An ’87 Flying Brick dragged “kicking and screaming” into 2019…
The BMW K100, introduced in 1982, benefited from the company’s many years of experience building liquid-cooled, overhead cam, inline automobile engines. The fuel-injected, 95-hp engine was positioned on its side in the frame, so that the cylinder head was on the left side of the bike and the crankshaft was on the right, earning the K-series an affectionate nickname: the “Flying Brick.” The 536-lb brick was capable of 137 mph, with a low-maintenance shaft drive and Bosch LE-Jetronic fuel injection derived from the second-gen 3 Series cars…the now legendary E30.
Enter NYC-based actor and comedian Mehdi Barakchian (@custombikesbymehdi). If Mehdi looks familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen him in NBC’s hit show Manifest, as well as shows like NCIS New Orleans and Netflix’s YOU. But long before he was in the entertainment industry, Mehdi worked in the automotive business, and he grew up tinkering with cars. In fact, as a kid, he always told his grandmother, Shahin, that he would build her a futuristic car someday.
What’s more, he’s been riding motorcycles for more than a decade and a half, and the idea of doing his own full build obsessed him. He knew the K100 would be the bike:
“I always loved the look of the K100 flying brick. The engine has a big, mean, retro ‘trying to look like the future’ vibe that I love.”
Mehdi was inspired by none other than the “King of K-Bike Building,” Trevor Ditson (@ditstang), whose K100 bobber we previously featured on the blog. He set to work in a cramped, freezing cold garage in NJ, where he worked for some seven months to build the modernized stunner you see here:
“The goal was to drag this bike (kicking and screaming) into 2019.”
We especially love the level of technical detail, such as the backlit BMW emblems (like modern BMW cars) and the Bluetooth gauges, which run via an app on your phone. And, oh yeah, if your phone needs a charge, there’s a dual USB 4.2amp charger built into the triple tree! What’s even more special is the dedication of the build:
“I named the bike “Shahin” because as a kid I always told my grandmother that I’d build her a futuristic car. That’s what this bike has meant for me, which is why I named it after her.”
1987 BMW K100 “Shahin”: In the Builder’s Words
I’m Mehdi Barakchian and I’m an Actor and Comedian based out of NYC. You’ve probably seen me in shows like NBC’s Manifest, YOU on Netflix, NCIS New Orleans, and countless commercials. Before getting into entertainment, I was in the automotive business and grew up tinkering with cars and trucks. I’ve been riding motorcycles for 15+ years and was always obsessed with the idea of doing a full build.
I always loved the look of the K100 flying brick. The engine has a big, mean, retro “trying to look like the future” vibe that I love. Also, the tank looks like a standard motorcycle gas tank if it had taken a bunch of steroids. The combo of those two things always did it for me. The majority of my inspiration for the build came from seeing the work Trevor Ditson (@ditstang on instagram) had done to his K100 builds. I think most builders would agree with me when I say that he’s the gold standard for K-bike building. I utilized a lot of his concepts while giving it my own touches.
The goal was to drag this bike (kicking and screaming) into 2019. I worked with vendors and was able to group together a couple of electronic units to successfully install bluetooth wireless gauges. The bike is fully functional without them, but should you want them, they load up on an app on your phone. It syncs in literally two seconds, and you’ve got all the gauge functions, including indicator lights, at your fingertips and mounted directly to the phone. If you need a charge, I customized and built in a dual USB 4.2amp charger in the triple tree. I think the bluetooth gauges are kinda wild and something you don’t see everyday. I also really love the idea of a two-up custom bike and I don’t think you have to sacrifice the look to get that.
The rear wheel is upgraded to that of a K1200, wrapped in Shinko’s. The tank is dipped in BMW M5 Carbon Black also called “Carbonschwartz.” It’s black in the shade and a sparkly midnight blue in the sun. Custom work was done to the tank so that I could backlight the BMW emblem like modern BMW cars.
The exhaust I custom cut from the original exhaust and modified — another idea I took from Trevor Ditson. I completely flushed and rebuilt the Brembo brakes and dipped them in Burnt Copper for a kick of color.
I also hand-striped and individually sanded each fin on the valve cover and engine covers as well as the oil pan fins. The airflow meter, jetronic/ecu, and battery were all relocated and mounted with custom brackets to secure them in place.
I named the bike “Shahin” because as a kid I always told my grandmother that I’d build her a futuristic car. That’s what this bike has meant for me which is why I named it after her. I feel like I accomplished that to some degree given the bluetooth functions, all LED lighting, and all the weight that was shed.
I documented the whole build on my instagram at @custombikesbymehdi. Come give me a shout and check out what’s next in my garage.