From Blue Racer to Black Scrambler…
Back in 2020, we featured a 1979 BMW R100RT “Blue Racer” from Sebastien Ledis of France’s Seb’s Atelier. Though Sebastien is a bit of a Ducati aficionado, the iconic German boxer seduced him with its simplicity and character:
“It’s the myth of riding a flat twin BMW. It’s an icon… Engine noise, vibrations, the smell of exhaust and petrol — a real motorcycle. No need to have fifty assistances, fifteen thousand information points, as there are on new motorcycles today.”
The blue cafe racer was a personal project, but Seb ended up selling it to an existing customer:
“I’d already made him a BMW R80 G/S, and he wanted a second motorbike for his country house. One for the city and the other for the countryside.”
However, as the customer has back issues, he quickly realized that he needed an upright riding position more reminiscent of a an enduro motorcycle, not a cafe racer. So the decision was made to rebuild the Blue Racer from the ground up, transforming it into a 70s-style enduro / scrambler. Besides the riding position, knobby tires, and motocross-style bars, Sebastien was given carte blanche to do what he wanted.
“In my workshop, I found an old Suzuki GT 125 fuel tank and an AMF 125 SXT handlebar lying around, as well as two aluminum mudguards — the project was launched!”
Rarely do we see a well-sorted custom of one kind wholly transformed into a different style, but Sebastien says it didn’t bother him to give the bike such a substantial revision — he’d ridden the Blue Racer for years, and he can always build another one.
“I had no problem disassembling my motorcycle to completely redo it. The customer pays? I redo what he wants.”
Below, we talk to Seb for the full details on this 70s-style BMW scrambler.
BMW R100 Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Did you have any design inspirations for the build?
I was inspired by enduro / cross motorcycles from the 70s. The project was focused on a scrambler style motorcycle with knobby tires, cross handlebars, and the customer wanted to be upright on the motorcycle because he has back problems. For the rest, “carte blanche” — I do what I want to do.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
We started off with my old motorbike, the blue BMW cafe racer, and almost the whole bike has been changed. BMW R100RT
suspension, fork, brake, tires, original rear loop modified, seat, fuel tank from a Suzuki GT 125cc, handlebars from AMF 125 SXT, aluminium mudguard, lighting…etc.
• What’s it like to ride the completed bike ?
Well, having completely revised the bike, first as a cafe racer and now as a scrambler — the same bike and two different styles. Riding it is completely different!
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of ?
“Recycling.” Take a motorbike, redo it entirely, and the customer is happy with the result. Also, I’m proud that people often think that this motorcycle could have existed in the 70s. The satisfaction of a job well done.