Voodoo Garage transforms an aging GS into an urban assault machine…
The BMW R1150GS Adventure was the 1999-2004 evolution of the famed BMW GS series. Introduced in 1980, the original R80GS (Gelände/Straße, German for “Off-road/Road”) would not only claim four Paris-Dakar Rally wins but help launch the entire ADV/adventure touring category.
The R1150GS would prove itself as a worthy fourth-gen evolution, featuring an 1130cc air/oil-cooled boxer engine with 85 horsepower and 75 pound-feet of torque, long-travel Telelever (front) and Paralever (rear) suspension, tubeless spoked wheels, and much more.
Intended for overland travel, the GS Adventure version — aka “GSA” — added a 7.9-gallon fuel tank, 20mm higher suspension, lower first gear, and an anti-knock sensor/adjustment that enabled it to run on lower octane / poor quality gasoline in remote or undeveloped areas.
Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman rode a pair of GSA’s on their 18,887-mile ride from London to New York City, as depicted in Long Way Round, while Kevin and Julia Sanders set the Guinness World Record for the fastest world circumnavigation by motorcycle on an R1150GS — quite the pedigree!
These once top-of-the-line machines are now ~20 years old, long surpassed by the “latest and greatest” ADV tourers. Fortunately, custom workshops like Spain’s Voodoo Garage are finding uses for these aging adventure rigs, stripping them down into lightened hot rods with plenty of power, torque, and suspension travel.
Formed in 2014, Voodoo Garage is a crew of car, motorcycle, and engineering enthusiasts:
“Initially we started the garage as a hobby, but due to the demand and good acceptance of our work, we decided to take the leap and dedicate ourselves full-time to this task — in September of 2017 we moved to our new garage where we hope to release all our ideas.”
The bike you see here is a customer project, a ’99 R115GS Adventure that’s been completely transformed:
Nicknamed the “Interceptor,” this bad Beemer is now sporting an arsenal of unique handmade parts, including a backlit front face shield, tail, seat, intake, exhaust, tank anagrams, swingarm protector, license plate holder, relocated oil cooler, and much more. The result is one potent two-wheeled urban assault vehicle:
“With the modifications, a very light and manageable motorcycle has been left. With it you can easily make wheelies anywhere.”
Below, we get the full story on the build straight from Victor Ortiz Ruiz of Voodoo Garage.
BMW R1150GS Interceptor: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
Voodoo Garage was formed in 2014 with the idea of making unique bikes. The Voodoo Garage team have always been enthusiasts of motorcycles, cars, and engineering. Initially we started the garage as a hobby, but due to the demand and good acceptance of our work, we decided to take the leap and dedicate ourselves full-time to this task — in September of 2017 we moved to our new garage where we hope to release all our ideas.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
It’s a 1999 BMW R1150GS Adventure.
• Why was this bike built?
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The concept is a reinvention with a futuristic vision of the GS, in a light and fun version.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
We have manufactured a number of unique parts for this bike. The backlit front face shield, bracket, and shield to relocate the oil cooler. Also the entire tail, seat, intake, exhaust, tank anagrams, swingarm protector, license plate holder, and more….
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
It’s a very fun motorcycle. With the modifications, a very light and manageable motorcycle has been left. With it you can easily make wheelies anywhere.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
It was quite a challenge to face a project with such an ugly base as this, especially to make a motorcycle in our style. In the end, we are very proud of the result — it really is a motorcycle with a great appearance, and in our opinion the best modification we have seen based on this motorcycle.