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Custom of the Week: ‘Autobahn Streak’ BMW RnineT by JSK Moto

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Judging public opinion is a fickle business.

So when a builder hits on a concept that works, it’s tempting to get comfortable and stick to the formula.

The first build we featured from California-based JSK Moto was a sweet BMW R nineT-based scrambler. It spread like wildfire, and even landed on BMW Motorrad’s radar. But rather than build a series of sequels, JSK point man Samuel Kao followed up with a couple of diverse and pretty zany bikes.

Now, almost two and a half years later, he’s come back to the R nineT—but with a very different vibe. “After the scrambler, we really wanted to make a cafe racer too,” he says. “Our schedule is busy so it took a long time—but it was worth the wait.”

“The R nineT was designed with customization in mind. We saw many wonderful variations, and BMW also released its own Racer. While creating our own, we thought maybe we could push the idea of easy customization further.”

The key to JSK’s approach lies in the new fairing and tank. The two are actually one piece, and function as a cover with a hidden fuel tank attached to the frame underneath.

Team JSK wanted to strike a balance between complex lines and overall simplicity, so they chose to shape the new frontal bodywork from fiberglass. It’s here that Samuel wanted to incorporate a very specific element: “We wanted to have the signature BMW angel eye headlight for the motorcycle,” he says.

“We sourced it from a car, but it was too small for a motorcycle. So we added a custom aluminum vent around the headlight to help dissipate heat, and create a futuristic look.”

Building everything from scratch gave JSK the freedom to tweak the ergonomics too, so they nudged the seat forward for improved comfort. Then they cleaned up the cockpit with a custom CNC-machined triple tree and a set of Driven clip-ons.

The parts list on this R nineT is as desirable as it is considered. The BMW now rolls on Roland Sands Design ‘Hutch’ wheels, with matching brake rotors. There’s a new Gears Racing H2 Plus shock out back, and Dunlop Q3 Sportmax tires to grip the road better.

JSK installed a full exhaust system from Akrapovič, and an Earl’s Performance oil cooler. They also added ENLiNT rear sets, Beringer clutch and brake master cylinders, and a RCE Power Lithium-ion battery.

DK Design supplied the air intakes, a carbon fiber front fender, the dash bezel, and the nifty rear mudguard and plate holder combo (which also houses a tiny LED tail light). Motogadget bar-end signals, a rear brake reservoir from PSR, and an engine breastplate and valve covers from RSD round out the package.

JSK Moto’s final color palette was equally considered. Jeffrey Chang at the famous Air Runner Custom Paint laid down a coat of silver, with a set of slick German flag stripes up front.

Samuel also resisted the urge to black all the parts out, leaving just the right amount of contrast to complement the paint.

The R nineT’s new name is another nod to its Bavarian heritage: they’ve called it ‘Autobahn Streak.’ “It’s a build to make you want to ride long distances on the highway,” says Samuel.


This article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with permission.

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The world's most exciting cafe racers, bobbers, scramblers and trackers. BIKE EXIF IS THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR showcase for custom motorcycles. Several days a week, we deliver a hand-picked selection of the latest cafe racers, scramblers, trackers and bobbers from top builders.

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One Year On: Remembering Nicky Hayden

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The news that Nicky Hayden passed away was devastating to the whole of the motorsport family.


This article first appeared on Motofire on May 22nd 2017. We’ve republished it here today to commemorate the anniversary of Nicky Hayden’s passing.


Nicky was a champion to his core; from the way he raced to his fierce devotion to his family and the way he made time for everyone. He fought for every single position on every lap of every race and never once gave up. He was firm, leaving no room for doubt on track, but he was always fair and he was one of the hardest workers you’ll ever know, even in a world that includes nothing but riders who push themselves to the limit constantly.

In every way, Nicky was a shining star; images of his tear-stained face when he won his championship in 2006 will forever be ingrained in the collective MotoGP memory, his joy was so tangible that you could have wrapped yourself up in it. And that was Nicky, always inclusive. Whether it was a quick-witted remark in that wonderful Kentucky drawl that we’ll miss so much, his easy manner that made him a friend of everyone who knew him or the way he never turned someone away when they wanted a photo or an autograph. Nicky came from a racing family and he became an integral part of an even larger one.

Losing anyone is always heartbreaking but the loss of a rider when they were out training, doing something as everyday as cycling, makes Nicky’s death at just 35 years old even harder to comprehend.

Nicky holds a place in the MotoGP Hall of Fame, his status as a Legend firmly cemented long before he left for World Superbikes. But he holds something even more valuable; a spot in the collective heart of the entire motorcycle racing family.

His accent will forever raise a smile, at least for me, and his own superstar grin will now bring with it an indescribable sadness. But remember Nicky as he would’ve wanted; that fierce big-hearted champion who pushed himself and everyone around him to be their very best and as that young man who brought so much joy and who left us far too soon.

My thoughts are, of course, with all of the Hayden family, Nicky’s fiancee Jackie, his friends and his teams both past and present.

Now, I’m going to wipe away the tears and watch Valencia 2006 again. I hope you join me to remember Nicky Hayden; a champion, a gentleman and a star that can never truly be extinguished.


This article first appeared on Motofire on May 22nd 2017. We’ve republished it here today to commemorate the anniversary of Nicky Hayden’s passing.

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Custom of the week: ‘V09’ BMW R80 by Vagabund Moto

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BMW AIRHEAD CUSTOMS are like AC/DC songs: after a while, it’s hard to tell them all apart. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the style is usually pleasing to the eye.

But no one could ever accuse Vagabund Moto of following a conventional formula. Their approach is unique and their bikes buck the mainstream trend. So it’s ironic to learn that the owner of this razor-sharp R80 asked Vagabund to replicate the style of a custom R80 they finished two years ago.

Not surprisingly, builders Paul Brauchart and Philipp Rabl weren’t keen on the idea. “We don’t like to remake bikes we’ve done before,” Paul tells us. “So we suggested sketching out a concept that related to the V05—while adding some special parts.”

Paul and Philipp do their wrenching in a workshop in Graz, Austria, and do as much work as possible themselves. “We’re trying to stay a two-man operation for as long as possible,” says Paul. “We’re good friends and perfectionists. It’s hard to think about trusting someone else, or giving up our awesome workshop relationship.”

The pair started out with a relatively fresh classic tourer: a 1992 R80 RT with only 25,000 km on the dial. And thanks to BMW’s historically good build quality, there wasn’t much engine work needed.

“We took apart the engine and carbs, checked everything, and replaced the not so good parts. And then blasted and painted it.”

Getting the striking Vagabund ‘look’ meant ditching the bodywork though, apart from the fuel tank—but even that’s not quite original. The back end of the tunnel has been closed off, where the gap would normally be blocked by the bulky OEM seat.

Just behind it is a svelte new perch. Vagabund designed the tail hump digitally, then got it 3D printed. It means they could pack a ton of detail into a small space—from the multi-faceted upholstery by Christian Wahl, to the sculpted recess under the tail that hides an LED back light.

Everything sits on top of a custom-made subframe, and the main frame’s been liberated of any unneeded mounts. The rear’s now propped up by a new YSS shock. The wheels are stock, but the rear’s clad in a pair of glass fiber-reinforced plastic covers.

Up front, Vagabund shortened the forks by 60 mm, milled and powder coated the lower legs, and added a pair of fork boots. There’s a custom-made top triple clamp too, playing host to an integrated Motogadget speedo.

The handlebars are from LSL, and have been trimmed down. They wear a Grimeca master brake cylinder, a Domino clutch lever, and custom switches in a 3D-printed housing. There’s a small headlight out front, and a pair of Motogadget bar-end turn signals.

The rest of the bike’s been treated with equal consideration. It’s sporting a set of Continental ContiRoadAttack tires, K&N filters, and a Supertrapp muffler attached to the modified stock headers. And then there’s that striking livery, quite unlike any other we’ve seen, and expertly applied by Graz neighbors i-flow.

But it’s what’s missing that’s just as important: there’s no mess of wires vying for your eye’s attention. The bike’s been totally rewired, with a new diode board and two tiny Ultrabatt lithium-ion batteries, hiding under the tank.

“It’s very important to take care of every cable and braking line, and so on,” says Paul. “Even the handlebars are as clean as possible. It’s one of our biggest jobs to do a totally minimalist wiring setup, and we put a lot of work into parts that nobody ever sees.”

Despite the sano approach, this BMW is completely street legal in Austria. On top of the usual lighting, there’s a license plate bracket at the back that holds a pair of tiny Motogadget turn signals—with just the right amount of visibility to check legal boxes.

“It’s really difficult,” says Paul. “Every light has to be ECE-approved, and has to be mounted at the right angle and position. We have to examine all our builds and every point of customization with a civil engineer before we‘re able to (hopefully) pass the vehicle license authority.”

Titled ‘V09,’ this BMW leaves us thunderstuck. It hits the mark with its stance, proportions and finishes—so we’re counting it as another win for the Austrian duo.


This article first appeared on Bike Exif; It’s republished here with permission.

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