From “Flying Brick” to “Pack Animal” — a long-range tourer from Spoken Moto.
The BMW K75 was the three-cylinder version of the company’s “Flying Brick” platform — a 740cc, liquid-cooled straight three that offered 68-75 hp and a top speed in excess of 130 mph.
Enter Brian Gingerich and the crew of Spoken Moto, who opened their doors to the public in 2016 — a working motorcycle shop, coffeehouse, taproom, and event venue all under one roof in Bend, Oregon. Brian says the clientele is incredibly diverse: “It is pretty fun to fire off a bike with a group of soccer moms cheering…” Previously, we featured the shop’s stunning 2-stroke, nitrous-injected YZ/RZ350 supermoto, “Zed.” Now the crew has shown their range with this long-range BMW adventure tourer.
For the 2018 Handbuilt Show, Spoken Moto wanted to do a collaboration build with craft luggage maker Pack Animal out of Seattle. When an abandoned 1990 BMW K75RT (full touring fairing) became available, they decided it would make a great platform for a long-distance adventure touring bike. The result is “Pack Animal,” a K75 adventure touring bike that showcases each shop’s respective talents and abilities. We selected the bike as one of the Best Customs Scramblers and Adventure Bikes from the show. Below, we get the full story on this stunning build, as well as a deck of photos from Troy White (@flockaburrrd).
“Pack Animal” BMW K75 ADV Tourer: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
We are just two guys that love bikes of all kinds and decided to create a gathering place around custom moto builds and vintage restorations. I am in my early 50s and have always tinkered with bikes, cars and aircraft. I have a soft spot for little bikes, especially two strokes. My partner owns a commercial construction company but grew up racing dirt bikes. We’ve known one another for 25 years or so.
Between the two of us we acquired a “collection” of about 75 vintage project bikes. Most are 1960s and 70s Japanese bikes, and most are barn finds. About 5 years ago, we started a small shop and when time allowed we built or restored a bike out of our inventory. We saw that people really liked hanging around the shop and decided to create a gathering place around a working moto shop. At the time, we thought we were brilliant and the first to think of such a thing. As we know, it turns out the concept is not new. That said, there was no place like Spoken in our community. So, in 2015, we leased an abandoned industrial building and over the next year built the space into a working moto shop, a coffee house, a tap room and a music venue. Spoken Moto opened to the public in July of 2016.
We have restored or built about two dozen bikes; everything from Honda 90’s to RDs, RZs, VFRs, CBs, KZs etc… We try to do as much in-house as we are able. Typically, we only outsource really tricky fab work and paint.
There are three of us working in the moto shop and about a dozen in the coffee shop/pub. The moto shop and the pub are integral to one another. The shop is open and accessible to the pub customers. Our clientele is incredibly diverse. It is pretty fun to fire off a bike with a group of soccer moms cheering.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Bike is a BMW, K75RT, 1990
• Why was this bike built?
We had been rolling around the idea of a collaboration with craft luggage maker Pack Animal out of Seattle. We both wanted to do something different that could showcase our respective capabilities and we both wanted to build for the Hand-Built Show in Austin. We decided to build an adventure bike but had not decided on a platform. A buddy who owns a repair shop had low-mileage K75 that had been abandoned by its owner. As soon as I saw it, I thought it could be a rad long-distance adventure touring bike.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The design concept was a capable adventure touring bike built on a reliable platform with power and room for racks and bags. The build was heavily influenced by the Motorrad R Nine T Paris-Dakar concept bike. In fact, the nose and front fender are R Nine T Urban GS bits and the paint scheme is very similar to the Paris-Dakar bike.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The front end is BMW 850 GS with a 19” spoked wheel. The rear is 1150 GS. The rear hub and brake stays were modified, the triple was modified to fit the K75 head tube and accept the R Nine T fender, headlight and nose. The racks, radiator shield, subframe, rear fender, seat pan, instrument mounts and skid plates are all hand built. The tank was modified to
accept the aircraft style filler.
The upholstery was done by Ginger McCabe at New Church Moto.
The harness was built from scratch to eliminate a lot of surplus and accommodate the Motogadget electrics. The controls are Renard/Berringer which we sourced through Analog Motorcycles. Evo S LED head light came courtesy of Motodemic. And, of course, the bags are one-off pieces from Pack Animal.
• How would you classify this bike?
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I always appreciate collaborating with others. This build allowed Spoken and Pack Animal to work together from the beginning and through-out the process with the final product expressing our combined vision. Oh, and we didn’t really start the hard work until after the One Moto in February. So, 90% of what you see was done in about 7 weeks. Lots of fun but not much sleep.
Follow Spoken Moto
- Web: www.spokenmoto.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spokenmoto/
- Instagram: @spokenmoto
- Photos: Troy White (@flockaburrrd)