It’s a bit tricky deciding how you want your dream custom project to look without drawing inspiration from something previously admired. Resisting the temptation to try and set the world on fire with some revolutionary design is also a wise choice for a commission build, unless your wallet is a thick one. The owner of this Beemer, John from London, had already decided on a style and when it comes to clean, as-new builds Kevils Speed Shop down in Devon are hard to beat.
Kevils founder Kev Hill has a huge stock of build-ready components on the shelf and his team could knock-up a few bikes from parts alone but for John’s project Kev had another plan. “We sourced not one but two donor BMWs to build this one bike, a 1981 R100RT we bought locally from an older gent. The frame, engine, transmission and front end were used but John wanted wire wheels so a 1982 ex-police TIC R80 provided these and the final drive.”
We probably sound like a broken record now when talking about Kevils build process but it is worth pointing out to newcomers that they don’t just wipe the engine with an oily rag and push it out-the-door. Engines are stripped back to the crank and all bearings, seals and gaskets are replaced. Baggy barrels are re-bored or re-honed and pistons and/or rings fitted as necessary. The other thing Kev worked out a while ago is that the majority of his customers don’t know a Bing from a Amal so a pair of low maintenance Mikuni carbs are fitted as standard. Another benefit of these lower profile carbs is it negates the rider from trying to change gear with the float bowl.
The stainless exhaust system is from a new supplier in Italy who dropped Kev a line to see if he’s like to try them out. From here they look pretty good and apparently the soundtrack is as lovely as the build quality. Following the Italian theme Kev and John decided on Capri blue for the tank. In a break from the norm on Kevils street scrambler builds the subframe is welded rather than bolted on. The upholstery guys have done a great job with the distressed leather saddle incorporating a kick-up at the front, slightly overlapping the tank. All too often on custom Beemers a wafer thin Brat seat looks out of proportion to the girthy R-series fuel tank. And it deals with the gap nicely. An 18″ rear wheel matches the front, all new with custom spokes of course, complete with just the right amount of sidewall giving a chunky yet sleek stance. Seeing as Kevils’ bikes make it to all corners of the globe it makes sense to source the best components from foreign shores too. An electronic ignition and ECU were dispatched from across the pond to ensure crisp running and reliability. On the same boat came a pair of Coker Diamond tires, hopefully Kev sent them a ‘y’ and a dictionary in return. German cockpit masters Motogadget supplied the all-in-one gauge to compliment the brand new wiring loom.
Dawlish south Devon was the scene for the Capri’s photoshoot and with weather that good one could squint and pretend it’s the Italian Riviera. John is a very happy chap and rightly so, this is a simple yet stylish ride.