Two Heads - Leli Motive BMW R80/7

At only 29 years old Ferdy van Leliveld has laid his hands on more motorcycles than most veteran riders. After spending 8 years working for BMW Motorrad he started his own business, Lelimotive that specialises in the sale of classic and collectable motorcycles to customers around Europe. When it came to building his own bike Ferdy new it had to be something special, a bike that his fastidious customers would want to own. To do this he collaborated with another workshop, Wang Motorcycles, and the result speaks for itself.

“I had been looking to build a clean, minimalistic BMW cafe racer for a couple of years. The less on it the better. I knew what I wanted but also knew very well that I did not have the time to complete the bike in my own workshop. So, I talked with Wang Motorcycles to see if they would be interested in assisting with the build. They agreed and the project began with a relaxed, ‘no hurry' timeframe from October 2016 to the Summer of 2017.”

“For the basis of the build, we used a 1978 R80/7. The previous owner was a former colleague of mine who had the bike for over 25 years. The bike started life as a Dutch police bike which is why it also has a kickstart. I bought the bike in running but not drivable condition and took it to Wang in the winter and he started stripping it straight away. After several visits, we finally agreed on the design and also the budget. The first thing he wanted to make right after stripping the bike down was the engine and gearbox. Both underwent a complete overhaul and are now brand new.”

“Next up was the rear subframe. For this Wang fabricated a new loop in-house and it came out very clean. After mocking the bike up with a foam seat it was time to take the frame, subframe, swing arm, centre stand and other small parts to be powder coated in semi gloss black. The tank and seat also went off to the paint shop and were finished using an old Renault colour called Bordeaux metallic burgundy which we bordered with gold pinstripes and the final build up could begin.”

“Every week we talked about which parts to use and specific details. We didn’t really have a deadline and although April would be nice, the bike was completed in July. It worked out perfectly with an awesome finish and no cutting corners. The end result is just what I wanted from the beginning: classic, minimalistic and very clean. Everything is new or refurbished with no stone left unturned.”

“To name a few of the highlights of the build there’s a custom diamond stitched leather seat, custom subframe, electric ignition with the starter hidden in the engine cover. The carbs wear velocity stacks with mesh grills, there’s new adjustable rear shocks, front springs, brakes, and steel braided brake lines. There’s an LED rear light bar hiding just behind the seat, an LED headlight, choke pins instead of cables, a lightweight lithium ion battery under the seat. We also machined many parts like the crown plate and installed a new Hoske exhaust system. By the end of the build, I had 6 A4 pages of invoices with all the parts listed!”

“I’ve only just begun to break the bike in and I love it. I feel the bike is a great example of a perfect collaboration between two workshops. The BMW now stands as an eye-catcher in my showroom and will visit the next cafe racer days festival. It’ll also get plenty of time out on the road…when the sun is out.”

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