The BMW Bavarian Knight
Posted: Apr 07 2016
Q & A with Bryan Fuller
What’s the origin of the Bavarian Knight?
The Bavarian Knight is a 1975 R75/5 that began as a big pile of parts from all different bikes. The owner, John Yeosock initially purchased a stash of old take-offs from John Landstrom at Blue Moon Cycles. Not knowing what to make of all these parts, he contacted me to see if I could help. Together, we rummaged John’s warehouse and picked up all the parts we felt we needed to put together a modern, yet classic vintage BMW cafe racer.
Why the classic look? Classic BMWs are widely known for having a distinct and distinguished minimalist design aesthetic. We wanted to build something that could have originally come from the factories back in the 70’s, but with modern touches. That era of Beemers were some of the most beautiful bikes built. The BMW engine and parts are really clean the way they designed them back then, which is very much in line with how FM approachs design today.
What was the biggest design challenge?
The most challenging part of the build was extending the swingarm. We had to cut the metal in the front of the swingarm in order to get the boot to line up just right, as well as keep the original boot intact.
What are some of the unique design details of the build?
Seat - The seat is made from a lived-in, vintage leather jacket. It had just the right amount of wear to become the ideal basis for the seat. The pleats in the seat are the lower part of the jacket and the snaps on the sleeves are what hold the seat on.
Tail Section - We cut off the old dual shock and made a new tail section out of chromoly then we took the toaster tank shape and tried to emulate the best we could to make the design cohesive so they both looked similar. We made the sides of the tail section out of polished aluminum. Tail light is out of a ’53 Buick porthole from the trim of the fender.
Gas cap - We decided to emulate the latch system inspired from a Grolsch beer bottle. We made the cap out of aluminum and made our own gasket. Super B, our lead fabricator made the cap by hand out of stainless.
What’s your favorite part of the bike?
The gas cap is a very unique piece and the stainless exhaust hangers that hang the martini-glass stainless mufflers are some of my favorites. I am very happy with the fit, finish and overall style and appearance of The Bavarian Knight. This bike is timeless.
Where will you be showcasing this bike?
The Handbuilt Show - Austin, Texas - April 8-10
The Quail Motorcycle Gathering - Carmel, California - May 13
Design: Bryan Fuller
Built by: Fuller Moto’s Atlanta based Team
- Drivetrain by Boxerworks in Watkinsville, Georgia
- Swingarm lengthened 2" with FOX Shox mono shock
- Custom rear frame and aluminum tail section, Buick porthole taillight
- Custom aluminum polished tank and tail trim
- Grolsch inspired gas cap clasp of stainless
- ARP 12 point stainless bolts
- Vincent front fender
- Electronic ignition, Speedcell Lithium battery, American Autowire vintage wiring
- Stainless steel exhaust and custom plate mount
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