Riccardo Micheli, founder of Tuscany’s Toro Moto, has quickly become one of our very favorite builders worldwide. He’s worked as a tuner for various Italian and European race teams and an official BMW Motorrad technician. What sets him apart from the crowd is his maniacal attention to detail.
Today, we’re thrilled to present one of his masterpieces, “La Bimba,” based on a 1982 BMW R65. The owner wanted an elegant yet aggressive build with Continental TKC80 tires. What’s more, the duo decided not to cut the frame.
“The absolute dogma of our project was not to cut the frame, not distorting the bike, so we tailored around the glorious BMW R65 boxer a dress that highlighted its intrinsic beauty.”
From the toaster tank to the custom-bent steel cable guides (!) to the exhaust which passes through the frame, this BMW scrambler is simply glorious — and one of the slimmest, most streamlined airhead builds we’ve seen. Below, we get the full story from the Tuscan master himself.
“La Bimba” BMW Airhead Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
Hi everybody, I’m Riccardo Micheli. I founded my workshop TORO MOTO in 2012 in Pistoia, the city where I was born and I live. I’m in motorcycling since 1993 when I started working as mechanic in an official BMW Motorrad service workshop. At the same time I have been working as assistant and tuner for Italian and European Championship teams (Yamaha, Aprilia and Kawasaki bike manufacturer). I also worked in Honda and Ducati service shops for a few until TORO MOTO was born. In my life I always pay much attention to details both during my activity and in personal relationships, this is my style. I wish this attention to details could distinguish me.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
The motorbike is a BMW R65/2 1982
• Why was this bike built?
Alessio, the owner of the bike, saw some of my previous works and expressed the desire to build a BMW motorcycle that did not lose its status symbol.
“I want her elegant but aggressive, enjoyable with nice knobby tires…” (Continental TKC80) – these are his words – so I immediately search the right bike to fit the type, size and speed of the tire he wanted. We chose a BMW R65 / 2 that allowed us to use that tire safely.
The absolute dogma of our project was not to cut the frame, not distorting the bike, so we tailored around the glorious BMW R65 boxer a dress that highlighted its intrinsic beauty.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Off-road tires, mudguards and high exhaust are fundamental to build a respectable scrambler. This was our guidelines. The style and lines must take you back in time but still maintaining the usability of a modern bike. This is how “La Bimba” was born. “La Bimba”…My daughter… and Alessio’s girlfriend forever….
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The iconic and rare “Toaster” original BMW tank looks very cool and enhances the personality of the bike by giving light with its chrome side panels.
The exhaust system that pass under the tank required many hours of work, but thanks to that the bike looks even more slim and streamlined. The electric cables have been inserted in cable guides made by steel, bent and perfected on the frame are an example of high-level details I use to build for my motorbikes.
I did an accurate research of materials and, thanks to top-level suppliers, I think we created a perfect mix. The retro-modern parts do not alter the spirit of the bike, but they enhances its personality even more. “La Bimba” attracts everyone with the beauty of its chrome parts and contrasts of colors and materials.
Several details are fully handmade, for example the front mudguard support frame, headlight and instrument support frame, fork cover, battery box, handlebar and pedal controls. Engine, gearbox and final transmission are completely revised and painted in black with special technical paint. Cooling fins and other details are reworked to pull out the aluminum and give more contrast according to contrast cut technique.
Some other details that distinguish our bike are: tailored single-seat saddle, double front disc with stainless braided brake lines, custom designed shock absorbers, electrical system with transponder starter and can-bus system, many parts has been chromed, anodized or polished. The last but not the least is the anagram of bike’s name printed also on the fork label inside the BMW logo.
• How would you classify this bike?
Modern retro scrambler maniacally finished
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The exhaust for sure! I wanted to adopt this particular and eclectic solution very much despite of the efforts which its construction required. It passes into the frame, above the engine and comes outside on the right side. For its specific built, I had to be careful with wiring and I had to secure its way using high temperature resistant cable and proper insulation. I am proud of the high level of the details achieved and the quality we obtained: after four years, these evergreen lines still make me happy today.
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