Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

(See the feature first posted at BikeEXIF.com by its editor and publisher, Chris Hunter, who has his finger on the pulse of today’s global custom and classic motorcycle scene.) 

Old stock BMW airheads catch our eye. We dig their unique profiles and opposed-cylinder power plants, but also recognize their potential as even more unique customs. Below is a feature penned by Chris Hunter of BikeEXIF.com about one of our Good Spark Garage bikes: Casey Wilkinson’s 1976 BMW R75/6.

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

1970s-era BMW airheads respond well to the cafe racer treatment. But you don’t often see one with a mono-shock conversion. This 1976 R75/6 is owned by graphic designer Casey Wilkinson of the motorcycle-mad Wilkinson Brothers, and he spotted it at the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. Despite having 100,000 miles on the clock, Casey bought it, and started drawing up a racy profile for his new acqusition. He mocked up a subframe and swingarm with quarter-inch steel round bar, and shaped a new tailpiece with insulation foam board.

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

This served as a template and guide for metal fabricator Cliff Meyer of Meyerbuilt Metalworks. Cliff stayed true to the mock-up, but carefully addressed each mounting point and joint, improving the overall strength and fitment. His hand-formed aluminum tailpiece is a work of art.

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

“The goal of this project was to compensate for a limited budget with elbow grease and creativity,” says Casey. So the foot controls are made from bicycle freestyle pegs and hand-cut aluminum flat stock, finished with plumbing nipples for the toe pegs. The rear shock is from a Suzuki GSX-R750 and the headlight rock guard is an aftermarket MG auto part, fastened to the bucket with springs. The stock motor chugs away with shorty Dunstall-style mufflers and K&N pod filters. It’s a daily rider with more of a flickable-fun persona than its original touring stance.

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

For a temporary solution, an old motorcycle jacket serves as the seat cover. The tailpiece houses a teensy lithium ion battery, and the top fork brace was CNC’d by ToasterTan Custom Braces. The logo “Good Spark Garage” comes from the Wilkinson Brothers’ moto-culture blog (which is highly recommended). “If we had more equipment and time, perhaps Wilkinson Bros could evolve into a custom bike shop,” Casey wonders.

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

He’s off to a good start with this BMW cafe racer; hopefully we’ll see more customs from the Wilkinson Brothers in the future. –Chris Hunter, editor and publisher of BikeEXIF.com

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

Wilkinson Bros BMW Cafe Racer

At Good Spark, we utilize what tools we have, take our projects as far as our skill-sets allow before calling on craftsmen. Yep, perhaps Wilkinson Bros could evolve into a custom bike shop; that’d be great. In the meantime, we have a lot of good friends/craftsmen to lean on. They help us achieve exactly what our minds and pencils conceptualize, rather than stopping short of a goal. When all is complete, we then ride the heck out of our bikes.

© Photos by Wilkinson Brothers, Inc.

To see another Wilkinson Bros / Meyerbuilt Metalworks collaboration, see the Wilkinson Bros Kawasaki W650 Cafe Racer here.

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23 Responses to Wilkinson Bros BMW R75/6 Cafe Racer

  1. Mule says:

    Nice work! Keep it up!

    • corey says:

      Thanks, Mule. That’s a great compliment coming from ya. We really dig your work. We’re keeping things simple, pluggin’ away and enjoying the ride. –GSG

  2. justeelona says:

    very good control . love the bike like hell !

  3. Eric Schilling says:

    Wonderful work, my helmet if doffed to you good sir. I’m going to keep an eye out for what I expect to be an amazing build on that Titan.

  4. Brian says:

    This bike is so tastefully executed. If I closed my eyes and imagined a classic BMW cafe in 2012 I think it would end up looking exactly like this. Great work.

  5. TINK says:

    Nice /6!
    I’ve got a 1979 R100 project bike that I’m cleaning up, nothing like yours though, just a simple “S” conversion.
    http://www.photosbytink.com/bmw/
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=684054

  6. George Martin says:

    Hi Corey, nice looking beemer! Like this new Good Spark Garage thing you have going on too. I too will be interested in your Suzuki T500 project. I rode a 75′ model for 4 years.

  7. Adam Ratcliff says:

    The custom work on the top triple tree is SWEET!

  8. Ha, spotted you on keystone last week. I was in my alpine white e30(bronze wheels). Keep up the great work! Maybe we’ll be able to do a collaboration in the near future guys?
    Cheers,
    -Brandon @ Secret Service Cycles

  9. Cory K says:

    did you modify the swing arm to adapt to the rear shock or is that the basic frame? love how you did that and just want to figure out how you went about it on this model. Awesome job on the bike its one of my favorites.

  10. matthias says:

    hi, i am in the process of finalizing my R100S-to-cafe-racer conversion and love your bike; after having seen your BMW i got myself dunstall mufflers :-) – can you help me with the extension pipes you fitted in front of the mufflers and where to get the nicely crafted cover for closing the original air filter assembly ? thxs a lot in advance !

    • casey says:

      Hey Matthias. The extensions were made from an XS650 exhaust we had laying around. I took about a 7″ section of tubing from them and welded it to the new muffler. It was a quick mod :) Regarding the airbox cover…there are a few options. Check out boxercafe.com and cafebeemer.com.au for covers they offer. Here’s how I built mine from sheet metal. Good luck! -GSG

      • matthias says:

        hi casey, most helpful, thxs; i will copy your cover work (if i may ;-)), yours is the best cover i have seen around; for pipe extensions i will look for V2A tube pieces and fit them to the mufflers with clamps, probably; thank you very much !

  11. John Nixon says:

    Best BMW cafe racer I’ve ever seen. Maybe even the best cafe acre I’ve ever seen. And that includes the one I’m building at the moment!

  12. John Power says:

    Hi Casey- all I can say is WOW! Definitely my idea of a perfect Airhead cafe- I am currently building up a 74 R/75 and would love to learn more about that monoshock conversion. Willing to share any info?

    JP

  13. jon millard says:

    Can you tell me more about the monoshock that you fabbed up and or photos, Jon

  14. James Moon says:

    Just revisiting this beauty, can’t get it out of my head. DAT MONOSHOCK CONVERSION!
    Could you send me the details also along with the details of which vital organs you’ll take in exchange for the bike.

  15. Mike Hughes says:

    My wife is standing at the kitchen island looking through the open door to my office. The room is dark except for the glow of the computer screen. There I sit, my cappuccino growing cold, hunched forward, oblivious to anything other than the pictures on the screen. She’s perfect, flawless, sleek yet well rounded, sexy yet strong, the object of my dreams! (What the F_ _ _ are you drooling over!) she blurts out. Hu, oh, err, it’s Casey Wilkinson’s BMW I say. Yeh right. No Really it is. You guys are a bad influence. Keep up the good work!

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