When one needs a scrambler as a base bike to build a custom build on, the general go-to motorcycles today are either the Ducati’s Scrambler or the BMW R NineT. But problems come when you are a custom bike builder and you realise that your client, do what may… is too tall to fit into the frame of either. And thats when the thinking process begins. The result, something unique that qualifies to get a round of applause for its originality and effective unconventional ways. Welcome BMW Urban GS by Benjie’s Cafe Racer.
There is a lot that goes into building a custom motorcycle, but if the builder settles down for a platform like the Ducati Scrambler or the BMW R NineT, the work in most places is more or less cut out for them. With these motorcycles designed for customisation, moulding the motorcycle into a desired form is relatively easy. But the same cannot be said if the motorcycle in mind is a 2005 BMW R 1200GS, a big, heavy adventure tourer that has nothing to do with customisation or has anything in common with the world “Urban”.
When Benjie’s Cafe Racer -BCR met with their client who was too tall to fit comfortably or elegantly with the frame of the smaller scrambler motorcycles, the New Jersey based custom bike builder decided to use a 2005 BMW R 1200GS instead as a base machine to build their scrambler. The GS’ paralever and telelever suspensions were perfect to give the motorcycle a distinct look even before the project started. BCR hoped that, while needed for urban transport, the GS’s legendary adventure stature (which would remain mostly intact in the build) could inspire their client to one day even head out on the lesser travelled paths too. With most of the convincing done, BGR set out to give the hefty BMW R 1200GS a unique post-apocalyptic look like nothing else before it.
Like every good custom project, the Urban GS scraps all the plastic and stock bits that come from the factory. The silhouette of the GS now reflects quintessential scrambler styling; from the front plate that holds an offset headlight towards the sides where the 2-by-2 exhausts snake towards the rear ending up with the muffler barrels stacked high on top of each other. BCR went ahead to chop the rear subframe in a way that it could fit a flatter seat that was handmade in alcantara. The fuel tank gets it’s inspiration from the toaster tanks on 70s BMW airheads and its fantastically beautiful. Almost all of the bodywork that comes on the Urban GS is handmade in polished Aluminium and has been kept unpainted to give it a rustic modern charm that would well suit the motorcycle’s urban purposes. The only use of paint on the BMW Urban GS is in the form of subtle black bordered with golden pinstripes, giving it a elegant classic appeal that reminisces the paint scheme from a vintage two-wheeled machine.
BCR’s BMW Urban GS is a classic example of custom motorcycle design that shows the passion and workmanship of the builder. Unconventional in it’s very idea, Benjie’s perfects the art of customisation with a motorcycle that one least expects to work. But going by their other builds, these are qualities that are at the essence of this motorcycle design workshop.