The BMW R80RT, as you may know, was the street-only version of the R80GS adventure/dual-sport. It was popular among police forces across the globe, and it’s become a sought-after platform for customizers like Marc Frankhauser of France. Like most BMW boxers, these bikes will punch away until the end of time, and ex-police bikes, while high in mileage, are virtually guaranteed to have been well-serviced early in their careers.
Marc’s build, which he classifies as a “brat,” is a prime example of what a home-builder can do with one of these machines with modest outlay and labor.
Bratstyle R80 RT: The Build
The base bike is a 1988 BMW R80RT. Marc began by removing everything unnecessary, stripping this boxer down to its bare, muscular essentials. He says:
“The tachometer is an Acewell. Small blinkers, mirror under the LSL handlebar, Megaton exhaust with custom smoke box. Nitro Heads seat originally for SR400.”
As with any build, there were hurdles and complications. The Acewell tach ended up taking a lot of time.
“I needed to keep the original lamp which needs to deliver the resistance in order to charge the battery. Because the Acewell tachometer does have a LED and not a classical lamp, the battery will not charge normally. So both lamp and LED are working in parallel in order to have the right resistance for the circuit. (The red rubber between the tank and the seat is the originally charging lamp.) The battery is maintained with a backpack strap.”
Marc cut a starter key out of 22 millimeter vanadium, and he says he keeps the bike quite dirty.
“Bike is quite dirty because I don’t want to clean it.”