Within seconds of a certain 1993 BMW R80 being listed on Gumtree, Ano was on the phone to the owner claiming dibs on the machine. After years of dreaming and planning an Airhead build, these ideas were about to become a reality.
With the bike being situated hours from Ano’s home, it took the bribing of his youngest son with Macca’s to convince him to tag along on this otherwise lonely and boring mission to check out the prospect build. “We rapped on the door and were met by the lady of the house. “John, the owner of the bike, was resting,” she said. We chatted as she shepherded us to the bike in the shed. The only thing left. Obviously a hard fought over piece because all the tools and other items around it were long gone, dirt and dust silhouettes on wall and floor told us where and what had once been there.”
The bike had been living in the shed neglected for the past few years, the deterioration in John’s health being the culprit. An unfortunate, but completely understandable reason to let the dust gather on a motorcycle. “I looked up to see John had finally made it out of the house. He stood in the opening of the shed, very thin and shrouded in white. We spent quite awhile chatting and tinkering to getting the bike going. He’d always been a Ducati guy until the R80. “A changed man” he said. He grew in stature from grumpy to good spirits talking about bikes, parts, oil and toil. We ultimately got it fired up and almost gagged in the smoke that poured forth from the stammering engine. Once rolling we wheeled it outside and I gingerly took it around the corner to the servo to fill the fluids and air before heading out of town to see what surprises this machine held. If the truth be told, it wasn’t far after the first corner out of town that I knew for certain that I’d just bought a bike.”
That all familiar feeling of knowing when you’ve purchased a new/old bike before money is exchanged is something many can relate to. Sometimes you simply just know. Dubbed “Boris”, Ano’s R80 was from the last run of airheads. This purchase was no spur of the moment impulse buy, but rather the result of years of ideas and desires. “I’m not into the whole flat ironing board style seats. I like a bit of undulation. I’d been following Café Racer Dreams, a Spanish garage, for ages. On all their BMW builds the seat rises mid way through on the passenger end because the rear hoop becomes the brace, with a horizontal pipe welded in. Being a mono, the later airheads all were, and having seen CRD#47, where they had in fact customised a mono I felt that there was no point reinventing the rear subframe. Although check where Kyle from Rene9ade wraps the frame around the shock. It’s sublime.”
When it came to pipes, Ano was sold on a 2 into 1 system. “I wanted to get rid of as much as I could from the left side of the bike, so when you looked at that side you just have this wheel out there. Suspended. I friggin love that.”
Armed with a plethora of different photos and ideas, Ano went to Kyle at Rene9ade to be the bikesmith behind this creation. “I remember it was the week before The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride that I picked Boris up from Rene9ade. I was beside myself in excitement. It was the day I heard him for the first time with his new pipes and even got in a quick fling around the industrial estate at the end of the street before we packed him up and trailered him home. The back end metal work and seat was all done, as were the pipes, that still left me with a whole lot of other bits that needed doing.”
After spending some time in Germany, Ano returned with parts-a-plenty to help complete Boris. “We came back with an excess luggage bill and a sack of parts so large that it would have made Santa green with envy.” Fortunately for Ano, he was yet to go over budget on this build – for it didn’t have one. Brilliant!
“Boris wasn’t so much designed as he evolved through a medley of circumstance, discoveries, advice and a healthy dose of good fortune.”
Ano and his good mate Russell, now armed with plenty of fresh parts, got to stripping the bike down like worker ants until it was nothing but two wheels, an engine and a frame. “We then fueled up on durries and bullshit and built it back up again! With equal measures of intimidation and fervor we did things neither had done before. Brakes rebuilt with braided lines and bled. Splines checked and greased. Clutch dismantled and reassembled. We completely rewired Boris fitting him with new micro switches, Waterproof connectors, super bright and really small V-arc indicators, all tied together with a custom loom and hung off of a Motogadget m-Unit to control the lot. I love the m-Switch keyless RFID system, but then again I’m easily distracted.”
A unique personal touch to this reborn BMW is in it’s badges. Wanting to lose the standard BMW badge, Ano drafted up a few custom designs. With the aid of his mate Arfn from Backyard Customs in Bali, these new badges were made a reality in Yogyakarta, an excellent tribute to all the years Ano’s spent living in Indonesia.
“One thing is for sure, he most definitely is the sum of his parts and I am happy to say, Boris now lives in our shed.”