There’s a reason we don’t see many BMW K-series customs, and it’s because they’re tough to work with. The K is physically big and has an awkward silhouette—neither of which are ideal ingredients for a good custom.
Some builders find success by embracing the K’s inherent design, and producing something angular and modern. But Pablo Pérez González has gone in the opposite direction. He’s wrestled the mighty K’s gawky form to the ground, and produced a classy cafe racer with hella clean lines.
What’s even more impressive is that the Spanish builder started with one of the newer, bigger K-series models: a K1100 LT tourer from the 90s. And he picked a K because he wanted to customize a BMW, but wasn’t interested in the ubiquitous R-series boxer.
It was a huge undertaking, but Pablo (who calls his workshop D’S Motorcycles) wasn’t in a rush. He has a full-time job as an electromechanical engineer, so building bikes is simply how he unwinds—and losing track of time is par for the course.
Step one was to strip the chunky tourer’s numerous body panels off, so that Pablo could get to the chassis. By fabricating an all-new subframe, and repositioning the rear shock mount to lift the rear, he’s managed to give the K1100 a perfectly straight fly line.
A set of KTM RC8 forks went on up front, along with their twin Brembo brakes. The K’s new wheels are from a BMW R80 RT; stripped, cleaned, powder coated black and re-laced.
Pablo had to machine a new axle for the front, and adapt a BMW R1150 GS brake caliper at the back, since the existing brake wouldn’t clear the spokes.
As an added touch, he machined up a hubcap for the open side of the rear wheel, complete with a BMW roundel.
With the stance sorted, focus turned to kitting out the K1100 with complementary bodywork. There’s a new fuel tank up top, showing hints of the iconic Norton Manx, right down to the tank strap. It’s matched up to a brown leather seat, and a neat tail hump.
Pablo worked some magic under the bodywork too. Some of the coolant system plumbing is now hiding under the tank, and the tail houses the reworked electronics—including the touch point for a Motogadget m.lock keyless ignition.
The K’s four cylinder motor wasn’t neglected either. It was rebuilt with new pistons, rings and seals, and gas-flowed and ported heads. It was also sand blasted and clear powder coated, so that it would stand out more and become a feature of the build.
The transmission and swingarm got the same treatment, and the air box was ditched for a set of pod filters. The stock exhaust system has been ditched, and replaced by new four-into-one headers and a muffler from the Italian brand Mivv.
Up in the K1100’s cockpit, you’ll find an Accossato radial master cylinder for the front brake, Yamaha R6 switches and a Motogadget speedo. The clip-ons are from the KTM RC8, and the grips are Rizoma units now wrapped in the same leather as the seat.
Pablo also added new Hel brake lines, and built a Honda fuel gauge into the top of the fuel cap.
Other add-ons include Kawasaki rear sets, a Rizoma license plate holder, combo LED tail lights and turn signals, and a set of custom fenders. Pablo’s left no stone unturned, and even most of the washers and bushings you see have been machined from scratch.
The K1100’s new livery was done in-house too: it’s a simple silver finish, with stripes that hint at BMW’s M scheme without straight-up copying it.
It’s still a big bike with a blocky motor, except now that motor’s packaged in a sleek and stylish cafe racer. How’s that for a fresh take on the Flying Brick?
Published at Thu, 24 Oct 2019 17:01:48 +0000