There is absolutely no doubt that the custom world is awash with BMWs at the moment, and the classic R and K bikes are holding down the positions that were once the domain of Honda’s CB range and the Yamaha SR500. But while the two Bavarian bikes come from the same manufacturer, they are literally worlds apart. One has the technology that first launched the company into motorcycles, a boxer engine, carbs and classic lines. The K bike, on the other hand, was a technical wonder boy when released, longitudinal four-cylinder, with EFI, emissions controls and ABS to follow. So, the team at Greece’s Custommade CA had their work cut out for them when starting with a barely running donor, but the client need not fear, as the result is one killer K100.
Based in the country’s capital Athens, the workshop is made up of a group of three friends who decided they needed a home base for the hobby they love and live. In 2016 that became a full-blown workshop, taking on client builds and supplying parts to the local motorcycle community. “Three years ago a good friend of ours, came by our workplace for a coffee, at that point, we were building a BMW K100 and although he was not a biker, he fall in love with it,” Christos tells us. Clearly, the bike made an impression, as their friend was back to visit a few weeks later, this time to place an order for a custom K of his own.
The build would be slow to start, however, with the country not playing host to many potential donors, finding a suitable bike was proving to be difficult. Then six months later they got a lead, and a drive into the rural countryside had them staring at a BMW K100; but she was more than a little rough. “It would start normally and idle, but apart from that, the bike was in really bad shape, the perfect donor for a nice build from scratch.” Back at the workshop and the guys knew the best way forward was to start with the engine, there would be no point building a beautiful bike if the engine issues turned out to be terminal.
So the big four-cylinder was plucked from the frame and torn down and it was clear that the top end would need to be rebuilt. The head was resurfaced and the valve seats were re-cut, ensuring that the boys were starting with a good base for the rest of the build. With the bottom end back together, the engine, swingarm and its driveline were all beautifully powder coated and the thing looks brand new. On the outside of the engine the EFI needed an overhaul, with a new regulator keeping the pressure spot on and a fresh set of injectors.
“An aftermarket Inox intake manifold, a CNC DNA filter with Inox custom mount and a new muffler were installed.” Now she not only idled, but she also screamed! Alex, the owner, really wanted spoked wheels, so the guys found BMW items from the 1200C and a 1150GS, and rebuilt them to suit the application. Next, it was time to connect them to the frame and at the front end that’s done by a full Suzuki GSXR K8 set of forks, clamps and clip-ons. Monoblock calipers were taken from a CBR1000RR and a set of spacers allows them to grab some wave pattern 320mm discs, originally intended for a BMW S1000RR.
The rear end forms part of the whole visual appeal of the bike and for this the guys chose a “SIDEWINDER MECCANICA kit from YSS Europe, matched with a fully adjustable shock from the same brand.” To work with this new piece, and knowing the cafe racer lines they were after, the guys knew they needed a different subframe. So, the old one was cut off and an entirely new piece was built, that brilliantly matches the lines of the shock linkage. To keep things even cleaner, the hooped tailpiece features a pair of recessed multi-function LEDs, so that the lighting doesn’t disturb the lines.
Sitting atop the new creation, “the cowl was CAD designed and 3D printed to fit the lines of the bike and add practicality as we designed a hidden pocket for the necessary papers and tools.” It also serves as the location for the factory ECU and tiny battery, a perfect use of space.
“Adding to the looks we built two side panels that follow the lines of the fuel tank, a pair of laser cut mounts to host a custom minimal front fender, a custom rear license plate mount that was fabricated to fit as close as possible to the rear wheel and a pair of custom CNC rearsets that were fabricated in-house with our CNC router.”
The boys could see the finish line, but knew now was not the time to take the foot off the pedal, so to give the bike a real wow factor, the paint is House of Kolor silver and Brandy Wine, with a mix of high gloss and matte, and the use of a crazy contrast effect on the tank to really make things pop.
Before the tins could go back on, however, the wiring was built from scratch and is all based around Motogadget components and a control module from Axel Joost, to ensure everything on the bike works flawlessly. The tan leather seat was clipped into place and the final item is a custom side stand, which stops the chambers from filling with oil, a common problem on the stock machine.
The owner Alex, may not have been a biker before, but now sitting astride his custom built K, you can’t take the smile off his face.
[ Custommade C.A. ]