BMW R1200RT Cafe Racer by Si Mantas

BMW R1200RT Cafe Racer

“I think the garage is in my blood…” ?

These are the words of Lithuania’s Mantas Simanauskas, aka Si Mantas, who builds bikes in his evenings and free time. When he first started, he didn’t even have his motorcycle license, so he would have friends come over to test-ride his builds and tell him what he needed to change or improve. Last year, we featured his GL650 Silverwing cafe racer.

With each build, Si Mantas likes to challenge himself with something new. In this case, that challenge came in the form of a 2007 BMW R1200RT K26 (’05-09) with telelever. In BMW Motorrad parlance, RT stands for Reise-Tourer, or travel tourer, and signifies the company’s sport touring machines. While the 109-hp, flat-twin R1200RT makes a killer sport tourer, it isn’t the most ideal platform for a cafe racer.

BMW R1200RT Cafe Racer

Between the bike’s telelever front suspension and his desire for a monocoque-like body kit, Si Mantas had a serious challenge on his hands. Fortunately, that’s just how he likes it. Below, we get the full story on this R1200RT cafe racer, “White Swan.”

R1200RT “White Swan”: In the Builder’s Words

BMW R1200RT Cafe Racer

Like I wrote in my previous build, this is my hobby for which I am spending all my free time. After all new finished projects, I try to upgrade my workshop with new equipment and start a new project with new ideas and new challenges.

BMW R1200RT Cafe Racer

For that reason, I chose a BMW R1200RT K26 (2007), because this bike is very good in a technical way for this chassis (BMW front telelever suspension), but it is really not the frame for building a cafe racer. Because the forks are quite long and it is quite hard to hide that and lower the bike without changing the front suspension — and I don’t want to change it, because BMW has done a great job with the telelever suspension already, giving the bike a comfortable ride. And the second challenge was to do all the body together like monocoque. So I think I got it 😉

BMW R1200RT Cafe Racer

All bikes I do only for my own ideas “to do something new” — maybe not new in the world, but new for my self. All bike design comes little by little. I never imagine all the bike with details at once — it comes step by step, little by little. So for this bike was done a lot of work. Frame was sandblasted and powder coated (wheels too).

I took off original filter box and instead I made new fuel tank from stainless and instead of the filter box put open K&N filters. All the body kit and fairing was done from fiberglass — everything made by hand.

I changed the instrument cluster lights to white so that it looks nice with white bike. I changed the muffler location side, for a nice open wheel view. Of course I changed all liquids (engine, transmission, differential, brake system, clutch).

All mod list is here:

New K&N filters
New K&N breather
New K&N oil filter
New LED taillight
LED turn signals from BMW R1200GS K51
Titanium exhaust wrap
New LED headlight
New LED lights for instrument cluster
Frame sandblasted and powder coated
Wheels sandblasted and powder coated
New handlebar
New biltwell grips
New NGK spark plugs
New Kroon oil for engine, transmission and differential
New Kroon oil 5.1 drauliquid
Foot pegs from BMW S1000RR K46
New brake pads
Laser muffler with custom made stainless steel exhaust pipe
Custom made front fender
Custom made all body kit from fiberglass
Custom made seat
Custom made front fairing
Mineral white paint with M stripes

So it is my “modern” cafe racer project which I get from BMW R1200RT K26 🙂

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  1. Why do BMWs always have big, ugly tanks. Is there some kind of international law or something?

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