Re-listed after non-paying buyer! Carpe Diem!
For sale is one of the most properly sorted BMW cafe racers you’re likely to come across. If I were to list out all of the work/details that went into this bike, I’d be here all night…and would still inevitably miss a ton. Having said that, here goes nothing!
This is NOT one of the hacked together BMW cafe racers that seem to be a common practice lately. I had originally intended to keep this bike for a long time, and planned the project accordingly, not cutting any corners and only sourcing the highest quality parts for the job from Revival Cycles, Cognito Moto, Walzwerk Cycles, and 485 Designs. When I started this project, pre-pandemic…(about two years ago now, yikes)… my goal was to build my version of the classic BMW airhead that I always wanted growing up, adding as many modern features as possible without comprising its original character of the bike. When it came time to select the specific model for the project, there was only one option as far as I was concerned and that was a Monolever R80, it’s hard to beat the combination of arguably one of the best all around airhead engines ever produced and the signature single-sided shock that the later models have come to be known for. The donor bike was a single-owner, immaculately maintained R80S, and I have all original manuals, and service records.
Over recent years, I’ve followed and admired the work that Walzwerk Cycles in Germany has done with so many of these bikes. In fact, they may have been part of the reason that it was so hard to track down a nice example! Regardless, while I admire their work a great deal, I was always a little bothered by the fact that they didn’t offer any modern suspension or brake upgrades, particularly for the price that they are commanding at a starting point. As a rider in Colorado, I’ve found that the brakes on these bikes can be lacking. In comes Cognito Moto out of Richmond, VA, and their recently released conversion kit for the later model BMW’s! The kit allows for the swapping out of the 80’s brakes/forks with modern forks and some wildly useful big Brembos taken from a GSXR. (They also supplied the headlight, but we’ll get to that later.) These forks in particular were taken off a donor with barely 1k miles on it. All of the bearings, cables, controls, fluids have been replaced. The front end also features custom top triple, Tommaselli clip ons, Domino throttle, and Motogadget controls.
Another area that I thought could use some TLC was the electrical system, so we rewired it and gave it bluetooth, because…Why not? In comes the “m-Unit Blue”, brought to us by the mad scientist’s over at Motogadget. In their own words, it’s “the heart of the entire on-board electrical system”. It gives this classic Beemer bluetooth capabilities, and packs an unbelievable amount of tech into a tiny package with a footprint smaller than the average smartphone. At its core, a solid-state micro controller and fuse block replacement manages the bike’s vital functions while providing a self-correcting monitoring system for electrical faults. In addition, it offers scores of other features, while simplifying the system by replacing loose relays and modules with programmable solid state components that also provides superior performance and long term reliability that some of the older components are lacking. These are the features/programmable options available, per Motogadget.
Complete replacement for the fuse box. 10 independent circuits are digitally monitored and switched off if there are faults. After the fault is rectified, the safety function is automatically reset. Integrated alarm system. Integrated, digital flasher relay that is load-independent; automatic switch-off optional and can be set Integrated hazard warning light. Turn signal can optionally be set as a positioning light. Integrated parking light and headlight flashing. Lo-beam and Hi-beam. Integrated, digital brake light modulator; and flashing mode can be programmed. Acceleration-controlled emergency brake light (automatic warning signal). Integrated starter relay for the starter system with solenoid (up to 30 A switched capacity). Intelligent and configurable management/switch-off of power consuming devices so that the maximum starting energy from the battery can be used when starting the motorbike. Integrated, digital horn relay. Two configurable additional outputs AUX1 and AUX2. Diagnostics function for assigning inputs, outputs, the circuit switching status, short circuit diagnostics etc. Calibration and current measurement enables faults to be detected on all lamps.
One more thing, relating to the m-Unit…and probably my favorite feature…is the key. More accurately the “lack” of a key. The m-Unit allows for the use of a keyfob which utilizes their Secure Encrypted “Keyless Go” function allowing you to turn on the bike’s ignition with a tap of the start button while the fob is in range, you can even set up to register when your phone is within proximity to serve as a key, if you’d prefer. Point is, tons of stuff to play with.
The lighting has all gotten the seam treatment, particularly the headlight and turn signals.
The headlight was provided by the gents over at Cognito Moto, and it’s actually a projector LED headlight system. They created a beautiful reflector made from aluminum, surrounding a top notch Morimoto LED projector. You want to talk about a night and day difference in night visibility? This is it! However, the best part is not only is it extremely functional, but thanks to the care and attention to detail on the part of the guys over at Cognito Moto, it’s also beautiful. So beautiful, that it blends in almost seamlessly until it catches your eye, in a good way…a really good way. The turn-signals are as discrete as it gets, tucked perfectly into the bar ends of the Tommaselli clip ons which were supplied and modified to accommodate the LED turn signals by Revival Cycles out of Austin, TX. They are some of the best in the biz and were an invaluable resource both with the parts they provided, as well as the knowledge that they make readily available to anyone that bothers to ask.The signals are incredibly visible from all angles, and the package is all tied together by a LED brake light tucked discretely under the tail, keeping true to the “less is more” theme. However, if you would like to add turn signals to the rear as well, there are mounting points on the subframe that will accommodate them.
Speaking of the rear, that brings me back to Walzwerk. Not only did they provide some inspiration, but they were also gracious enough to provide me with one of their hand-built subframes, and seats. The proportions, lines, craftsmanship, and attention to detail of their work truly speak to the kind of outfit they have going over there. The new rear-sets not only improve the riding position, but add another beautiful touch to the look and character of the bike with their stainless and bronze components. The tank is one thing that I always planned on leaving untouched, and untouched it remains with the exception of the new stainless Monza gas cap. The wheels have been freshly powder coated, with the bearings replaced and are wrapped in some good ole Firestone “Deluxe Champions” say what you will about them, but one thing is for sure…they look fantastic.
Last but most certainly not least, the guys over at 485 Designs located out of Denver, CO helped tie it all together by not only creating the exhaust system(s), but also handled the electrical system overhaul, masterfully integrating the m_unit and new controls seamlessly. They worked in conjunction with Cognito Moto to ensure that the front-end conversion went off without a hitch, handling the install of the front end, clip ons, controls, and gave the bike a full check-up changing all fluids, fresh oil, fresh gaskets, fresh Lithium battery, the works!
I also have photos of this project from beginning to end, which I would be happy to pass on to the next owner. You might notice in the photos that there are two different exhaust systems. Long story short, we couldn’t make up our minds so I’ll be including BOTH exhaust systems with the bike so that the next owner can choose whichever one they prefer. Currently, the bike has the 2-2 system on it. They are both works of art on their own, so you certainly can’t go wrong either way. the guys over at 485 Designs are true artists when it comes to custom builds, welding, and making top notch exhaust systems.
Well, there ya have it. I’ve been here all night, and like I said, I am bound to have missed a few things…but that should give you a pretty good idea. This is the one. She’s a fresh build, totally turn key (or fob), purrs like a kitten (closer to roars like a lion), offering improved safety and reliability akin to a modern bike, on an iconic classic BMW base. You’d be hard pressed to find a better example, let alone with the sheer amount of care and attention to detail that went into this project. While I hate to let it go, I know that there is someone out there that is going to look at this bike and feel the same way about it as I do, but will actually be able to enjoy it to its fullest.
Having said that, if it doesn’t sell…i’m just going to roll it into my living room and display it as art.
Please buy with confidence and feel free to ask any questions. I have sold multiple motorcycles on eBay over the past ten years and take my feedback very seriously!
If your are local, you’re more than welcome to stop by to check her out! I would also be happy to arrange a virtual walk around, and can send videos upon request.
Feel free to shoot me a text at 954-683-4956 with any questions or if you would like to see a walk around video of it running!
The bike is also being listed locally, so I reserve the right to end the auction at any time. Open to offers, but let’s be reasonable.
Buyer is responsible for shipping, however, I would be happy to assist in any way that I can!