A 1000cc Airhead for Kevin “Red Beard” Gillespie…
Bryan Fuller of Atlanta’s Fuller Moto grew up in small town Texas, where he helped his dad rebuild a ’65 Ford Mustang at the age of 8 and built himself a 1930 Ford Model A with a Chevy 327 V8 in high school. He saw building cars and motorcycles as only a hobby until the untimely passing of his father when he was 20:
“Bryan grew determined not to waste his life doing something he didn’t absolutely love and and instead set out to make his passion his career.” —FullerMoto.com
After graduating from North Texas University and Wyoming Tech, he worked for many years with the legendary Chip Foose in California before moving to Atlanta in 2005 to set up his own shop.
Not only is he a master fabricator and builder of both cars and motorcycles, you’ve probably seen him as host of such shows as Cafe Racer TV, Naked Speed, Car Fix, and Caffeine & Octane. Not only is he one of the most skilled and talented builders in the industry, he’s a great friend.
So we’re always thrilled when a new build rolls out from the Fuller Moto garage. This ’82 BMW R100 “Green Machine” is no exception, built for nationally recognized chef Kevin “Red Beard” Gillespie, who calls the Atlanta area home. Says Bryan:
“A friend of his had started the bike and had it pretty close to what you see from 100 feet. Kevin, being a connoisseur of the finer things, knew it needed to be refined.”
We all know that it’s one thing to create a bike that looks good from a distance, and a whole different ballgame to make it hold up beneath the scrutiny of an experienced eye — and the rigors of real-life riding. The Fuller Moto team was able to paint-match the fenders to the existing tank, while Johnny and Cato of Cato’s Custom Upholstery, located in-house, tackled the saddle:
“They worked with Kevin finding this plaid that really felt German luxury. I really like how the taillight turned out integrated into the seat.”
The frame was detabbed and powder-coated, and a set of flat-side carbs slapped on. One trick element is the rotors:
“The original GSX-R rotors that were on here really stood out as a Japanese looking part sitting on a vintage BMW motorcycle. Our solution was to cut out titanium from TMS on our waterjet to replace and fit with the snowflake wheels. We’ve done this trick on a few bikes now to save some weight on the front end and make people ooh and awe over the exotic metal choice.”
What’s more, the Fuller Moto crew swapped out every fastener on the bike with ARP Stainless 12-points, rolled and stamped on machines that have been rock-and-rolling for more than a century!
Below, we talk to Bryan for the full story on this “Green Machine” — so-named by photographer Steve West, who took these gorgeous shots.
Green Machine R100: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the Green Machine?
It’s a 1982 1000cc R100, which is the same year KG was born.
• Why was this bike built?
Kevin Gillespie is a nationally recognized chef based here in the Atlanta area. A friend of his had started the bike and had it pretty close to what you see from 100 feet. Kevin, being a connoisseur of the finer things, knew it needed to be refined.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
As stated earlier, this bike was pretty much designed when we received it. The wheels were painted gold and the tank was already done in this cool faded treatment. The rear and front fenders didn’t match or fit very well, so we did some adjustments and repainted them to match. The Fuller Moto Paint team did a killer job getting it identical to what was there we didn’t even have to repaint the tank!
Another element that really needed help was the seat. Johnny and Cato here in-house took the original seat pan and worked with Kevin finding this plaid that really felt German luxury. I really like how the taillight turned out integrated into the seat. It was a pull off from an Indian motorcycle we did recently, I believe.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Lots of little clean-up items were addressed on this little rider. All the original tabs not being used were still left so we ground them off and metal finished before powder coating the frame back to gloss black. One of the first items I wanted to tackle was putting the more rowdy flat slide carbs on! Also, we fitted stainless steel tubing leading into the air box to get rid of the boring plastic.
The original GSX-R rotors that were on here really stood out as a Japanese looking part sitting on a vintage BMW motorcycle. Our solution was to cut out titanium from TMS on our waterjet to replace and fit with the snowflake wheels. We’ve done this trick on a few bikes now to save some weight on the front end and make people ooh and awe over the exotic metal choice.
As with all Fuller Moto projects most all the fasteners were switched out to ARP Stainless 12 points! This actually takes a substantial amount of time to put together and lock tight each bolt. They’re made in California rolled by hand and stamped on probably 100-year-old machines leftover from war production and refurbished to keep delivering today! The stainless alloy is specially ordered for these in rolls and sometimes they only produce it every couple years here in the US as well. Very tech nerdy stuff!
Of course we did the typical smaller blinkers, headlight swap, grips, smaller switches, etc. that are pretty standard fare these days.
• Any story behind the Green Machine nickname?
Funny thing is I think Steve West, hilarious artist and friend who shot these photos, came up with “Green Machine” but it kind of fits!
• What’s next for Fuller Moto?
We have a lot coming down the pipe but bike-wise…I’m riding around a new R18 BMW and have plans on stripping it down into something fun! I keep going back and forth between stripped down board tracker and vintage 30’s inspired cruiser!