The BMW R90/6 was the largest and most powerful of the Slash-Six models introduced in 1974, designed to up the ante in a horsepower-hungry market. The old R75 engine was bored-out to 898cc, good for 60 horsepower and a top speed of 115 mph. While those numbers don’t seem particularly earth-shaking today, the motorcycling press was thoroughly impressed:
“The new BMW R90/6 is so exciting it’s difficult to find a point at which to begin describing it…BMW is serious in its intention of producing the lightest, best handling Sportbike around.” —Cycle World
Enter our friends at Burn Up Company of West Palm Beach, Florida, where 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 — and their M-themed BMW R100S, built for a German sports car racer. Now they’re back with this stunning ’76 R90/6, built into a gorgeous bobber with a hand-sanded bare metal tank, stainless one-off exhaust system, vapor-honed factory alloy components, low-profile lights and electronics, and more.
Below, we get the full story on this build, along with more stunning shots from photographer and friend of BikeBound, Vincent Conti (@vincent.anthony.conti).
BMW R90 Bobber: In the Builder’s Words
This 900cc BMW Bobber was born as a 1976 R90/6 and has undergone a full customization.
The fuel tank has been sanded by hand to the bare metal, treated, and sealed with clear coat to preserve the raw appearance. New BMW badges were applied and the factory pinstripes were emulated by hand!
A complete disassembly and reassembly has taken place, with the frame receiving powder coat while the engine, wheels, fork lowers, and swing arm were given fresh paint. The entire rear subframe was removed with an extension to the frame’s spine being fabricated, allowing for the proper mounting of a bobber solo saddle. The frame has been de-tabbed for a minimalist silhouette. New, elongated rear shocks compensate for the change in geometry, lending a more aggressive appearance.
The bobber’s most noticeable feature is the custom exhaust, which was designed and cut in house — an entirely unique system. The stainless steel tubing was hand bent and welded. Despite the tips’ visual proximity to the seat, heat isn’t as much of an issue as one would expect. Stainless heat shields protect the rider’s thighs while standing the bike at a traffic stop.
During reassembly, the factory wiring harness was replaced by a MotoGadget M-Unit, and the scrambler bars were mounted with controls and switches by the same manufacturer. The headlamp has been fitted with high-output LED lights, and the mono gauge is a custom piece, proudly emblazoned with the Burn Up Company logo.
A low-profile taillight lives beneath the seat and beneath the pipes, being surprisingly bright for its size. The battery has been relocated beneath the gearbox by use of a Walzwerk battery tray.
In order to complete the fit and finish, factory alloy components have been vapor honed to a fully restored surface — most noticeably the OEM Bing carburetor bodies. Fresh spark plug wires and caps have been installed. The aggressive knobby tread tires are another defining feature, completing the unique scrambler-esque appearance to what is structurally a bobber build.
This bike runs and rides as beautifully as it looks. The exhaust note is phenomenal. Please view the video linked below for a full walk around and riding demonstration.
Follow the Builder / Owner / Photographer
Burn Up Company
Vintage Motorcycles • WPB, FLA