Until relatively recently it was almost impossible to use the name BMW and the word bobber in the same sentence unless it went along the lines of, ” BMW bobbers do not exist.” After all, when bobbers were originally created by restless American soldiers returning from victory in WWII, the Germans were still struggling to just survive and modifying motorcycles was not a consideration. Well that has all changed and creative minds and hands are producing stunning bobbers using boxer twin powered BMW models.
Our featured bobber is based on a midsized BMW R65 model, which was produced in this original twin shock configuration from 1978 until 1984. The horizontally opposed 648cc aircooled engine produces 50hp and a top speed of 175km/h via its 5 speed gearbox and shaftdrive.
This bobber is the fourth motorcycle belonging to Barry to be featured on Retro Write Up (Triumph,Kawasaki & Yamaha) . All four motorcycles were built in the last eighteen months and all four were built to be useable daily rides for Barry. Although this bobber looks very different to the original R65, it still retains many of its original components. The major modification is the removal of the original bolt-on subframe and the welding of the new triangular upper shock mounting plates to the frame. The original shock absorbers are retained. Barry created the new solo seat using laser cut sections.
The petrol tank off a Honda CB650C has more suitable lines for a bobber than the original BMW issue. The elimination of a front headlight, by using two small bar mounted spotlights, keeps the front end fresh and uncluttered. An unobtrusive sidemount taillight and small indicators complete the clean look. Under the wrapping, the exhaust system is as standard with shortened original silencers. Dual purpose tyres add a rugged element to this motorcycle’s unique styling.
Barry builds motorcycles with his head and his heart. His creations are never copies of googled international images and are also practical, rideable motorcycles. This being said, he asked me to mention, when occasionally one of his practical, rideable motorcycles break down, he is very grateful that Roxy, his supportive partner, is always prepared to collect him with a trailer.