“Bounty” — a BMW boxer built for the deserts of Dubai…
The desert sled may have its roots in the cross-country races of 1960s America, where heroes such as Steve McQueen, Bud Ekins, and Malcolm Smith blasted across the nation’s southwestern deserts, but the influence of those early desert racers has been global.
Enter Rami Halawani, who has been living in Dubai for more than twenty years. Rami wanted a desert sled inspired by those glory days of motorcycling, capable of taking taking him on some desert adventures. He says:
“I wanted a retro scrambler/desert sled that I could actually use in the desert as well as the everyday commute…”
For such a build, he turned to Stephen Bentley of UK-based Dust Motorcycles, well-known for his rugged BMW airhead builds — many of which have been featured on The Bike Shed. Stephen was the perfect man to transform Rami’s dream into a reality. The end result is “Bounty” — a BMW R80RT desert sled that’s already adventuring through the deserts of Dubai.
Below, we get the full story on the build from both the owner and builder.
“Bounty” BMW R80RT Desert Sled: Build Story
From the Owner…
I had the bike built by UK-based Dust Motorcycles. Stephen Bentley is the founder/owner/builder. From my side, I have been living in Dubai for more than two decades and have been riding motorbikes for as long as I can remember. I wanted a retro scrambler/desert sled that I could actually use in the desert as well as the everyday commute… There’s a lot of sand over here… 🙂 Something with a raw industrial look to it and as close as possible to the desert sleds of the late 1950s and 60s. It’s safe to say that both the attitude and the character of “Bounty” are inspired by Steve McQueen’s On Any Sunday and The Great Escape.
Personally, commissioning this build was a dream come true!
From the Builder…
I was contacted by Rami earlier this year, who wanted a ride that could be used for both street and the desert in Dubai…something with a scrambler/tracker/sled “vibe” and an “industrial feel.”
The build is based on a 1992 R80 RT mono shock — converted to twin shock, with an R65 bevel and Ohlins shocks.
The front end is from a pre-’96 DR650 and the internals have been reworked, lowered and uprated with Progressive springs.
Rims and hubs are powder coated satin black, laced with stainless spokes and fitted with Pirelli MT43. The frame is painted gloss black and the Triumph Scrambler tank and panels are matte metallic grey.
Engine is stock — top end has been overhauled and an earlier pre-’81 airbox cover fitted. Rather than change the carbs to slides the bings were swapped over to show the “workings,” which lends to the “industrial feel.”
Pipes were made from stainless in a “sled” style, with three different types of baffles — moderate, loud and offensive!
Alloy mudguards were fitted high for a scrambler feel — front and side number boards made for the tracker vibe, along with drilled outer edges for the industrial… Off road pegs were grafted on to the original hangers and an alloy sump guard made up.
Twin projector lights are used for illumination and motogadget’s m-unit blue controls the electrics — along with their classic speedo, keyless ignition, pin indicators and m switch/m switch mini. Handlebars are Carroll Resweber flat track bars with a crossbar fitted — Tomaselli throttle for the goosing, and Guzzi clutch and Brembo/master for the levers.
It’s Rami’s intention to use the bike for a few adventures, so rear and left side pannier racks were made.
Follow the Builder