The story begins autumn 2016, when me and my friend went to buy a mint BMW K100RS here in Poland to make a fairly standard K100 Café Racer project as we’ve seen many before. It all went great but two things: mint K100 was rubbish and we bought a K1200rs. My friend is not into retro bikes so he really liked that course of events. I was scared because my eyes saw the horror when I typed “Custom BMW K1200RS” in my favorite image viewer. When it comes to new projects in Ugly Motors I always got few ideas ahead. This time it was pure, helpless and slightly insane void. As I’ve mentioned my friend is more like Bladerunner 2049 kind of a guy than a BSA racer that and the BMW heritage brought me those three canvas on which I’ve based the design:
- It has to have a BMW “kidney”.
- Tank needs to be done from scratch.
- Shapes needs to be arithmetical and sharp.
Project started to take shapes. On paper. Because it was really hard to start work without a vision. I was trying to inhale as many inspirations as I could. For those who don’t know the K1200RS and “what’s the big deal, just a bigger K100 bike” I got few things to thought thru. Monolithic aluminium frame, telelever suspension, electric wiring straight from NASA and visually-heavy brick in presence of 1200 oil-water cooled engine.
Than it was time to materialize all those thoughts. Steel sheet 0.8mm thick was used to build tank with integrated tail. It was my first tank made from scratch so I guess the integration was meant to made things more complicated. To build such a structure I’ve made a tank frame from 4mm steel rods. This process was painful and I’ve learned a lot. Sealing the tank with welds took several attempts and tests with welding chemistry. Tank itself carries function of base structure, seat, electric case and air intake for massive car origin K&N filter. It also got external car fuel pump to sufficiently satisfy engine need for petrol. On the same basics there were made telelever covers which got only one task. Transfer the weight of the design to front and add to the aggressive stance of a bike. Parallel to those tasks I’ve stated to work on a 3D projects of a parts needed to make a kidney. This controversial feature is a distinctive part of the whole bike and it is designed to carry a light and water radiator. It was carved night and day by a CNC router machine from 27kg (!) mono-block to end up as a 6 kg heavy statement. I’ve also designed and laser cut (the logo) upper telelever triple clamp and handlebars.
Budget of the bike was solid so I’ve manage to equip it with a top notch components like Continental Sport Attack 2 tires, CNC elements, SC-Project exhaust and all the Motogadget goodies. Ok, I’m an IT guy but it’s far from being an electrician guy and when I saw a pile of cables in that BMW I’ve struggle. Nevertheless I’ve manage to convert all the electronics and adapt this bike with M-unit blue (Bluetooth mobile connection), M-lock, M-button, Break Out Box B, Motoscope Pro. It’s a joy to work with those components even on such a complicated fairly modern bike. To addition bike was equipped with Magura master cylinders and steel braided links to work without ABS system.
Three years later since I’ve started this venture I’ve manage to get things straight with the design and paint it with classic BMW palette Silverstone Gray and add blue and yellow accents. This futuristic connection between iconic colors of WWII fighter plane Mustang P-51D with luxurious and sportiness of BMW brand might shock many people. I should paint it like a Messerschmitt BF-109 not like a yankee legend. Well not this time. This bike is a mirror of my passion and what I’ve learned to call “iconic” as a kid. This is what I love in motorization and resemble well my life to this day. That’s why I daily drive iconic BMW E39 and in my wall there is still a paper model of Mustang P 51D made when I was 16 year old.
Bike like these make us rethink the goals in life and the strength in passion that devour our minds every day. You either challenge yourself with such a huge project and win or it is end of your custom journey. Especially when you work alone like me. I believe that such a complex and brave design will forever stay in minds of few people and maybe this time I won’t be scared to type “custom BMW k1200rs” in a web browser because the bike looks and rides great.
It’s a great moment to thank all the people who stood there when were needed with me and my dreams: Ewelina, Marek, Targal, Alex-CNC.