Bulgaria’s Tossa R builds an Eleanor-inspired Brick…
One of the most iconic movie cars of the 21st century is the 1967 Shelby GT500 “Eleanor” from the 2000 remake of Gone in 60 Seconds — a near mythological pony car reimagined by legendary car builder Chip Foose, featuring a 400-hp Ford V8, 4-speed manual transmission, Lincoln 9-inch rear end, and fully upgraded suspension.
Recently, we heard from Asen Zahariev of Bulgaria’s Tossa R — a former racing driver and winner of the 2016 Bulgarian championship, racing a 400-hp 200SX. So he was the perfect man to build a custom motorcycle inspired by the legendary “Eleanor” movie car.
For the base, he chose a 1994 BMW K1100 “Flying Brick,” a 100-hp sport tourer that’s been called something of a quiet superbike for its poise, comfort, and power:
“The BMW gobbles up distance, space and time like the Starship Enterprise, and does so in calm comfort, even two up. It’s not surprising that long-distance endurance riders tend to gravitate towards BMW’s, and the K series in particular. The machines are so smooth and effortless that they enable you to rip across long stretches of country-side with out the usual fatigue.” —K11og.org
The modifications were extensive, including Kawasaki ZX10R forks and brakes, BMW R1150 swingarm and wheels, a specially-made custom subframe, seat, and tail. The bike is also running a full suite of Motogadget electronics.
Asen says that “Eleanor” may still be a tough brick at heart, but better:
“Try to imagine it as the same tough ‘Brick,’ but faster, lighter, and +50% more kick! Instead of looking like an old lady, it looks more like a sexy model.”
Below, we talk to Asen for the full details on the build!
BMW K1100 Cafe Racer: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
As a child, I was in love with sport cars. I dreamed of being a pilot (racing driver). Between 2007 and 2009 I was a pilot in the Bulgarian championship. Till 2019 I was working in the different car service companies in different positions. The first sport car with a motorcycle engine in Bulgaria was actually my project 🙂 The base was a VW Golf — legendary at those times! In 2016 I was a champion in the Bulgarian championship with a Nissan 200SX making around 400 hp.
Tossa R started in 2019 as a custom atelier. It started even before with two bikes in 2017, but that was just a trial for another service company. In 2019, there was a day I was looking at European custom bike ateliers and their projects and I just told myself: Hm, I am pretty sure I can do it better! So I started with a customization based on Yamaha Virago, BWM K100, BMW R nineT, etc. Finally I made a Honda CX — the most popular Tossa project till now. It was a Café Racer TV No. 1 for 2021.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
BMW K1100, 1994.
• Why was this bike built?
This bike is build based on the dream of the owner and the magic touch of Tossa 🙂 Before making a project, before building, the first step is a discussion with the owner. We discussed with him (he’s based in Austria), he described his dream, and we did a graphic project and draft choice of the main parts and engineering solutions.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Our latest project is inspired by Ford Mustang Eleanor, that’s why this is the name of the project 🙂
• What custom work was done to the bike?
We used some of the following details and parts: front end from Kawasaki ZX10R, rear arm and final drive from BMW R1150, rims also from R1150, some classic sports car details, K&N filter, custom frame, seat and tail made especially for this project, full Motorgadget set, and of course super custom exhaust system with Exill muffler.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?
The K1100 is popular with the nickname “Flying Brick.” So, try to imagine it is the same tough “Brick,” but faster, lighter, and +50% more kick! Instead of looking like an old lady, it looks as sexy model.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I am proud of all custom job we did: the final drive, frame, seat, lights… Of course also with exhaust system – it is one of a kind.