Not your average army green
We have had a number of army men building bikes in the past. Last year we had Chris Roffey who brought us his Yamaha XJR 1300 as well as Daniel Martin and his Honda CB500T. Both servicemen are from the United Kingdom and built bikes had an army look ‘roughness’ to them.
The 1985 BMW K100RT that Joel Rosado is presenting us with has much more smoothness to it. Joel has an education in industrial chemistry and works in the US Air Force Satellite Communications division.
With the builder being born in Cayey, Puerto Rico we understand why this bike has a more silky smooth touch to it, rather than the ‘battle ready’ machines from his colleagues at the other side of the Atlantic.
A new home
The donor vehicle (picture below story) was found online in Sandisfield Massachusetts and changed ownership for $ 3.200. Over the course of the project another $ 3.000 was spend to come to the result we present you with in this article.
The bike was completely disassembled the first day arrived at Joel’s home in Puerto Rico. Without a test ride or engine pre-check our man just started off building it into a café racer. Every component from the motorcycle was disassembled, even to its most simple part, brass brushed, sand blasted, polished, painted or powder coated.
All broken parts were replaced with genuine ones, “failure is not an option in this project” Joel says.
His inspiration for the built came from Trevor ‘Ditstang’ Ditson whom Joel had been following on Instagram. With the bikes of this fellow builder in mind, the protagonist of this story lighted his blowtorch and started operating on the donor vehicle. Nice detail in this story is the help and advice Trevor provided any time Joel came across issues he could not resolve on his own. That’s what shed building should be all about; helping each other out in creating magnificent projects.
When we talk to Joel he explains: “I have always been looking for something new and unique to create I started searching what café racers really are all about. Digging on Instagram I spent hours every day to find which one of all different styles fills my expectations.
After all this research I found the astonishing BMW K100 “The Flying Brick” built by Ditstang. The first time that I saw it I got this I got this weird itch. I knew that I just wanted to uild that bike right away.
So I contacted him and right from the start of the build he has always been there to help me with this project. It is something that I never going to take full credit for it because this is for a large part his creation too.”
The rear suspension came from a 2005 Yamaha R1. Its length gives the BMW the damping our builder was looking for to satisfy his personal craving. For the front end he stayed a bit closer to the birthplace of the bike, as the forks of a 2014 BMW S1000R are now leading the way and give the bike an amazing handling.
Our Puerto Rican friend is especially proud of the personal touch he added by figuring our how to fit the original wheel into the S1000R forks. A custom axle and rotors spacers had to be fabricated in order to complete this task.
Puerto Rico being an island, there is water all around you. Blue is a dominating colour whenever you are at the outer edge. The magnificent blue tone of the BMW pays homage to the place it was given a second life. ‘Santorini blue’ not only matches the surrounding sea, but the golden forks as well.
Three times a charm
With every build there is always that special moment when you fill up the gas tank and press the starter button. You can only hope everything you thought of works as intended. We firmly believe that this is probably the most magical moment any builder can think of.
It took three pushes on the button to make this baby blue bike growl to life. As it did a broad smile appeared on Joel’s face which only got broader when he climbed onboard for the first ride.
That is very likely to be the second most magical moment after finishing a project. Riding your bike and finding out how it handles in real life. Joel describes his experience as follows: “Riding this bike is stunning! It feels like a racing car with sport suspension bouncing up and down. Exactly as I had envisioned it.”