Recently, we featured an incredible bratstyle BMW R100 by The Bike Maker, Alexandre Ciaramella, who designs and engineers dials for Swiss luxury watches when he isn’t tuning vintage BMW iron. Now Alex is back with another Bavarian beauty: this BMW R80R.
The R80R was produced in the early 90s, offering a 50-hp, 797.5cc boxer engine. That might not sound like a lot of clout for a 477-lb machine, but the charm of the R80R was never all-out power. The bike has an almost medieval toughness, and you know the twin pistons of that 800cc boxer will punch tirelessly into eternity. Perhaps the Longrider says it best of his own:
“This bike reminds me of a time long past. It triggers evocative memories in the same way that the smell of engine oil on a spring morning does…It vibrates and emits a crackling bark typical of a large capacity twin.”
The Bike Maker’s R80R defies categorization. The low clip-ons and underframe exhaust scream “cafe racer,” while the matte green-and-khaki color scheme, along with the knobby tires, scream “scrambler,” even harking back to the WWII-era BMW R75s as depicted in The Great Escape and other films. We love such crossbred, genre-busting machines, especially when they’re this damn beautiful.
Below, we let Alex give us the details of the build.
BMW R80R Cafe Scrambler: In the Builder’s Words
Like the R100, this bike was in very good condition. However, the frame was grey and I really wanted black. I removed everything, and cut off every part I did not need for the build. The wheels and chassis were stripped and powder-coated black, and the tank is Aston Martin Green matte.
On this bike, the monolever and mono shock released the back wheel, and I didn’t want to make a reinforcing bar. Instead, I made an iron subframe of 2mm thickness, brazed onto the base frame. The rear shock is compressed to reduce the saddle height.
The handlebar is from LSL, but I had it anodized black (it was bare aluminum). As for the electronics, I replaced every component. The controls on the handlebar were changed and simplified. For dashboard I made a workpiece out of aluminum, in which I placed a speed gauge and a led control. The headlight is of stock and the rear light is 5 led–really powerful, as large as a two euros coins.
The tyre is a Continental TKC 80 for the rear, but this tyre does not exist for the front size. Mitas competition gave me a tyre for this size.
The seat is of brown leather. As for the grips, I could not find a grip of the same color as the seat, so I used handlebar tape from Brooks.