Bahnstormer: BMW “K1 Racer” by Lord Drake Kustoms

  BMW K1 Cafe Racer

“No, it’s not a BMW K100…it’s a BMW K1 by Lord Drake Kustoms.”

Developed from the beloved K100, the BMW K1 is one of the most iconic two-wheeled machines the company has ever produced — a high-speed sports-tourer designed to blast down the autobahn at speeds up to 150 mph. Available from 1988-93, only 6921 units were ever produced.

“BMW decided the time was ripe for a shaft drive Superbike, one considerably more performance focused than the K100. When it was first displayed at the Cologne Show at the end of 1988, the K1 shattered the perception of BMW producing only conservatively styled touring and sport touring motorcycles.” —The Complete Book of BMW Motorcycles

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

Though the K1’s liquid-cooled inline four retained the same bore and stroke as the K100’s, BMW engineers developed an improved four-valve-per-cylinder head — BMW Motorrad’s first 16-valve engine.

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

The K1 also had higher compression pistons, lighter conrods and crankshaft, a stiffened chassis, single-sided Paralever swingarm, four-pot Brembo brakes, and a radical seven-piece aerodynamic body with a drag coefficient of just 0.34 — the lowest of any machine of the time.

“The K1 may not be a track weapon, but it’s an extremely capable high-speed touring bike, poised and confident on the road and easily capable of triple-digit speeds.” —Motorcycle Classics

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

Though it was a polarizing machine, and some of the new technologies worked better than others, the K1 succeeding in changing public perception of BMW motorcycles. No longer would they be seen as producing nothing but boring flat-twin touring bikes.

“Many of its features were landmark at the time and have become the norm. The K1 also represents the end of an era, one before the onset of sophisticated marketing surveys where bold and brave designs were created without knowing if they would be successful.” —Motorcycle Trader NZ

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

Enter our friend Fran Manen of Lord Drake Kustoms — a man who’s no stranger to bold, colorful designs, and wanted to show the world that LDK customizes more than V-twin Harley cruisers:

“Many people think that Lord Drake Kustoms only customizes Harley-Davidson motorcycles in their workshops in Miami (USA) and Malaga (Spain)… But they are wrong.”

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

Just as the K1 changed the world’s perception of BMW motorcycles, this “K1 Racer” showcases what LDK can do with a shaft-driven German superbike. Below, we get the full story on this “brutal and unique BMW.”

BMW K1 Racer: In the Builder’s Words

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

This is the new BMW K1 just finished in Lord Drake Kustoms motorcycle customization workshop in Málaga (Spain). It started as a project for a cafe racer motorcycle and ended up being a very sporty, race-inspired BMW.

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

Many people think that Lord Drake Kustoms only customizes Harley-Davidson motorcycles in their workshops in Miami (USA) and Malaga (Spain)… But they are wrong. Lord Drake Kustoms started customizing Harleys but over time it’s become a workshop that customizes all kinds of brands, and they customize them in any and all styles. Proof of that is this BMW K1, and several recent BMW motorcycles that they’ve customized.

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

Fran Manen (owner of LDK), decided on this occasion to use a very special motorcycle — a BMW K1 — to do what he’s called one of the most impressive motorcycle transformations on a BMW K model to date.

BMW K1 Cafe Racer
A stock K1

It’s not the typical converted BMW K100 — it is a unique custom motorcycle transformed from start to finish, in which no detail has been left behind… A brutal and unique BMW.

The Modification Process

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

The original idea was to make a BMW cafe racer, but quickly Fran Manen decided to change the concept and make something less seen and very radical. To do this, as soon as it arrived at the workshop, the first thing they did was strip and completely disassemble this K1 that they’d bought from a collector.

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

Work began with the installation of an inverted fork, BMW spoke rims with road tires, discs and brake calipers. Afterwards, the handlebars were installed and then the entire subframe was removed and part of the chassis was cut and modified to begin to shape what would be the new rear of this spectacular transformed BMW.

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

The fuel tank, which is the same as that of the BMW K100 models, had to be modified a bit to achieve the radical line of the motorcycle. A new rear air shock was installed, and the entire rear tail and seat were done with custom upholstery.

All this work has been accompanied by a Motogadget digital odometer, Motogadget motorcycle keyless M-Lock starting system and buttons from the same brand. Rear-set foot controls for a BMW K and a paint job inspired by BMW “M” series graphics.

The modified and handmade exhaust with the Spark tail gives it a Moto GP sound.

BMW K1 Cafe Racer

A V-Rod type headlight, front indicators for Motogadget grips, and Kellerman indicators at the rear — these are highlights from all the endless modifications this custom bike has.

Lord Drake Kustoms ships motorcycles worldwide, so if you want one of these BMW customs you can order it now. For more information, visit us at:

Video of the BMW K1 Racer

Follow Lord Drake Kustoms

Instagram: @lorddrakekustoms
Facebook: @lorddrakekustoms
Youtube: LDK TV


  1. Love the shape, like the rear shock, but the red calipers are distracting, and the eye-catching color scheme is a little busy. Bike sounds great and the video needs to lose the dumb soundtrack. Super glad this one was photographed in the light and not against a dark background.

  2. To me it’s a massive waste of a k1

  3. Thanks to my father who shared with me on the topic of this website, this blog is actually awesome. Marcellus Marsolek

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