BMW Dakar rep? No – just a bloke in a shed
‘I made it all up as I went along but I’m delighted with the way it’s turned out’
There’s something very factory about Richard Brown’s scrambler. Maybe it’s the Motorrad livery that lends an air of works-preparation. Or maybe it’s the fact that this is simply a beautifully finished build.
Richard previously built a Honda CB550 café racer and has bought a GPZ1100 in a dozen boxes as a potential project, but seeing his mate Pete Hodson weaving magic on a range of custom BMWS under the Siderock Cycles (SRC) banner gave him the encouragement to have a go at a boxer twin.
Richard bought the 1980 BMW R80 donor bike off Pete, stripped it down to the last nut and bolt and then started the painstaking build process.
“The engine’s been completely rebuilt,” he says. “I’m a mechanic by trade but I got Pete’s help because he’s got so much experience on these things. It’s still got the original heads, cylinders and pistons and the original crank has been checked over. It’s also got a new timing chain and new seals.
“The stainless exhaust headers were bent by JT Tubes in Upton. The mufflers are smooth cones, which I bought on ebay. I wanted high-level pipes, both exiting on the same side to give the bike a Dakar look but it was difficult to set the bike up to run smoothly with two very different length exhausts. Carbs are VM34 Mikunis from Allens. It runs much better with these and they give it a bit more oomph.”
Richard kept the stock frame but added an SRC lightweight subframe. Shocks are TEC, and the wheels have been re-laced and shod with Conti Twinduros. The tank is stock but repainted by Wicked Coatings in the BMW Motorsport colour trim. The seat, with an embossed BMW R logo, is by Glenn Moger, and alloy fenders are by SRC.
It’s got fat bars, but not the usual Renthals in Q-tech race risers. There’s a small Acewell digital speedo and rev counter, angel-eye LED headlight set in Alchemy headlight brackets, and LED indicators. It’s got a brand new wiring loom, with Motogadget switches.
Richard said: “I made it all up as I went along but I’m delighted with the way it’s turned out.”
Hard to believe this is only Richard Brown’s second project
An SRC subframe saved vital bulk from the BMW VM34 Mikuni carbs improve running
LED headlight adds a modern twist
Cute headers were bespoke for the bike