Fuller Moto's Bavarian Knight in Cycle World
Posted: Aug 01 2016
BMW R75/5 Café Racer by Bryan Fuller
CLEAN AND SIMPLE HIDES THE THOUGHT-OUT COMPLEXITY IN THIS ULTRA-CHIC BAVARIAN CAFÉ
by Paul d'Orleans (@thevintagent)
photos: Jeff Allen
I breezed right past Bryan Fuller’s latest custom at the Handbuilt Show last April. With my third “Vintagent” cocktail in hand (nice touch, Revival) and a loud party slowly gyrating through the hall, the BMW R75/5 “toaster tank” café racer, in its quiet black and silver livery, was hidden amidst a sea of “look at me” customs. A thoughtful (sober) friend took my elbow, whispering, “You need to see this bike,” and while the party roared, my head quieted, taking in Fuller’s gorgeous subtleties.
It’s as discreet as is possible for a radically lightened, classically shaped café racer, mostly due to the minimalist paint and non-bling finish—even the originally chrome “toaster” panels on the tank have been swapped for aluminum. The back end is cleaned up with a monoshock, but otherwise, the architecture is standard, including the stock, vintage drums up front. With the heavy /5 mufflers swapped for a pair of 1960s-style trumpets and classic bump-stop racing seat, this bike says “built in 1970,” except nobody built them this well 45 years ago. Nor as slim—the café seat of BMW’s 1973 R90S is twice the width of Fuller’s bike. This highlights the design freedom custom builders enjoy, which factories just can’t match, a point reinforced in a recent conversation with Edgar Heinrichs (BMW’s head of design), when asked if BMW could make a “simple” motorcycle again. “With a 5-liter airbox and 7-liter exhaust required by law—no.” So dig your free-breathing, noisy mofo vintage customs, baby, while you can.
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