Twisted Fate: Ex-Police BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

Australia’s Twisted Fate Builds unveils a stunning, blacked-out Flying Brick…

When it appeared in 1991, the BMW K1100LT had the largest engine ever fitted into a BMW motorcycle, a 1092cc inline four that produced nearly 100 horsepower and 80 ft-lbs of torque. Like all of the K-series “Flying Bricks,” the engine was laid on its side in the frame, with the head on the bike’s left and the crank on the right, meaning only one 90° turn was required to transmit power to the rear wheel, minimizing drivetrain loss.

BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

The bike became one of the most popular models for the Iron Butt Rally, in which riders travel 11,000+ miles in 11 days, and the preferred machine of legendary endurance rider Dave Swisher:

“The K1100LT is the only bike my friend, Dave Swisher the “million mile man” (actually 1.6 and counting), will ride. He sells them off after they hit 350,000 miles and usually they’re still in good shape.” –Mike, BMW MOA

BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

The K1100LT was also a popular choice for police departments around the world, particularly Australia’s NSW Police Force, where they were equipped with sirens, red/blue strobe lights fore and aft, baton, and custom laser radar guns.

BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

Enter Scott of Melbourne, Australia’s Twisted Fate Builds, an electrician by trade who’s been passionate about all things two-wheeled since his childhood days on a little Honda Z50R. For several years, he’d been interested in transforming a standard road bike into a cafe racer, but couldn’t quite pull the trigger on the project…

“As usual there was a lot of talking over the years and not much doing 🙂 Until one day my beautiful wife got sick of the talk and forced me to call about a ex-police 1994 BMW K1100LT I’d had my eye on.”

BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

Soon, Scott had the bike in pieces on his garage floor, wondering what the hell he’d done!  But he grabbed his shop manual, fired up Youtube, found an awesome community of builders in cyberspace, and got to work. He was especially inspired by a couple of builders we’ve featured here on BikeBound, Arizona’s Trevor Ditson (@ditstang) and the UK’s Paul Fill (Kustom Moto), but he’s a created a Flying Brick all his own, with sleek lines and minimalist accessories that serve to showcase the massive inline-four powerplant.

BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

The project ended up running a little over a year, mainly nights and weekends, but it was well worth the effort, not just for the stunning end product but for the incredible community Scott found along the way:

“I got there in the end and made a lot of great friends from all over the world along the way that will no doubt last a long time after the builds are complete…”

BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

Below, we get the full story on the build from Scott himself, as well as more gorgeous shots from photographer Alex Jovanovic (@fstylephoto).

BMW K1100 Cafe Racer: Builder Interview

BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

Hi there, Scott aka @twistedfate_builds, an electrician by day based in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve had a passion for all things two-wheeled since my first bike, a Honda Z50R, as a youngster, but of course as you grow older the bikes got bigger until I could finally get my motorcycle licence and buy my first road bike and have never looked back since! I’ve always had a fascination with cafe racer builds and really wanted to have a go at transforming a standard road bike into one — as usual there was a lot of talking over the years and not much doing 🙂 Until one day my beautiful wife got sick of the talk and forced me to call about a ex-police 1994 BMW K1100LT I’d had my eye on.

Next thing I knew I had purchased the bike and it was already in pieces on my garage floor with me thinking what the hell have I done! The build was a side project that ran a little over a year made up of some nights after work and weekends when I could. I was really happy with the outcome — so much so I decided to buy another extremely neglected ex-police 1983 R100RT virtually as the K build came to an end, which I am now almost halfway through!

I’ve had an absolute blast learning so much on the build and doing things I never thought I would even attempt, but with a workshop manual in hand, youtube, and a ton of questions to the awesome community of builders in cyberspace, I got there in the end and made a lot of great friends from all over the world along the way that will no doubt last a long time after the builds are complete…

BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

1994 BMW K1100LT ex Australian police issue.

• Why was this bike built?

This was solely a personal project for myself. Now into my second build, I’m sort of hooked and can see more coming, so I guess at some point I will have to part with some along the way.

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

I have always loved the rawness of cafe racers and bobbers…virtually anything naked for that matter 😉 My main influences on this build came from bikes I used to drool over on Instagram from the likes of @ditstang, @kustom_moto to name a couple. These builds just really appealed to what my vision for the build was.

BMW K1100LT Cafe Racer

• What custom work was done to the bike?

The whole bike was torn down with every part (except the wheels, tank, and frame that I outsourced) polished or painted by myself. Where I could, I tried to use any OEM parts simply refreshed or modified in a unique way like the footpeg plates I sourced from a K100 and cut down/polished.

I always loved the Motogadget Motoscope pro dash and found a top yoke to accommodate it, which I wired in to the OEM harness after I stripped it of all unused cables.

The subframe was shortened to accommodate the new seat, which I mounted a highsider brake/tail light in, and I designed a rear licence plate holder that was cut and bent from 8mm aluminium after I couldn’t find anything I was 100% happy with.

I loved the look of the K1200 rear wheel so much so I had to have one and routed the exhaust to the right-hand side simply to free up the view of it.

Brakes were stripped, painted and new discs, pads and custom HEL brake lines fitted and was able to polish up a hidden gem in the OEM brass front brake splitter I mounted to the new guard brace.

The rear got an upgrade to its suspension in the form of a YSS Topline shock and lighting came from a Koso thunderbolt LED headlight (love the super thin profile) and a combo of Highsider and Kellerman turn signals.

Cooling was upgraded with a high performance low profile SPAL puller fan I retrofitted into the OEM shroud.

• Does the bike have a nickname?

“Twisted94.”

BMW K1100 Cafe Racer

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?

It’s actually a joy! A lot more power than I had expected and handles quite nicely — I just have to get used to the reduced handling and braking after having a BMW S1000RR as my daily ride for the past 7 years! She gets a lot of looks and double looks which I’m not sure is a good or bad thing 😉

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

Believe it or not it’s that the wiring actually worked although that should have been a given being an electrician by trade, maybe it was the added pressure! 😉 Nutting out a hack for the OEM H20 sensor to play nice with the Motoscope Pro dash! Or passing our strict roadworthy regulations. But most of all that I have a build that pretty much reflects exactly what I had envisioned from the start!

Follow the Builder

Web: twistedfatebuilds.com
Insta: @twistedfate_builds
FB: twistedfate_builds (though never really on there)
Youtube: Twisted Fate Builds

Photos by Alex Jovanovic: @fstylephoto | fstylephoto.com

12 Comments

  1. That is quite a transformation! From an old man’s mile-muncher to a very current snarling black beast. Great look, top quality, everything works well together. Nice work.

  2. Tremendous transformation of a big old bulky bike! What a beauty, and really a tasteful smart build. Especially like the re-routed exhaust to show off the rim, smart move! Congrats Scott 👍🏻

  3. Nive bike. But why those tires?

    • Thanks Fabian. I thought something a bit chunkier would suit the build so I chose the Shinkos seeing they fit the brief and are 80% road 20% trail. Admittedly this bike will not see much trail but it’s a small trade off given this will be a weekend cruiser. I’ll leave the knee down stuff for the S1K 😉 Have had her in the twisties and they are surprisingly grippy and feel solid under.

  4. Great looking bike, finish looks to be top notch as well. I’d be more than happy to make space in the garage for it 🙂

    But, who wrote this –
    “with the head on the bike’s left and the crank on the right, meaning only one 90° turn was required to transmit power to the rear wheel, minimizing drivetrain loss.”
    A normal inline 4 has no 90° turn, even a shaft drive has only one and I really don’t think there’s a bike with two!!

    • “Like the Japanese competition, BMW decided to go with an inline-4 engine for its new bike but laid it down on its side. This keeps the bike’s center of gravity low like its traditional boxer engines. It’s also great packaging for a shaft drive, requiring only one 90-degree bevel drive rather than two for a chain, ensuring that more power actually reaches the back wheel.” –Ride Apart

      “The engine is an inline-4 laid on its side, with the head on the left and the crank on the right – perfectly aligned to send power back through the gearbox and into a shaft drive to the rear wheel with only a single 90 degree turn.” –Silodrome

    • Thanks for the comment Paul 🙌

  5. That’s a mighty black, mighty slick…brick. x

  6. Two bang Paul the 90 bevel drive is at the back wheel, although the bit about chain drive needing two is incorrect and a transverse four w/ chain drive needs none.

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