BMW M-Themed Airhead, built for a racer of German sports cars…
BMW M (“M” for “Motorsport”) is the special high-performance division of BMW that develops M models of nearly every automobile in the company’s portfolio, featuring highly-modified engines, transmissions, suspension, aero packages, interior trim, and more. Most of the testing and tuning is done at the legendary Nürburgring circuit in Germany — aka the “Green Hell.” More recently, BMW M expanded to include motorcycles for the first time, providing a package for the BMW S1000RR M Sport. Such a development begs the question — what if BMW had created M models of earlier motorcycles?
Enter one of our favorite builders, Burn Up Company of West Palm Beach, Florida. Operating out of their 6300+ sq. ft. facility, they restore and customize “unique and forgotten motorcycles” from all over the country. Previously, we featured their “Burn-1” Skycycle — a tribute to Evel Knievel’s X-1 prototype — as well as Honda CB750 and Moto Guzzi customs out of their shop. Now they’re back with this BMW M-themed R100S, built for their customer Andre Baracat, who has a racing pedigree in German supercars.
The build is a full nut-and-bolt customization, loaded with modern electronics and tons of detail. Below, we get the full story on this BMW Motorsport-inspired airhead, along with some stunning shots from one of the best moto photographers in the business, Vincent Conti (@vincent.anthony.conti).
BMW R100S Custom: In the Builder’s Words
The customer is Andre Baracat from Miami, FL. He has a racing pedigree, specifically with German supercars. The concept of a Motorsport-themed motorcycle came to him from retro photos of some of the BMW race bikes, and from the tribute build recently produced by Cafe Racer Dreams in Spain. He found the R100S listed in Jacksonville, the furthest distance he could travel while still being in the state. He and his wife left Miami with the sunrise, began negotiating the deal by lunch, and drove home with the BMW and the sunset in the rearview mirror.
While purchasing the bike, the previous owner was lamenting the modern “custom culture” and the way in which the youth are bastardizing classic machines. Andre nodded along, knowing he’d be doing exactly that in the very near future. He was hard-pressed to find any sympathy for the poor fairing-less R100S sitting in front of him that was neither original nor pretty.
Within a couple of days he was in contact with us at Burn Up Company, laying the groundwork for a build that would take over half-a-year. We immediately decided that this bike was to be built from the ground up. A full nut-and-bolt customization, with a powder-coated frame, all new wiring and lighting, the works. There are plenty of minuscule touches that are easily missed at first glance. For instance, the rear brake lever had to be cut and aluminum-welded back together seamlessly in order to clear room for the right-hand exhaust pipe. The horn was relocated with a custom bracket that disappears into the frame. A custom battery box lives beneath the gearbox. Etc.
In early February he took a train up from Miami, jumped on the recently finished build, and rode the 80+ miles home in the rain with the full approval that the end product is exactly as he imagined it in his mind’s eye. He’s not daunted by the distance or weather and is intent on putting serious miles on the bike, having ridden back to West Palm Beach for minor break-in work a couple of time since.
The parts breakdown:
Subframe, seat, and LED strip are from @crookedmotorcycles
3D printed air filters are from @messnermoto
Triple tree and tree nuts are from @oshmo
Headlamp ears are from @alchemyparts
License plate and lights are from @analogmotorgoods
Fastback airbus cover is from www.boxercafe.com
Rear fender and fuel tank cap are from @ritmosidrero
The frame plugs with BMW logo are from @boxer2valve
The fuel tank paint is by @airkolors
The wiring harness is an M-unit by @motogadget
The balloon tires are by @shinkotires
And the shorty megaphone mufflers are www.emgo.com
Follow the Builder / Owner / Photographer
Burn Up Company
Vintage Motorcycles • WPB, FLA