Return of the Cafe Racers - Modern Heritage – Road Burner BMW R80

Modern Heritage – Road Burner BMW R80

Two motorcycle obsessed friends building bikes for a living. It sounds like the perfect life to be living. This is the work environment of Cédric and Ludovic of Road Burner Garage. The pair are high school friends who went on to study as coachbuilders and share a passion for customising motorcycles. They launched their workshop after being commissioned to build a motorcycle to display in a local restaurant. The project proved to be so much fun that they sought out other opportunities to build custom bikes together. 3 years later they’ve built an impressive portfolio of bikes including their latest BMW R80.

Roadburner BMW R80 Cafe Racer

The Road Burner Garage workshop is located in Larressore, France. Larressore is about 25 minutes south-west of the Biarritz, the home of Wheels and Waves. As you would imagine the region is brimming with motorcyclists and their latest project came from the neighbouring town of Saint Pee Sur Nivelle. The customer purchased a lightly modified 1978 BMW R80 from Paris and brought it to Road Burner for a complete overhaul.

Despite an age gap of almost 40 years Road Burner set out to build a bike that had the underpinnings of BMW Motorrad’s R Nine T. First up they binned everything the previous owner had done to take the bike back to square one. From there they laid out a list of modifications that would bring their R Nine T inspired idea to life.

Roadburner BMW R80 Cafe Racer

The framework consists of a new subframe with an integrated LED taillight. To close off the loop there’s a custom made fibreglass rear cowl. The forks have been dropped by 10cm to level out the BMW’s bone line and fuel is carried in the refurbished BMW R80 tank. A Monza style filler cap and clip-on bars round out the cafe racer styling cues. A nod to the R Nine T can be found on the front end in the form of a retrofitted headlight which they’ve fitted with a Motogadget speedometer.

To keep it running right this R80 features a new wiring loom that’s hooked up to a Motogadget M-Unit. Motogadget also provided the bikes switchgear and M-Blaze bar-end indicators. Astealthily mounted lithium battery cranks the engine over but the original kicker pedal is still in place for style and peace of mind. New brakes, K&N air filters and a thorough service were also par for the course.

Finishing touches on this BMW R80 came in the form of Shinko whitewall tyres (an unusual choice that somehow works on this bike), custom cast alloy BMW badges on the tank and tail unit, and a handmade seat by local upholsterer, Emma’Services. Finally, the bodywork was finished in a very modern BMW sparkling brown. The result is a vintage bike with modern lines and reliability, something that Cédric, Ludovic and the owner of the bike should all be very proud of.


Roadburner BMW R80 Cafe Racer

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