notch and new YSS shocks level out the rear.

Virtually everything has been rebuilt, or stripped back to bare metal and powder coated or painted. The result is perfecto.

Moto Guzzi 850 T5 by Remastered Cycle
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 by Remastered Cycle Luca Morelli has been running Remastered Cycle for 11 years in Brescia, Italy, and he’s built almost 100 bikes to date. This stunning T5 is his latest restoration: it’s 35 years old but looks as good as new, and could probably show a clean pair of heels to the current V9 model too.

Moto Guzzi 850 T5 by Remastered Cycle
The Guzzi has been totally stripped down and rebuilt, with a modified aftermarket tank, a new seat, and a new subframe and tail unit—all fettled by Luca and his crew. Bitubo forks and YSS shocks upgrade the handling, and Brembo master cylinders and new brake hoses help haul everything to a stop.

Moto Guzzi 850 T5 by Remastered Cycle
The mighty V-twin now breathes easy through classic Lafranconi exhausts, and Luca has added a quick action Tommaselli throttle to amp up the excitement level even further. It’s old school motorcycling at its best. [Remastered Cycle]

Wooden custom Suzuki V-Strom
Suzuki V-Strom DL650 by James Hay The arguments around form versus function will rage forever in the custom scene, and never be answered. We generally sit in the middle, somewhere on the uncomfortable fence—but occasionally a bike comes along that is so extreme, we just have to feature it.

This is one of those bikes, from Canadian builder James Hay. “I haven’t seen anything quite like my bike on your site, so can’t guess whether or not you’ll find it interesting,” he says. “It is a bit of a head-turner here in Ottawa.”

Wooden custom Suzuki V-Strom
It’d turn heads just about anywhere in the world, because it’s a Suzuki V-Strom re-clad with entirely wooden bodywork. James got his inspiration from a 1920s H6C Hispano-Suiza car with a wooden body, and after he got soaked during six hours of riding in heavy rain, he decided to pull the trigger and build himself a land yacht.

James has used methods similar to boat building and aircraft bodywork, with copper nails through layers of wood, plus fiberglass cloth and epoxy. Dzus fasteners allow the lower panels to be removed to adjust tire air pressure and do oil changes without major disassembly.

Wooden custom Suzuki V-Strom
It’s been a long-term project: James started in 2013 with drawings, then made a one-fifth scale model. A full size buck followed, with clear pine used for the final body. And instead of paint, there are eight to ten coats of boat varnish.

Why? “I like the way it looks, and so do lots of others,” says James. “Kids sometimes wave! It’s big fun. Keeps the wind off, and my gas mileage improved about 10%.”

“I completed a new dashboard last winter, and then the panels that fill the area between gas tank and the forward fairing. I figure this project is done now, and I can just ride the darn thing.”

We’d love to ride it too, but would be scared of dropping it …
Wooden custom Suzuki V-Strom

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