Last month, we featured coverage of Glory Daze 2021 — a killer motorcycle show in Pittsburgh that featured over 150 garage-built custom bikes. One of the standouts was a gorgeous blue “Boxer Bobber” from a young builder named Parker Zamarelli of Zamarelli Moto.
Parker got his first bike — a BMW K75RT — at the age of 20. Admittedly, he was poor at the time and just needed a cheap form of transportation:
“The ugliest thing I’ve ever seen! I called it the ‘Green Goblin.’ I wasn’t interested at first, but I later saw a couple online and couldn’t believe that something so ugly could be remade into something so amazing.”
The previous owner rode the bike to Parker’s house, and Parker proceeded to tear it apart in his parents’ garage even before he’d learned to ride it! The café racer he built would be the start of his ongoing addiction to custom bikes, which led him to open Zamarelli Moto, his shop.
Parker says each of his builds have been a bit older and more challenging that the last, and this 1978 R100C was certainly no exception:
“I drove to Kentucky to buy this bike that had been wrecked and parked for 25 years. I dragged it through the mud to load it on my trailer because it had two bent rims a twisted front end and a tree that was growing up through the subframe.”
His original vision was a rat bike, but over the course of three years, the concept developed into the show-worthy machine you see here, featuring a custom seat mount, lowered front end, longer off-road shocks, custom-fabricated fenders, internal wiring, handlebar button mounts and gas cap he machined himself, and much more.
“I just wanted a classic-looking, tasteful motorcycle that was minimalist and reliable.”
Though we first glimpsed this “Boxer Bobber” at Glory Daze, she’s no show-pony:
“This bike weighs in at 320lbs and has a 1000cc motor hanging in it. It’s a blast to ride to say the least. I am glad I spent the extra time getting that seat pan bent up just right or I’d honestly be afraid I’d slide off the back.”
Below, we get the full story on the build from Parker and more gorgeous photos from photographer Kenny Williamson (@williamson633).
BMW R100 Bobber: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Parker Zamarelli I bought my first bike when I was 20. I got into motorcycles honestly because I was poor and looking for a cheap form of transportation to work. A guy I work with was selling an older BMW K75RT. The ugliest thing I’ve ever seen! I called it the “Green Goblin.” I wasn’t interested at first, but I later saw a couple online and couldn’t believe that something so ugly could be remade into something so amazing. I bought the bike and didn’t even test ride it (I didn’t know how to ride yet); he rode it to my house, and I tore it apart in my parents’ garage before I even learned to ride it. I began building it out into a custom retro café racer and that was the beginning of a now on-going addiction. Since then, I am now 25 and have owned six motorcycles. I now have my own garage and have branded the shop Zamarelli Moto. The bike I have most recently completed is a BMW R100.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
1978 BMW R100C was the original bike but was more of a donor. I drove to Kentucky to buy this bike that had been wrecked and parked for 25 years. I dragged it through the mud to load it on my trailer because it had two bent rims a twisted front end and a tree that was growing up through the subframe. I used wheels, frame, front end, and other various parts from a variety of airheads. The tank looked like Swiss cheese — I cut out the rot and welded in new steel.
• Why was this bike built?
It seems each bike I acquire is a little older and more challenging than the last. This bike was a big challenge for me and that’s why I wanted to build it. The bike was carbureted, older, and with a little bit of work could be made into something completely different. This bike wasn’t just a cosmetic build but a mechanical adventure that was a little unfamiliar to me. I had to go through the motor and transmission along with rebuilding and replacing every bearing on the bike. A great learning experience!
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I wanted to build a bobber that had the classic BMW look with modern and discreet accessories. I went with the classic faded BMW paint scheme but with much more vibrant and modern colors. I just wanted a classic-looking, tasteful motorcycle that was minimalist and reliable.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Removed subframe and welded custom bobber seat mount. Added a custom upholstered seat. Lowered front end and added longer rear off-road shocks. Added custom fabricated fenders. The headlight is a R60/2 headlight bucket that I squeezed into the original headlight mounting. I fabricated the bucket to fit in a BMW RnineT headlight. Lastly, I added a custom-made GPS speedometer from Speedhut. I rewired the bike using the M-unit Blue. All wires run through frame and handlebars. The handlebar button mounts I designed on AutoCAD and machined myself. I also machined the sleeker gas cap. The list goes on. The list goes on!
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
This bike weighs in at 320lbs and has a 1000cc motor hanging in it. It’s a blast to ride to say the least. I am glad I spent the extra time getting that seat pan bent up just right or I’d honestly be afraid I’d slide off the back.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I’m proud of the entire bike as a whole. I’m proud that I took a sad and forgotten motorcycle out of someone’s backyard destined to sit and rot for eternity and give it a new life. I changed directions with my vision multiple times. When I first started the build three years ago it was supposed to be a rat bike. I lost interest a few times along the way, and life happens. I am proud to have completed my first ground up restoration and am excited for the next.