Taylor Art of One-Up Moto Garage is one of our favorite young builders. In just four years, the Arkansas native, operating solo out of his 600 square foot shop, has managed to make a name for himself in the custom moto world. His builds have been featured in some of the biggest publications across the world, such as Bike EXIF and Pipeburn. While each bike is a wholly unique creation, Taylor is well on his way to establishing a signature, One-Up Moto aesthetic — the mark of a great builder.
Today, we’re thrilled to feature this 1982 BMW R65 build — Taylor’s first BMW build. As you may know, the R65 was a smaller, nimbler version of the larger BMW airheads. The 648cc flat-twin offered 50 horsepower and 38-39 lb ft of torque — good for 0-60 in 5.8 seconds. More importantly, the R65’s shorter wheelbase and frame geometry make it the most agile of the airheads — perfect for blasting through the Ozarks.
Being an ’82, this donor is a non-monolever version, though Taylor wound up eliminating the twin-shock design in favor of an adjustable mono shock. We love so many aspects of this build: the KC headlight, the sun-gold snowflakes, the dedicated iPhone speedo, the hand-painted Eric Snodgrass details, and most staggering of all, the TIG-welded stainless exhaust and custom intake, which resembles the snaked piping of a turbo setup — true works of art.
This build was previously featured by our friends at Pipeburn, but Taylor was kind enough to work up a different set of photos and exclusive interview for us. Below, we get the full story, along with a stunning deck of photos from For The Love of Auto.
Custom BMW R65: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Taylor Art Henschell (most know me as Taylor Art). I’m in my 10th year of Moto obsession and 4th year of building professionally. I work out of a humble 600sq ft shop behind my house totally solo. I pride myself on building my bikes without outsourcing jobs to other shops. Aside from powder coating, and the hand-painted artwork on my gas tanks, I do everything myself- from seat upholstery, paint, exhaust, welding, engine rebuilding, to wiring and mounting tires.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
It is a 1982 BMW R65.
• Why was this bike built?
Commissioned by a return customer. His daily is a new R1200 and he wanted something retro for vintage rides and zipping around town.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I had to follow a few guidelines for the owner. It needed to have a low seat height and have storage room for his papers and such. He also wanted a full handmade twin exhaust and a bike built for reliable riding through the Ozark mountains. Since this was my first BMW endeavor, I couldn’t resist giving it a splash of classic BMW Motorrad colors, but ultimately I wanted it to be a signature One-Up bike so I kept things dark and simple like I usually prefer.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Front to back-ish… The forks were lowered, rebuilt and retrofitted with twin Nissin 4 pot calipers.
KC LED headlight is my go-to for lighting these days. I handmade a faceplate and integrated the stock BMW ignition, boxed in with oil pressure and voltmeter dummy lights. My signature dedicated iPhone speedometer also acts as a reader for the motogadget blue tucked away under the swingarm.
I used an old Yamaha tank, modified with a simple gas cap and I painted it black, and played with some gold pearl in the clear. I had my artist Eric Snodgrass (@snodgrasssigns) hand-paint the BMW colors, and the “E” and “F” for the fuel gauge.
The owner wanted wheels that popped so I chose the sun gold powder. I wanted to clean up the rear end, so I eliminated the original twin shock design and re-made the swingarm to hold a Hagon direct-link adjustable mono shock. That gave me room to tuck the twin exhaust up under the seat.
Speaking of the seat, I made the pan, foamed it with 3 different density foams and a gel insert and upholstered it myself. I integrated LEDs tail lights into the tail via some hex perf I’ve been playing with.
The engine started as a 14k mile donor, I pulled it apart for all new seals, gaskets, and powder, upgraded the electronics system to EME (Euro Moto Electric) PMA, digital optical ignition system and efficient starter. Replaced all clutch components, ran a Harley coil, and powered it all with a Shorai lithium ion battery. I built the front and top engine covers to showcase the upgrades.
The intake design is the focal point of the build, I wanted to create a visual connection from one exhaust tip through the bike and out the other tip. It got the Mikuni VM carbs too because tuning them is my pleasure. Customer requested the Firestone tires.
• How would you classify this bike?
Hard to say, it has a few elements from each of the categories. As the Moto culture grows, inevitably the categories evolve and I always want my bikes to be pushing the boundaries that are status quo. Maybe someday, there will be an accepted “One-Up” style…a boy can dream.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Probably the intake design. It is simple and inspired by the original BMW set up but the way I made it with the TIG stainless tube has had many people think it was turbo’d at first glance.