Return of the Cafe Racers - Red Line – Tank Machine BMW R9T

Red Line – Tank Machine BMW R9T

It’s no secret that manufacturers have been watching what’s been happening in the cafe racer scene. They’ve been releasing motorcycles aimed at those of us who like to tweak our rides for some time now. The flow on effect of this is that aftermarket companies and custom builders inevitably turn their attention to them. French workshop ‘Tank Machine’ is one such company. Along with building their own custom motorcycles, they produce custom parts and kits for the new Indian Scout, Suzuki Van Van, Ducati Diavel and, of course, the BMW R9T.




Tank Machine was established by Clement Molina back in 2015 following his 18 years of experience working in the motorcycle industry. His company specializes in the sale and production of aftermarket parts as well as building custom motorcycles for their customers. After predicting that manufacturers were going to be developing motorcycles that embraced customization he focused his companies efforts on developing products specifically for these newer machines. Tank Machine now collaborates with several French dealerships building motorcycles for showrooms and special events that promote the customizable nature of these motorcycles.

Tank Machine custom BMW R9T

This Tank Machine BMW R9T cafe racer, nicknamed ‘Red Line’, was built in collaboration with BMW Motorrad France for their appropriately named ‘Custom Contest’. With a super tight timeframe of only one month, Clement and his team took delivery of a brand new R9T Racer. With the goal of creating a bike that was a striking visual contrast to the original, they began by devising a new, dark color palette.

Tank Machine custom BMW R9T

Although BMW did a great job of creating a beautifully clean bike strict laws and licensing requirements dictate the use of some rather average looking components. So, along with the dramatic change in color, Clement applied a series of modifications to help clean things up. Starting with the rear end he dispensed of the oversized plastic fender and indicators. In their place is an LED brake light with integrated indicators and the license plate now functions as a basic fender. At the pointy end, the front fender was trimmed to lessen its presence and tiny Motogadget M-Blaze pin indicators were discreetly integrated into the front cowl.

Tank Machine custom BMW R9T

To complement, the bikes new color scheme a custom tuck and roll leather seat was made using contrasting red stitching, which would become the highlight color for the R9T’s paint scheme. To free up some additional power the airbox was dispensed with and red Unifilters mounted directly to each intake. A black bodied Akrapovic muffler was then fitted to the original headers which have been cloaked in black exhaust wrap.

Tank Machine custom BMW R9T

The Red Line’s headlamp grille, levers, mirrors, and footpegs come from fellow aftermarket experts Rizoma. To add a touch a classic cafe racer styling the modern filler was swapped for a black Monza cap and the badges replaced by for milled alloy editions. With all of their aftermarket components planned out it was time to apply the new paint. All of the engines silver details were repainted using the same satin black they applied to the bodywork. Then to add a sportier and decidedly sinister feel to the BMW, they added the metallic blood red racing stripes.

Tank Machine custom BMW R9T

Although the Red Line R9T cafe racer features plenty of one-off modifications most of the dress up parts used, such as the seat, lights, and Rizoma items are available through the Tank Machine website as a kit to allow their customers to recreate this look.

We were smitten when we first saw the BMW R9T Racer and Tank Machines reimagining of the bike has only made us want one more!

Tank Machine custom BMW R9T

 

Tank Machine custom BMW R9T

Read more like this

Return of the Cafe Racers - Father’s Son – Le Bouterollier BMW R60/7

Father’s Son – Le Bouterollier BMW R60/7

Experiences from our youth can have a profound effect on what we do later in life. For Jean-Pierre, it was time spent with his father on their BMW R60/7. Despite pursuing a…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Blue Fix – Sinroja R19 BMW R80/7

Blue Fix – Sinroja R19 BMW R80/7

Customer requests and customer needs are two very different things. UK’s Sinroja Motorcycles are always happy to oblige with customer requests. However, they’re also very familiar with the challenges of bike building.…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - RetroRides K100 Cafe Racer

RetroRides K100 Cafe Racer

Brazillian workshop Retrorides is the result of forty years of hard work by two generations of the Lourenço family. Nestled a couple of hours out of São Paulo in the town of…

Continue Reading