In place of the trusty Zed stands a mighty R100 parked outside the window, and this one seems to have been a lucky find. It came to me 90% as she is in these photos, with most of the work having been done by the previous owner - so no kudos for me if you like what you see. The bike is an '83 R100S, which I'm told by BMW guru Rex from Victory Motorcycles, is a great donor, which I take at face value, 'cos what Rex, Adam & Anita at Victory/Untitled MC don't know about Beemers probably isn't very important. Confusingly the bike had heads from an older model fitted for a more retro look, which made the bike harder to date. The rear subframe and seat come from VonZeti, - who despite sounding very much like makers of Euro-exotica, seem to come from the West Country in the UK. They make all manner of seat shapes for various bikes and this kit is high quality and solid, despite looking slim and delicate. There's also a trick airbox fitted with external filter (also VonZeti?) allowing the bike to run K&N style filters on it's Bing carbs, while gases exit the bike via short stubby pipes which we can't identify. I'm tempted to wrap the headers for an urban-cool look, but I've seen how quickly wrap turns to crap over a London winter so I'll probably give that a miss. The '83 R100s came with twin front discs and decent brakes already onboard, and the stubby levers work well, despite looking a bit too modern on this retro build. Rear shocks are Hagon and track-day stiff, as are the forks which have been resprung - again with Hagon springs. For my daily London commute it's all a bit harsh, but I hate to undo quality mods, so I'll have to think about what to do with this setup. Rearsets appear to be the standard Beemer-lover's Raasks, and there is a quickturn throttle fitted, which is apparently badass but is also pretty bloody stiff. The top yoke is slim, drilled and looks homemade, but it seems to do the job. One of the parts of this bike that I can lay credit to is the freshly fitted, and obviously unpainted, Ducati SS style fairing which came from Flat Racer in North London. They provide BMW specific cafe-racer kit, all created or curated by the proprietor Edgar who appears totally obsessed with quality - which is a useful trait for your aftermarket parts provider. The thick glass fibre fairing came with all the brackets we needed to fit to the bike, complete with tinted screen and a trick little headamp cover. I also had Shinyo indicators fitted, which appear to be very solid and heavy, and are subtle too, and Rex & Co sorted out a few other niggles while she was up on the bench. They also fitted a stainless steel front fender which I may fiddle with, as it's quite proud of the front wheel and will bash the fairing on speedbumps. Looks good tho. In terms of the ride I'm pleasantly surprised. The R100 seems to weigh less than two thirds of my '78 Z1000 and the motor pics up strongly and quickly despite the stiff throttle. It's one of those bikes that likes to be short-shifted and is always going faster than it feels. I kept looking down at the speedo and wondering why I was going 10-15 miles per hour faster than I had thought. Rex has done a great job getting her to run properly with improved fueling, aided by filters on each side, and a powerful battery for cold winter starts, and as usual Anita sorted the electrics and other bits, which included getting rid of a trick-but-redundant oil cooler, which just added ugly plumbing. I'm going to keep the yellow lens cos I love the old-school Euro feel that reminds me of my family being driven across France during endless summer holidays in the 1970s, but the naked fairing now needs paint, which I'll probably do in silver and black to match the rest of the bike, although gloss black is tempting too. So, the journey has just begun: - fairing paint, black wheels, suspension tweaks, new clocks, lose the reflectors... Can't wait.
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