BMW R80 Cafe Racer by Ironwood Custom Motorcycles

BMW R80 Cafe Racer

Arjan van den Boom of Ironwood Custom Motorcycles, based in the Netherlands, never ceases to amaze us with his custom builds. We have featured a number of his cafe racers in the past, and now he’s back with perhaps his finest build yet:  “The Renegade,” a 1986 BMW R80. This bike simply oozes power and class, and it’s one of the best BMW airhead cafe racers we’ve ever seen.

We will let Arjan fill you in on the details.

Arjan’s Story:  Becoming a Custom Builder


My name is Arjan van den Boom, engineer & owner/founder at Ironwood Custom Motorcycles. Born in the south of the Netherlands, raised in Amsterdam. I started wrenching and modifying scooters & mopeds at age of 15 and cars followed shortly. Got my bike license for a decade now and drove several Japanese super sports in those past years. Knee downs became the new standard. On the road and tracks as well.

After some nearly fatal accidents and broken bones I decided to set sail in 2012 for different directions:  “return of the caferacer.” The rise of the custom motorcycle culture was born in Europe that year and I liked it from the start. The bikes, the art, fashion and lifestyle. My first project completed in 2013 was an authentic 1979 Honda CB550. I turned this one to brat style in my living room with parts from Dime City Cycles. Still seeing this bike getting shared on social nowadays.


Working in the automotive for the past 8 years at Dutch bicycle company “VANMOOF” and now as a project leader for a big OEM turbocharger manufacturer was not satisfyingly enough. Running meetings and Telco’s with Asia/USA and sitting behind my laptop screen all day is not very challenging. My head got stimulated but my hands were tight (and itching)…I needed to set free my creativity so I’ve cut hours at my day job to do what I love to do. Overhaul, restore, customize and rebuild vintage motorcycles.

Step by step, year by year I’m still learning from each build and developing my own style. Now 15 customers are enjoying a genuine Ironwood motorcycle. Some with just minor mods, other with a full rebuild. Till now for me it was mostly improving the looks so my goals for coming period are to become more all-round like the ones I look up to (Revival Cycles, Diamond Atelier, ER Motorcyles CRD, Blitz…)–of course influenced with my own touch & signature. I want to improve my building skills and apply more custom parts instead of installing off-the-shelf items. Next to this I’m amped to do high-end projects (would love to rebuild a box fresh BMW R Nine T or Ducati Scrambler).

ICW17, “The Renegade”:  In the Builder’s Words


Regarding this 1986 airhead, called “The Renegade.”

Old Hondas and BMWs are my favorite. I’ve customized both a handful. That’s also why I merged these brands together onto my latest rebuild, a 1986 BMW Mono-shock with Honda CB750 gas tank (and Audi paint job). For this machine I wanted to have a lower stance at the front with a matching less robust gas tank, big shock, small ass, fat rear tire and a sophisticated paint job.

Specs & mods:

  • Headlight painted Nardo Grey (Audi)
  • Fork stabilisator painted Nardo Grey (Audi)
  • Gas tank painted Nardo Grey (Audi)
  • Leather grips (Upholstery by Marcel Miller Kustom Upholstery)
  • Leather tank strap (Upholstery by Marcel Miller Kustom Upholstery)
  • Leather seat (Upholstery by Marcel Miller Kustom Upholstery)
  • Leather battery strap (Upholstery by Marcel Miller Kustom Upholstery)
  • Powder coated wheels
  • Powder coated engine covers
  • Powder coated carb covers
  • Powder coated exhaust pipes
  • Avon Fat Safety Mileage 4.00 rear tire
  • Vintage 3.25 front tire
  • Water jetted Ironwood aluminum name plate
  • Shido Lithium battery
  • Custom small rear fender
  • Custom pet cock
  • Custom sub frame with integrated led taillight and indicators
  • Motogadget front indicators
  • Relocated ignition lock
  • Yellow headlight foil
  • Aluminum ’’Toaster Tan’’ fork brace
  • Lowered front set up (60mm)
  • Acewell digital speedo
  • BMW K100 front brake disc
  • Powder coated exhaust pipes
  • Power air filters
  • Old school valve headers
  • Hagon mono shock (rear)
  • GP mufflers (with db-killers)


Follow IWC Motorcycles

IWC Motorcycles is an Amsterdam-based custom garage founded by Arjan van den Boom & partner in 2012. Together we customize, conceptualize & realize motorcycles to one-of-a-kind vintage machines, piece by piece! We achieve to deliver a work of art on every vintage machine, turning scrappy metal into gold!

Instagram @arjanvandenboom

Photography by Jackson Kunis:  Facebook | Instagram

Other IWC Builds






  1. Kory Ballard

    Is this bike for sale?

  2. Barry Bonnici

    Just purchased 1986 R65 MONO.
    So happy with this bike,
    Yours is an inspiration,love what you have created.

  3. This is dope.

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