Fabrizio Grillo is a diver with the Vigili del Fuoco in his native Italy. The Vigili del Fuoco, which literally means the “Watchers of Fire,” is Italy’s national fire and rescue service. Fabrizio has combined his passion for vintage bikes with his profession, crafting an array of BMW trackers and scramblers that incorporate parts salvaged from shipwrecks, as well as an array of marine materials like neoprene and submarine tubing.
We have seen a lot of creative elements incorporated into custom builds, but this is truly unique. What’s more, it’s the work of a man in the fire and rescue service, using the materials of his trade…not some big, professional shop, experimenting for novelty’s sake. These are shed-built, hand-shaped wonders, and Fabrizio did all of the work himself. The pictures may not be the best, but the design, craftsmanship, and originality are definitely worth your time.
The first build is an R100GS. He reconstructed the rear frame using sections of curved stainless steel tube used for underwater diving operations, trying to shape a fender similar to that of a 70s Bultaco trials bike. Keeping with the submersible theme, the saddle is made of neoprene. He topped the machine with a 1970 R75 “toaster” tank, so called because of the chrome side panels that resemble a kitchen toaster.
R100GS Costa Concordia Build
The next BMW has been fitted with a tank from a 1957 BMW R26. He rebuilt the rear frame and fender with underwater tubing, and he hand-built the custom exhaust with stainless pipes and fittings recovered from the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia, where he worked several months. As some of you may know, the Costa Concordia, an Italian cruise ship, capsized and sank off the coast of Tuscany in 2012.
Here we have a 1974 R50/5. Fabrizio shortened the chassis and completely rebuilt the suspension, raising it as high as possible. He fitted flat-track tires, a flat seat, and a set of tracker bars.
Follow the Builder
Fabrizio is not on social media, but you can comment here to tell him how you like his work. We are hoping to get some better shots and run a more comprehensive feature on at least one of these builds.