Flat Twin Vinduro: BMW R100GS “Six Days”

BMW Six Days GS

BMW ISDT Tribute from Santa Fox Garage… 

The International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) is the oldest off-road event on the FIM calendar. Known for years as the International Six Days Trial (ISDT), it was first held in 1913, and would come to be known as the “Olympics of Motorcycling.” Four-rider national teams compete over six grueling days and 1000+ miles in a supreme test of rider and machine, with strict time allowances, restrictions on mechanical replacements, and riders carrying out the lion’s share of repairs on their own bikes.


BMW had success in the early days of the competition, scoring medals in the 1920s and 30s.

“BMW engineer Rudolf Schleicher recorded the first international success in 1926 at the famous Six Days in England – as a private rider, he secured the gold medal on a standard R 37.” –BMW Motorrad

Rudolf Schleicher
Rudolf Schleicher on the BMW R 37

As lightweight single-cylinder machines began to dominate the competition, however, the BMW 247 series “Airhead” seemed like an unlikely candidate to tackle the mud, dust, gravel, bogs, and singletrack trails of the ISDT. However, BMW fielded a factory works team in 1979, with engineer Laszlo Peres helping to create a sub 300-lb “Six Days GS” that would serve as the basis for the BMW R80GS.

“As part of a factory entry in 1979, the GS 80 brought home both victory at the German offroad championships and two gold medals at the Six Days world championships. The winning streak continued in 1980 and finally ended in the presentation of a standard version of the victorious motorcycle available for purchase: the R 80 G/S. With it, BMW established the new segment of touring and thoroughbred enduros.” –BMW Motorrad

Recently, we heard from Carlo Santamaria of Savona, Italy’s Santa Fox Garage, who’s been modifying bikes since he was boy and continues to transform them as a hobby. In this case, he started with just the engine and chassis of a ’92 BMW R100GS and set out to build an ISDT-inspired machine.

BMW GS Six Days

The engine was sandblasted and the chassis painted blue, just like the BMW works racers. The bike is now sitting on modern WP suspension at both ends, and the gas tank has a cutaway to hold a leather satchel for the key switch and other electrics (another signature feature of some of the BMW factory racers). Carlo customized the rear subframe and saddle, and even modified an Akrapovic silencer to match the exhaust style seen on the Six Days GS.

BMW R100GS Six Days

The Santa Fox R100GS “Six Days” pays tribute to this chapter of BMW history, harking back to the ISDT glory days while modern elements like the upgraded suspension bring the bike into the 21st century. Below, we talk to Carlo for more details on the build.

BMW R100GS Six Days: Builder Interview

BMW R100GS Six Days

• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

Since I was little I always liked to modify my bikes to make them unique. Now for passion I like to continue to transform the bikes in my garage according to my vision, exploiting my creativity to create examples characterized by unique elements.

BMW R100GS Six Days

• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?

The bike is a 1992 BMW R100GS.

BMW R100GS Six Days

• Why was this bike built?

The bike was built thanks to a project that I have cultivated for several years. The inspiration comes from my own design.

BMW R100GS Six Days

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

For this bike, a BMW R100GS from ’92, I started from a base of only the chassis and engine. I imagined transforming it in an off-road endurance / rally style (a bike that ran in the 80s off-road).

BMW R100GS Six Days

• What custom work was done to the bike?

Performed jobs: Sandblasted the chassis and motor, added a tank and leather bag where I have
hidden the battery, modified rear mudguard, number plates, and license mount.

Front mudguard is from Acerbis, and front mask is UFO. WP forks and rear mono-shock. Original saddle modified to hide electronics.  Modified Akrapovic silencer, and more.

BMW R100GS Six Days

• Does the bike have a nickname?

The nickname of the bike is BMW R100 Six Days.

BMW R100GS Six Days

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?

Driving the BMW R100 6 Days is exciting. I am particularly proud because the bike is my personal project. Every single one of my changes is a source of pride for me.

BMW R100GS Six Days

• Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

I would like to thank all the people who believed in my project and collaborated.

BMW R100GS Six Days

Follow the Builder @santafoxgarage


  1. Nice bike!

  2. Pingback: Speed Read: An Africa Twin-inspired custom Honda Cub and more - News7g

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