Chatting to one the custom scene's most prolific builders the other day we got onto the topic of Dakar, adventure bikes and how seemingly ugly, plastic clad donor bikes could be made to look better. As the new wave scene is largely retro inspired by sentimentality for a purer, and some say cooler, time it makes sense that the modern is making way for nostalgia. Ton-Up Garage from Portugal are no strangers to the twists and turns of custom trends as they enter a seventh year of bike building from their Porto workshop. The motorcycle you see here was destined for adventure from the get-go as Ton-Up's founders Daniel and Pedro had signed-up for Scram Africa, the retro rally organised by Fuel Motorcycles. The guys had wanted to work on BMW's legendary R1200 GS for a while and planned to strip away the touring credentials, leaving just the adventure and a whiff of old school rally raid. They started with the main structure, adding supports for a larger fuel tank and fabricating a new subframe sturdy enough for carrying a pillion. The under seat spaghetti arrangement that is a stock GS' battery, wiring harness and ABS pump has been upgraded to a neater alloy tray, with the ABS unit now removed to make way for the R80 fuel tank. The keen-eyed airhead spotters among you will have spotted that this isn't a regular R80 tank. It's longer and wider to not only offer increased, desert crossing capacity but heavily modified to accept the GS fuel pump. The saddle is of course custom-made for this project and does a great job of not only providing proper long range comfort but also wipes away the decades visually. As do the traditional chrome mudguards. PIAA headlights and white painted crash bars aren't just for show, they'll not only provide protection but also handy places to strap and cable tie things once the showroom shine has faded. Water bottles, maps, spare levers, inner tubes, perhaps a shovel....
Open pod filters would have shown-up the build as somewhat of a charlatan and seeing as the guys built this bike to actually ride through sand dunes they fabricated an airbox that utilises a K&N panel filter routing fresh, clean air to the throttle bodies via plastic intakes. Quick to remove and maintain which is far more desert friendly. The exhaust is of course stainless steel, fabricated in-house and polished to a high shine. The oil cooler lives behind a laser cut bashplate and runs upgraded Aeroquip hoses. Wheels are from a 1200GS Adventure which feature the super handy external spoke nipples which not only allows the running of tubeless tyres, Continental TKC 80s in this case, but makes life easy replacing a spoke with the wheel still in the bike.
It's a real shame that Pedro and Daniel were unable to make the Scram with the Hunter but hopefully we'll see shots of it being set free on the desert-like terrain that's not too hard to come by in its native Portugal. And seeing as we're rather partial to riding off-road the thought of our inbox filling up with adventure customs is wanderlust inducing.
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