Building custom motorcycles is all about solving problems. This could be working around a modern electrical system, extracting additional horsepower from an engine or nutting out how to retrofit custom bodywork. The difference between a good build and a great one, however, is the ability to solve a problem in an aesthetically pleasing way. In the case of this custom BMW K100 by Deep Creek Cycleworks the first problem they faced was undoing someone else’s ugly mistakes.
The donor for the build, an ’88 K100RS, was delivered to Deep Creek by its Belgian owner. “His BMW had been modified in a horrible way.” Kris Reniers of Deep Creek recalls, and its owner wholeheartedly agreed. So Kris asked him to do some homework and send a few photos of custom builds that appealed to him. It wasn’t long before Kris received an email that set the tone of the build. The first image was a shot of VTR Customs stunning blue ‘BMW Boes.ch 100’. The other photos were of a pair of cleanly built Moto Guzzis. After studying the 3 images Kris identified design elements that the 3 bikes had in common. “The message became clear” he says. “The owner wanted a clean and sober cafe racer with a front fairing and sleek lines that would give the BMW a seventies vibe.”
As the bike was torn down Kris and his Deepcreek team identified an issue with the bikes fuel tank. When BMW designed the water-cooled K100RS they notched the tank to fit around the cooling system. This allowed the radiator to sit higher and out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, after removing the stock fairing it looked rather odd. The issue presented Deep Creek with a couple options. Either they could attempt to lower the radiator and fit a different fuel tank or install a fairing to disguise the notch. The budget of the build wasn’t going to allow them to re-engineer the cooling system so Kris opted for the latter solution.
Despite Deep Creeks impressive portfolio Kris is modest when it comes to his ability. He openly admits that they didn’t have the skill to build a new fairing from scratch. What he did have though was the ability to figure out an effective way to solve the problem. Looking to BMWs current range Kris realised the R9T Racer wore a fairing that had the look they were after. So he bit the bullet and purchased the Racer fairing committing himself to making it fit.
Thankfully when the fairing arrived Kris found he could make it work. First, he lifted the front of the tank to level things out. Then, with some careful hammering, he reshaped the front section to follow the curves of the R9T fairing. Once the fairing was in place he proceeded to modify the rest of the bike to match. First up was a Motogadget Chronoclassic speedometer mounted low beneath the windscreen. He then slipped clip-on handlebars on to the forks and fit them with Motogadget switches, bar end indicators and a Domino throttle. He opened up the rear of the frame by relocating the battery and installed rear-set footpegs.
Finishing off the bodywork is a custom rear cowl and seat pan which were fabricated from scratch. As for performance the Flying Brick inline four remains untouched. However, to ensure the BMW would produce a sound befitting of its appearance, a short Moto GP exhaust system was installed. As indicated by its name, the bodywork was finished using grey paint borrowed from Audi’s style guide. The rest of the BMW is matte black aside from a handful of raw alloy components to balance things out.
If you’d asked me last week if I’d ever buy a BMW K100 flying brick I’d have responded with an emphatic no. However today, for some reason, I may consider otherwise.