BMW GS Paris - Dakar

BMW GS Paris - Dakar

Project in progress

From the Six Days of the twenties to the quadruple victory at the Dakar rally: the off-road sporting history of the blue-white brand starts with the first BMW motorcycle. And the riders are keen for spectacular BMW victories and championships.

Successes in the desert.

In the eighties, the adventure took the off-road riders into the desert. The "Paris-Dakar", the most demanding rally in the world, was held for the first time in 1979. In 1981, the Frenchman Hubert Auriol took home BMW's first victory, which he repeated two years later. The ambition had been awakened: In 1984 and 1985, BMW sent a factory team armed with desert-proof modifications to the "Paris-Dakar". The Belgian Gaston Rahier rode for two consecutive years through sand, dust, heat and cold with his GS on top of the podium. The spirit of GS becomes visible.

Ducati StreetFighter Custom

Ducati F848 Custom by Original Cafe Racer Co.

Our vision is to build a radical custom Ducati StreetFighter without the thrills and frills.

We have taken a 1 owner low milage bike, which is very rare these days (as they average 3+ owners), with a full main dealer Ducati service history.

The bike features a custom one-off art work on the body work.

The front end has been updated with the latest Ducati levers and reservoirs and mirrors.

The seat is a non slip Ducati Performance seat and the pillion seat has been especially trimmed to match the lovely paint work.

The radiator and oil cooler have a custom made panel to improve the visual look and overall appearance of the profile.

A custom made highly polished aluminium bracket now holds the reworked silencers.

For more details including photos, please Email us on

The bike is now finished and available for sale.  We have a few clients who buy our bikes with full confidence that they are well built and good value.

Thanks for looking.

BMW R1200S Custom

It’s based on a low milage 2008 R1200S ABS model, which was the most powerful BMW sportbike you could buy until the HP2 Sport popped up. The 1170cc flat twin pumps out a tire-spinning 135 hp, and has just 155 kilos to push around. And there’s a hefty 112.0 Nm of torque on tap too.

The custom paintwork is pearlescent white with the BMW Rally stripes. The rear end and seat are all one-off custom.

New LED lighting all round - Air box removed and replaced with K&N air filters - New cooler and wider flexi pipes to improve oil cooling and improve engine performance - New fabricated exhaust manifold pipe with titanium GR Moto silencer (M.O.T. passable with baffle).

If you are interested in more info on this build, just let me know?

And different this R1200S certainly is, with a fresh and punchy visual style that doesn’t compromise the practicality. The machine was delivered with full Öhlins suspension, which is a desirable factory option, plus the extra wide rear wheel.

Not surprisingly, the client had a cafe racer in mind—but after a good discussion with the builder, the direction shifted towards the street tracker style.  

BMW R100T Project

The client delivered a great example of BMW 1980's R100T. He had a clear vision to completely transform it into a scrambler with some new features.  High quality components was key to making the project a success.

Fuel Tank
Strip fuel pump and send off fuel tank for respray in Nardo grey
Custom Fuel cap Billet Aluminium
BMW B&W logo


Powder Coat Wheels
Remove + install both Wheels excluding hubs and shaft drive
Powder coating
New Set of wheel bearings, remove original and supply and fit new bearings


Seat and Subframe
Brat Frame Loop and Subframe  (BMW R-series Brat Subframe Uncoated Chromoly)
Powdercoat new rear sub frame in Black
Brat seat diamond pattern black Long 62

Lighting  and electrics

LED headlight in Black with assembly casing
LED bar end indicators Motogadget L + R
Bar end mirrors  Motogadget M.View Spy
Mesh Café LED Tail Light with plate holder Black
Rear LED Indicator Premium Flat Black Aluminium Micro pair
Small size black vintage number plate


Front & Rear Mudguard
Use old front mudguard and chop down
Remove old front bracket, paint and reuse on new mudguard
Rear mudguard - Scrambler Fender Long 115 x 48CM black


YSS Twin Shock Absorbers (RZ302-T alu/black BMW twin)
 Handle Bar, Levers  and Switch gear
Biltwell Tracker Bars Black 1 inch
M-Grips Soft black
Left and Right side Retro Brake/Clutch set with reservoir
3 Button M-switch Black 1"
2 Button M-switch Black 1"
M Basic Unit
M Basic unit Cabling
Domino Throttle slow release


Cylinder Cover - Rockers
Gasket cover


Daytona BMW Boxer adaptor
Daytona Velona 2 80mm W/Lights
Remove old and fit new Speedo reconfigure all wires


Megatone Silencer Reverse Cone flat black 43cm long (current 80cm)
Black exhaust wraps 10m x 5cm Plus 10 metal zip ties
Fitting new silencer to manifold pipes


Fitting battery & wiring  inside air box
New Lithium small light battery
Reroute wiring and housing in air box


Misc Work
Remove Choke cable, Fit master cylinder bracket, Choke plungers
Re wire electronic ignition - spark side
Twin brake line JMP stainless
Throttle assembly and  twin brake line labour
Air box Shorty eliminator
Tyre Rear: K60 Scout M+S 4.00 -18 TT 64 T
Tyre Front: K60 Front 100/90 -19 TL 57 H


Honda CB600 Hornet Project

The client turned up with a beaten up old Honda CB600 Hornet one day. It was a challenge to say the least. But "Sean quietly and expertly built this beautiful thing, utilising his excellent taste to the max".

The wiring was the most challenging part of this project.  Honda over engineered this bike with too many sensors and electronics.  Therefore, when converting the standard bike into a Cafe Racer, it can be pretty difficult to find space to conceal all the wiring and sensors.

The result was excellent.  The bike felt and sounded totally different to the standard, plus loosing more than 30KG in weight.

Ducati Monster S2R Project

Took an old beaten up Ducati Monster S2R 800 and turned it into a loud and proud looking Italian exotica machine.

The S2R is loved by many Ducati enthusiasts as it is lighter and nimbler than the bigger S4R.  Having owned both, I would recommend the S2R 800 for both performance and handling.

The LED headlights with integrated DRL and indicator are a great option, as well as some of the Rizoma's to give it that Italian bling look.

The Termignoni Stubby silencer finished the look and definitely added more character to the exhaust note.

The fuel tank was in terrible condition and after removing the fuel pump and giving the tank a great custom paint job, the result was quite satisfying.

STREET TOUGH. BMW R1200GS by Original Café Racer Co.

STREET TOUGH. BMW R1200GS by Original Café Racer Co.

Posted on June 25, 2019 by Scott in Café RacerDesert SledRacer8 Comments

A few years ago, Sean from Original Café Racer Co in London was lucky enough to ride across Africa with Charley Boorman on a Compass Expedition. The experience inspired a crazy idea; turning a BMW R1200GS into a street racer. “Having successfully designed and customised café racers in the past, I wanted to set myself the ultimate challenge; build four, spectacular, limited edition bikes to commemorate the expedition of a lifetime from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, covering South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe,” says Sean.

It’s hard to believe that this custom-built bike started life as one of the last air-cooled BMW R1200GS in the country. The holy grail was to produce a street racer with all the capabilities of a GS. This resulted in lots of modifications including; chopping the rear end, replacing the fuel tank, discarding the airbox, exhaust and massive oil cooler.

At first glance, you might have thought the bike was a R nineT, but the only thing this bike shares with the R nineT model is the fuel tank. It remains very capable off-road as the original BMW engine mapping on the GS model has been kept including the electronic adaptive suspension. This transformation resulted in a substantial loss of weight close to 45KG creating a lighter weight, high-performance bike maximising its engine power output to full capacity with K&N air and oil filters. The original large oil cooler has been replaced with a smaller but more efficient BMW unit and relocated from being mounted on the forks to sitting snugly in front of the engine.

The biggest challenge was housing the extensive cabling, sensors and electronics in a confined space having discarded the original large plastic fuel tank and replaced it with the smart, new aluminium tank; and no longer having the vast amounts of space under the original GS seat. The new custom-made leather seat has the plug-in diagnostic recessed neatly with easy access to all wiring and electronics.

The Continental TKC 80 dual-purpose tyres complete the tough look. To give it a more sporty feel, the stock bars have been replaced with clip-on bars. Also up front, LED headlights by Original Cafe Racer Co and Kellerman of Germany compliment the bike’s distinctive ergonomics as well as adding greater visibility.

The custom leather seat is not only stylish but also practical – made comfortable for long rides as well as storing all the cables and diagnostic plug. The SC MotoGP silencer adds a deep but rich tone to the exhaust without being overly loud or needing a baffle to pass a M.O.T.

Next month, the bike will be auctioned off at Silverstone Auctions – held at the famous race circuit in England. This tough looking GS will be sitting proudly amongst some of the rarest and most desired cars in the world. If you like what you see and want to own this custom beemer, you can place a bid on here. Good luck.

Original Cafe Racer Co | Photography by Image Factory Studio ]

BMW GS Street Racer Project

BMW GS Street Racer Project

It’s hard to believe that this passionately hand-crafted café racer started life as one of the last air-cooled BMW R1200GS in the country. The creator’s holy grail was to produce a Street Racer with all the capabilities of a GS.  This resulted in major modifications including; chopping the rear end, replacing the fuel tank, discarding the air box, exhaust and massive oil cooler.
This transformation resulted in a loss of weight close to 45KG creating a light weight, high performance bike maximising its engine to full capacity with K&N filters.  The original large oil cooler has been replaced with a smaller more efficient unit and relocated from being mounted on the forks to sitting snugly in front of the engine.
The Continental TKC 80 tyres complete the look but maintain a smooth ride on tarmac.  Those who have ridden this bike have been surprised by the comfortable yet sporty feel the clip-on bars have added to the ride and the handling of the bike.  LED headlights compliment the bike’s distinctive ergonomics as well as adding greater visibility.
The one off, custom leather seat provides the perfect riding position and feels comfortable on long rides as well as being practical by storing all the cables and diagnostic plug.  The SC MotoGP silencer adds a deep but rich tone to the exhaust without being overly loud or needing a baffle to pass a M.O.T.
This good looking café racer embodies the speed, status and rebellion of the genre - now one of the most desired, collectable and signature style motorbikes on the market.  To discuss owning one of these limited edition machines, please go to Contact and tell us about your vision.
This build has been limited to only 4 and you can buy one by visiting our Motorbike Sales on our Store.

How to Build a Cafe Racer


How to Build a Cafe Racer

I’m a car designer by trade: I spend my time working out how to make machinery look as good as it can. Designers are creative people by nature, so we crave the opportunity to be as free as possible in our work. We also have many parameters, tests and boundaries to refer to, to make sure we deliver the best possible ‘product.’

These guidelines are just that—guidelines. Designing a café racer is as much about art as science, and each bike is different in its own way. It reflects the environment, the era and the owner of the bike. Yet there are things we can do to ensure that the result will look solid and professional.

I’ve been influenced by motorbike design for several years, and have built my own café racer. I based it on the same observations that I’ve sketched out here. Hopefully, they’ll inspire some fellow builders to invest time into the aesthetics of their project.

ow to build a cafe racer
To illustrate my points, I’m using the Bike EXIF calendar cover star: Mateusz Stankiewicz’s Honda CX500, built in conjunction with the garage Eastern Spirit.

THE FOUNDATION The foundation contributes most to the structure, direction and general ‘easiness on the eye’ that makes a bike a café racer. First, the simple stuff. Café racers are defined by the flat line that runs front to back, giving an uncompromising look and lending strength and speed to the design. It’s a good idea, though not vital, that this line remains uninterrupted. (The perfect example of this rule being broken well is the Wrenchmonkees’ Laverda 750.)

This line is the first one your brain will ‘see’ and will guide your eyes along the length of the bike. If there are kinks and breaks then it eliminates continuity and, like bumps in the road, makes the experience uncomfortable. This powerful base sits above two fairly evenly sized wheels.

THE ‘CUT-OFF POINTS’ These lines are the wheel centerlines. Anything going beyond these lines will serve to make the bike seem ‘odd.’ Too much over the rear wheel will make the bike seem rear-heavy and poorly planned. It’s quite common for bikes to do this, however, and it’s not a big deal if crossed over by a small amount—as in our example.

If you do go too far over, then minimize the depth of the seat or cowl. There’s nothing worse than a big cowl hanging over the back end of the bike. The front is less of a problem but front fenders cut on this line look best.

HEIGHT LIMIT Just as important as the cut-off points. The height limit gives a planned look to the design. Defined as the highest point on the fuel tank, anything protruding much above this point will take away from a café racer’s sleek and streamlined looks. It will also serve to make your bike look more like a tracker and less like a café bike. Keep it low and keep it clean. Combined with the cut-off points, this imaginary box should contain all the major elements of your design.

THE ‘BONE LINE’ Hugely important in car design, it is very important here as well. The bone line serves to describe where the widest point of your bodywork is. This is where your reflections on your seat, tank and lamp will fall. Think of the ‘bone’ as the 3D brother to the more 2D foundation line. They work together as a team. Here the center of the lamp is right on the bone line: A great decision that ties the whole upper together.

If you get anything right it should be this. It immediately makes the bike look like it really belongs together and is not just a jumble of parts. Next time you see a bike (or indeed a car) you like, take some time to see if it has this central ‘bone’ and where it sits. This Honda is a perfect example and, though it’s not the first thing you might realize you see, it’s why this is not just a good bike, but a great one.

THE VISUAL WEIGHT This is where the main ‘mass’ of the bike is, and it can be split into two parts. Firstly, the main mass is the engine—including the cylinder/crank/gearbox, or anything towards the front of the subframe. This is your tank parameter. A tank longer than this will look overly big and heavy, and a smaller tank will look like the bike has outgrown it—almost bobber-like.

Secondly, and just as importantly, is the axis of the visual weight, seen here in the middle. This is usually defined by the middle of the engine, or more accurately, the middle of the cylinder/piston. This will define the ideal shape of the tank. The peak of the tank should fall right on or very close to the axis. It is amazing how much more robust and ‘sporting’ a bike looks when this is incorporated into the design.

It applies equally for bikes such as Hondas, Kawasakis and Yamahas that have inclined engine blocks. The axis still falls through the middle of the cylinder at that angle. The result is that these Japanese bikes look better with tanks that peak towards the very front of the bike and taper off towards the rider.

THE SWOOP Ideally you want the seat and the tank to look like they belong together. We can do this by making sure the curve of the tank flows into the curve of the cowl. This will make it look almost like the tank and the seat were once a single piece of metal, and someone scooped out a place for a rider to sit. It makes it look intentional and tight.

PRIMARY ANGLES Often overlooked, the differing angles on a frame with those of the forks, shocks and other parts can make a spaghetti of lines which could ruin all your hard work. Be considerate of them when adding new parts. Here this bike has a brand new subframe to clean up the wobbly CX500 original. The builder has very cleverly matched the angle of the front fork, making it look cohesive. Angles are something we take great care of when designing cars too.

SECONDARY ANGLES Even in small areas, the builders have tried to make parallels of two or more angles on different parts. This is some subliminal stuff right here. You might not notice it—but you can bet that your brain does on a certain level.

FORK DISTANCE Keep the front wheel as ‘tucked in’ as possible. It gives a bike a ‘pouncing’ and aggressive stance. I know a fork swap might seem like a good idea, but don’t make it look like a chopper, OK?

I have seen bikes that match this guide to the letter that look great. And I have seen bikes that disregard them totally, and still look amazing. Following these guidelines will give you a base on which to work and help understand why a bike looks like it does.

Once aware of these ground rules, it’s up to you how you choose to stick to them—or break them.

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