BMW Uberbike from New York’s HellGate Moto…
The BMW K1100 was the company’s liter-class sport touring machine, a 100-hp Autobahn missile that utilized the same four-cylinder engine layout as the earlier “Flying Bricks.” The bike could cruise all day at 100+ mph, and it was no slouch in the acceleration department, either, running the quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds at 117 mph.
“The BMW gobbles up distance, space and time like the Starship Enterprise, and does so in calm comfort, even two up.” —Motorworld / K11OG.org
Recently we heard from Nick Rovello and Anthony Logalbo of New York’s HellGate Moto, a boutique workshop specializing in custom BMW motorcycles.
“Our main focus is creating aesthetically pleasing cafe racers with minimal clutter. The bike in question is a testament to that process.”
The bike you see here is a 1995 K1100, commissioned for a client who’d seen some of the shop’s previous builds. The big four-cylinder engines in these machines give them their nickname: Flying Bricks. Nick and Anthony set out to highlight that signature powerplant:
“We stripped off all the body panels and excess to reveal the beauty of these bikes, which in our opinion is the engine.”
They then detabbed the frame, installed a Twisted Brothers seat fairing and custom tail section, fabricated a custom stainless 4-into-exhaust system, redid the entire wiring harness, gave the bike all new controls and LED lighting, swapped out the rear shock for a three-way adjustable YSS unit, and much more.
One of the highlights is the bike’s paint, a three-stage Mazda Soul Red Crystal, complemented by Wet Charcoal powder-coat and satin black Cerakote. The result is a radical transformation, both in form and function:
“The bike rides like a completely different machine compared to the heavy clunky touring bike it originally rolled in as. The upgraded suspension and controls make the riding experience enjoyable and the styling of the build turns heads no matter where you go.”
Below, Nick gives us the full story on this 1100cc BMW café racer.
K1100 Café Racer: In the Builder’s Words…
We are a boutique motorcycle shop operating out of New York specializing in custom BMW motorcycles. The shop is owned and operated by Nick Rovello and Anthony Logalbo. Our main focus is creating aesthetically pleasing cafe racers with minimal clutter. The bike in question is a testament to that process. We were contacted by a client that had seen a few of our builds and sight unseen signed on to have a full bike commissioned.
We started with a low mileage 1995 BMW K1100. We stripped off all the body panels and excess to reveal the beauty of these bikes, which in our opinion is the engine. With the fairings gone, we then ground all the unused mounting tabs from the frame, creating a cleaner look. The back of the frame was cut and a custom tail section was created to match the lines of the custom seat fairing created by Twisted Brothers.
With the frame off, we were able to strip the motor down to get a deep clean. We deleted the factory air box and replaced the intake system with a set of billet aluminum velocity stacks. The exhaust was then removed. We modified the headers to accept a custom stainless 4-into-1 collector fit with a shorty muffler from PS Customs.
The full wiring harness was then removed and completely redone. Any wiring not used was removed to save weight and clutter. A custom aluminum battery box and lightweight Shorai battery replaced the clunky factory piece. In order to clean up the instruments, the factory unit was removed and replaced by a Motogadget motoscope pro housed in a Dixer Parts CNC top clamp. The bike then got a Motodemic headlight, Morimoto bar end turn signals, and a Radiantz LED rear tail/turn/stop light.
The factory rear shock mount was removed and upgraded mounting tabs were welded the frame. The shock was then replaced with a three-way adjustable YSS unit. For tires we opted for Bridgestone Battlax 120/70r17 and160/60r18 front and rear. All new Venhill stainless brake lines were made for the front and rear braking systems.
For paint, the tank and seat fairing were done in Mazda Soul Red Crystal. A Powerbrick Custom CNC fuel cap was fitted to the tank. The frame and wheels were powder-coated Wet Charcoal and the rear swingarm and final drive were both cerakoted in satin black to match the rest of the drivetrain.
The seat was covered with a diamond-stitch brown leather to accent the red paint. A pair of brown diamond pattern grips were it to match along with a set of CRG lane splitter bar end mirrors. A set of Moto CNC adustable clip-ons were fit to the front end. The lower controls were replaced with a Powerbrick setup with a Brembo rear master cylinder.
The bike rides like a completely different machine compared to the heavy clunky touring bike it originally rolled in as. The upgraded suspension and controls make the riding experience enjoyable and the styling of the build turns heads no matter where you go.
This bike and owner currently reside in Dallas, Texas. The client came out to check on the build during the process but allowed us plenty of artistic freedom. We worked in conjunction with the client to get the color schemes and powder tones just right so that the whole pallet works together to create a truly dynamic bike. The three-stage paint really helps shows the body lines on the factory tank, and in direct sunlight creates a deep rich color.
Full Build Sheet
Donor: 1995 BMW K1100rs
- All OEM Touring Body Panels Removed
- Twisted Brothers Café Racer Rear Fairing with Custom Leather Seat
- Custom Seat pan and Mounting Point Fabricated Onto Frame
- Shortened Aluminum Front Café Fender Powder Coated Satin Black
- 3D Printed Rear Fender
- CRG Lane Splitter Mirrors
- Powerbrick Black on Black Fuel Tank Cap
- Tank and Fairing Professionally Painted in Mazda Soul Red Crystal
- Frame and Wheels Powder Coated in Wet Charcoal
- Swing Arm Powder Coated Satin Black
- Final Drive Cerakoted Satin Black
- Frame Shortened and Passenger Loop Removed
- All Unutilized Tabs and Mounting Points Removed from the Frame and Machined Flush
- Custom Rear Loop Fabricated to Match Fairing design
- Upgraded and Reenforced Rear Shock Mounting Tabs
- Removed and Replaced Stamped Steel Rear Frame Brace with Tubular Steel
- New Factory Fuel Tank Mounting Bushings and Retainer Clips
Electrical & Lighting
- Maru Labs BEP Signal Convert
- Motogadget Motoscope Pro Installed with Breakout Box
- Morimoto Front Bar End Turn Signals
- Motodemic 7in Headlight
- Wunderkind Short Headlight Brackets
- Radiantz Rear LED Tail Turn and Stop Light Strip Installed
- Shorai LFX21L6-BS12 Lithium Power Sports Battery
- Custom Aluminum Battery Box
- Wiring Harness Re-sheathed and Unused Wiring Removed
Engine & Exhaust
- Hand Made Stainless 4 into 1 Collector and Shorty Muffler with Removable Baffle
- Factory Header Pipes Cut to Length, Cleaned and Polished
- New Factory Exhaust Gaskets
- Upgraded 316 (A-4) Stainless Steel Exhaust Manifold Studs and Nuts
- Anodized Black Velocity Stacks
- Air Box Delete and Intake Air Temperature Sensor Relocated
- Transmission and Final Drive Fluids Serviced
- Transmission Input and Output Shafts Cleaned and Lubed with BMW No. 10 Grease
Suspension & Forks
- Front Fork Tubes Repainted
- Dixer Parts Top Clamp with Recessed Motoscope Pro Mount
- YSS MZ366-385TRL Length Rebound and Preload Adjustable Rear Shock
Wheels and Tires
- Front and Rear Wheels Powdercoated Wet Charcoal, Balancing Weights Powder Coated to Match
- Rear Tire: Bridgestone Battlax 160/60ZR18
- Front Tire: Bridgestone Battlax 120/70 R17
- Power Brick Black/Black+ Rear Set
- Moto CNC 3 Way Adjustable Billet Clip Ons
- Diamond Pattern Grips
- Custom Venhill Braided Stainless Steel Front Brake Lines with Black Chrome Fittings
- Titanium Brake Bleeder Fittings in Front and Rear Calipers
- 13mm Brembo Rear Master Cylinder with Integral Reservoir (Integrated into Rearset)
Paint & Powder work
- Paint Work Performed by Coach Autobody Syosset New York
- Powder Coating Performed by Charlies Chop Shop Astoria New York
- Powder and Cerakoting Performed by Long Island Powder Coating
- Structural Fabrication Performed by Tim Harney Designs Brooklyn New York