In 1976, BMW introduced the /7 series, including the 980cc, 70-hp R100. The bikes would remain in production for two decades…excluding a brief pause in 1985 when the company tried to cease production in favor of the liquid-cooled K-series but restarted production after protests from dealers and customers. The R100 remained the top-of-the-line airhead, gaining such upgrades as Monolever and Paralever suspension over the years.
Enter Ezio Covelli of Magnum Opus Customs, whose turbocharged KZ650 first caught out attention way back at the 2016 Handbuilt Show…come to find out, Ezio and his shop were located in our old hometown of Wilmington, NC, shipping bikes worldwide!
Ezio’s creations tend toward genre-bending designs, and his ’78 R100/7 is no exception, something of a cafe racer and bobber mashup. Says Ezio:
“The main idea behind this build was to put this old gorgeous lady on a diet, it came in with a few extra pounds in the wrong places. Windjammer, bags and a couple of pounds of dust due to sitting for a few years in the same spot.”
We especially love the GSX-R forks paired with the original “snowflake” wheel. Often, you see a stock Suzuki wheel paired with these frontends, as it’s much more work to make an OEM BMW wheel fit, but the result is absolutely worth it. Below, we get the full story on this leaned-out Bavarian beauty.
BMW R100 Custom: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Ezio Covelli and I make my knuckles bleed at Magnum Opus Customs.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
It’s a 1978 R100/7.
• Why was this bike built?
This build was commissioned by Luke, one of my clients.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The main idea behind this build was to put this old gorgeous lady on a diet, it came in with a few extra pounds in the wrong places. Windjammer, bags and a couple of pounds of dust due to sitting for a few years in the same spot.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
This frame up build started with a freshly powder coated frame to which we started attaching all new shiny components to it.
From the inverted front end conversion with the OEM snowflake wheel retention to the custom subframe and seat section this bike has been gone through everything included a freshly rebuilt engine along with all new electronics.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
What happens under the covers is up to the owner, I stay out of it (usually).
• How would you classify this bike? (Cafe racer, street tracker, scrambler, brat, bobber, streetfighter, restomod, etc.)
I’m always cautious on classifying my builds as most of them don’t fall into ONE style only. But I’d say something in between a Cafe’ / Bobber
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The original front wheel paired to the modern GSXR front end was the hardest machined piece of the whole build, it took several hours of machining and it fitted like it was meant to be. Pretty happy of the result. Many builds on the net have a mismatched front wheel because requires lots of work to get it to work properly with new inverted front ends. This conversion was painful but guarantees uniformity to the whole build.
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