Today, we’re excited to feature this stunning 1988 BMW K100 cafe racer by Z17 Customs of Moscow. The design is by Mikhail Kostylev, executed by his partner Sergey Moonshn. As you may know, the K100 was a 987cc, four-cylinder that offered about 90 horsepower. We have featured a number of K100 customs before, but nothing matches this incredible build from the boys from Moscow.
In the Builder’s Words: “Out of the Crowd”
Initially we started this project as a commercial one with the concept generated by my co-partner and craftsman Sergey. He had already experience of making a “future machine” out of Honda x4 and rebuilding some other bikes. Early March we came to a Japan motorcycle reseller and found the only one left BMW K100, the model we were hunting for. This motorcycle had been on sale for a long time and nobody wanted to buy it. We had doubts about it as well, with one mirror and turn signal broken, but when Sergey looked closer at it he said “It is good and of course we do not need that broken stuff.”
Another queer thing was heavy smoke, after salesman turned on the engine… Entire floor became concert hall for few minutes, he explained it was oil in the exhaust. Well we didn’t have a lot of choices anyway (only two k100 were left on sale in Moscow) and finally we decided to take a risk on it.
Within the next week the bike was disassembled and we wondered how heavy the parts can be. I guess we removed about 50 kilos. As soon as all plastic from ’80 was removed, bike started to look much fresher. With every next step of removal, we were getting more and more excited. All screws and screw-nuts were virgin. Seemed like it came from the factory just the day before. Our friends who followed the process couldn’t believe it was possible. They saw many other motorcycles much fresher, but never in such a condition. As soon as we opened the engine all were saying it couldn’t be true.
- “Mike you can’t sell this bike, cause you will never find anything in a similar condition.”
- “It will be a crime to sell that motorcycle!”
- “If you gonna sell it, I’ll buy it”
These phrases were repeated many times during uncovering. At the same time we discussed different concepts with Sergey. It became obvious that we had too different visions: with me being more conservative and Sergey standing for futuristic concepts (we even managed to buy a Ducati RC8 tale for our custom.) One day Sergey came to an important decision, “In respect to your bold move with investments in customization, I want it to be your project.”
Sergey’s position was: “It will be the way you decide, I wouldn’t advise. This is your project.”
Each day within the next month I discovered motorcycle customization with so many details, I didn’t think of. Being marketeer and professional photographer I do love to explore different color patterns, cause usually you find only boring/standard colors combinations… For example, black, blue and red bikes. Especially here in Russia, when you’ve been taught not to stand out of the crowd. So my color journey started with seat color selection, and other colors for the bike were chosen based on it.
All works except for seat stuffing were done in garage. Some parts were ordered from Germany, China, US, some rare ones were found in Russia 🙂
In terms of lighting, the concept didn’t look as classic one as I wanted to combine old style cafe racer with modern city road safety. That is why we installed bright fog lights to increase visibility. Turns were integrated into head and tail lights.
There is an old proverb: “you must spoil before you spin”
But sometimes you have to break the rules…
- Design by Mikhail Kostylev (Z17 customs)
- Assembly by Sergey Moonshn (Z17 customs)
- Location: Moscow, Russia
- Source: BMW K100 (1988)