There’s no doubting that race inspired machinery nearly always look good.
Whether it be a dirt tracker, vintage hillclimber or trials machine, the raw and uncompromising functionality offers that visceral taste of pure engineering. Not a description you’d expect to find preceding a feature on a BMW K Series. There have been loads of attempts to bolt the café racer strapline to K-based builds but the things were nicknamed Flying Bricks for good reason – the flipping great big lump of an engine slung on its side resembles something you’d build a house from, not a track weapon.
Giorgio De Angelis is your typical Roman, he does everything a tearing pace and since he was a bambino he’s raced anything and everything on two wheels. Time catches up with everyone though and now slightly more “mature” Giorgio has decided to impart some of his racing wisdom onto bikes with a bit more character rather than screaming Japanese plastic clad rocketships. He settled on a BMW K1100 LT from 1992 and set about combining style with speed, making sure to leave everything on show, which everyone knows is worth at least two seconds a lap.
A 50mm USD fork with radial calipers sets the scene at the pointy end. The eagle eyed will spot the externally mounted spokes of GS wheels, now sporting Continental rubber. Clipons are by Robby Moto, who supply MotoGP and WSBK teams. They’ll be nice and light then. At the rear a remotely adjustable Öhlins monoshock is on bump soaking-up duties, and not just on billiard table smooth race tracks, this is predominantly a street bike.
With the airbox removed and replaced by alloy velocity stacks the ‘brick suddenly looks more timing sheet tearer than tardy tourer. After all BMW’s M division are renowned for extracting colossal potential from seemingly benign four-bangers. Here, a small logo helps confirm that, perhaps worth another second a lap.
A race-spec EPROM programmable ECU ensures that as much bang as possible is extracted from stock pump fuel whilst a purposeful, slash cut exhaust by SeSfactory lets bystanders know that Giorgio means business. Cooling is by another Italian supplier to the worlds elite, RcRadiators, who’ve fabricated this chunky, double-pass aluminium rad. A meshed side panel with neat fluid level cutout shields the less pretty side of the engine’s ancillaries.
The dash is minimal and the wiring harness paired back to save weight, and fuss. Simple LED’s should either placate or blind any interested Carabinieri.
The svelte tail section was fabricated from aluminium and topped with an M-Sport liveried leather and Alcantara saddle by CLRacing. The paint scheme is unmistakable but it somehow looks a bit faster with a matt finish.
LaDina is Giorgio’s tribute to himself, in a non arrogant way. A celebration perhaps of a racy youth inspiring the chrysalis into distinguished customiser. Whatever, this is one Flying Brick we’d love to see closer to us at Brands Hatch rather than as photographed here at Vallelunga. Then again, it’d be raining and the photos would have turned out rubbish.
Article first published on The Bike Shed; Republished here with explicit permission.