Wez from Port Elizabeth, South Africa proved he has what it takes to put a bike together when he sent us his beautifully finished MB100, take a look here. He said he'd be back with something bolder and grander; and here it is. When the wife and kids are tucked up in bed, Wez sneaks off to his humble shed and gets customising. 7 months of midnight oil later and here we have a nicely sorted 1981 BMW R100T, built in true shed style with limited tools and a budget to match. Wez hit a fairly steep learning curve, going form a single cylinder two stroke to a Bavarian mass of wiring and over engineering. Luckily his mates kept him on the straight and narrow, offering motivational "Dude, just get it finished already" speeches and the occasional beer no doubt. The donor arrived in full touring spec, including a leather tank cover. The superfluous fairings, pannier racks and other heavy bits were removed, leaving a bare bones machine ready for a personal touch. But before the fancy stuff comes reliability, looking good broken down isn't a good look; so Wez removed the motor, stripped it down and replaced anything that was vaguely worn out. Whilst at it the paint on the casings was painstakingly removed, a thankless task at the time, but the results are worth it. The subframe is 150mm shorter with a kick-up loop welded in, providing a mounting for the moulded PVC seat base and stitched vinyl cover. Uprated Hagon shocks suspend the new rear and give a plusher ride. Low and wide bars are sleek, with end mounted mirrors so as not to interfere with the view, both when riding and whilst admiring. Brown must be this season's new black as this is the second Beemer in a week to sport a lustrous dark tone. The tank badges are the car versions and as such needed a good deal of persuasion to get them to fit. Forks are standard but with fresh oil and seals, kept clean by ribbed gaitors. Satin black powder coat and Bridgestone Spitfires sorts the wheel side of things out. Why buy when you can make? The licence plate mount is precision bent aluminium, finished with black anodising. Exhausts are stock but modified to kick up at the back, keeping in line with the rear hoop. The rear mudguard wasn't allowed back from the parts bin, the licence plate playing the role of dirt deflector. BMW didn't half put a big battery box in these things but with new tech smaller options are available, lurking under there is on two thirds the size, wrapped in figure hugging black vinyl; very slimming apparently. A small and simple speedo with tiny idiot lights gives just enough information without being distracting. Whilst tidying the dash Wez fabricated a small stainless steel plate to mount the ignition. The build had its ups and downs and caused much head scratching but once the learning curve was crested Wez decided that this was an endeavour too enjoyable to keep as a hobby. After 15 years in secure, full time employment, Wez has decided to go forth and build bikes for a living. Best of luck to you, just remember to send us the photos of the next one. If you live near Port Elizabeth and fancy a new ride, drop Wez an email. Photography by Marc Sing Key
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