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When I started with BikeBrewers back in 2015, I never realized that the custom motorcycle scene would become such an interesting world for me. I met a lot of great people around Europe and made new friends. Finding cool builds still is one of the biggest challenges for me, since I don’t want to be some kind of rip off of the respected sites like Bike EXIF and Pipeburn. So I stay in touch with a lot of builders and try to find cool bikes and stories to publish. I also never realized that one of the best BMW café racers was built by a guy that literally lives 100 meters away from me. My dad mentioned that one of his former classmates is a beloved BMW restorer. My did didn’t see him for years, so this was a great opportunity to reach out. He goes by the name Gerrit Tijssen and is a well-known guy around the BMW scene. Me and my dad visited his cozy workshop earlier this year.
In the first minute we realized that we discovered something special. Gerrit just finished his interpretation of a BMW cafe racer, the bike you see here. In its original form it is a BMW R100, but noting much original left of it. He upgraded the engine with some rare Krauser 4-valve headers, used a custom “Becks” frame and a monoshock conversion (with a Hagon shock). The front brake is also unique: a 250mm magnesium Fontana mounted on a Ceriani fork. The engine is placed a little higher to make sure nothing hits the ground when the rider pushes the bike to its limits (yes, it is a racer after all).
Slightly bigger bore, but 18mm shorter cylinder were placed which gives the engine 1015cc’s. The custom-made exhaust where routed along the left side and megaphone mufflers produce a brutal sound.
To keep it as clean as possible, a Motogadget control unit and buttons are used. In order to give the bike the typical cafe racer look, he created a custom fairing and bodywork around the gas tank.
Of course, beauty is very subjective and personal. But if you add it all up: the low, flat stance, fairing/bodywork, the rare parts that are used, the double headlight, the one-sided exhaust system and the amazing engineering on this bike I can only say: it is a beautiful piece of work.
Gerrits BMW Cafe Racer won several prizes on shows around The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Awarding the one-off design, amazing eye for detail and craftsmanship. You can see that every little detail is thought over (and over). A priceless build that deserves an audience.