A BMW K1100 “Flying Brick” Cafe Racer by Kustom Moto

This 1992 BMW K1100 has been rebuilt by the Kustom Moto team into a modern cafe racer. Unlike many vintage custom bikes, this bike will be seriously fast by modern standards thanks to its 100+hp motor, modern suspension and upgraded brakes.

Nicknamed the “flying brick”, the BMW K-series motorcycles represented a major technological breakthrough for the German company when they were first released in 1982. The K100 is powered by an inline four-cylinder engine with twin camshafts in Bosch LE-Jetronic head and fuel injection. .

Quick Facts – A BMW K1100 Cafe Racer

  • First appearing in 1982, BMW’s K-series “Flying Brick” motorcycles were far more advanced than the earlier “Airhead” opposed-twin engines used in more traditional BMW motorcycles.
  • The “Flying Brick” moniker comes from the shape of the engine, essentially a side-laying rectangular box inline-four that some said looked like a brick.
  • The impetus behind the creation of the K-series motorcycles was the growing popularity of the advanced (and popular) Japanese inline-four. BMW developed its own unique version, and it would help define the company’s direction going forward.
  • The bike you see here is a custom cafe racer version of the K1100. It has the front forks and brakes of the BMW R nineT, a Wilbers monoshock in the rear, Cerakoted headers with a titanium Akrapovic muffler and heavily modified aesthetics.

Challenge the Japanese

By the late 1970s, it was clear to BMW Motored executives that they were going to have to significantly modernize their motorcycle offerings to better compete with the growing popularity of advanced motorcycles from Japan.

Description of the imageThe BMW K-series engine is a side-mounted inline-four, the valves are on the left and the crankshaft is on the right.

Most agree that it was the release of the Honda CB750 in 1969 that triggered this change. The CB750 with its transversely mounted inline-four engine with single overhead camshaft, integrated 5-speed transmission, electric starter, front disc brake and no oil leaks was a revelation by industry standards. ‘era.

Many western motorcycle brands fumbled and failed to innovate in time to compete with the Japanese and as a result many went bankrupt or were consolidated into conglomerates.

As the 1970s progressed and Japan’s big four motorcycle manufacturers grew stronger, BMW began making plans to significantly improve its two-wheeled offerings. Inline-four engines seemed to be the way of the future, but they could not copy the vertical transverse layout used by the Japanese (though initially pioneered by the Italians).

The BMW K Series

For the K-series, BMW developed an inline four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1000 cc which was laid on its side, with the cams on the left and the crankshaft on the right. This engine layout allowed torque to be sent directly to the gearbox and from there to a shaft drive to the rear wheel, with a single 90º change of direction to route it to the rear wheel.

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Description of the imageThis bike is a good example of a modern cafe racer, it’s a 21st century version of those classic bikes ridden by the Ton Up Boys of the Ace Cafe all those years ago.

Additional benefits of this layout include its very low center of gravity and easy access to all major engine components for maintenance or repairs.

First introduced in 1982, the BMW K100 would be joined by the three-cylinder K75 in 1985, and the BMW K1 would join them both in 1988. The K-series multi-cylinder motorcycles remain in production today with BMW, including many of the most advanced models.

The BMW K1100

The BMW K1100 was introduced in 1993 as a replacement for the K100. It featured a host of upgrades over its predecessor and perhaps most importantly, its engine was 10% larger, at 1093cc from 987cc.

Both the K1100LT and K1100RS model variants were premium passenger cars aimed directly at the top of the market in Europe and the United States.

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Description of the imageThe front and rear suspensions have been completely replaced with modern units and the front brakes have been significantly upgraded, further increasing the performance capability of the bike by another 100hp.

BMW engineers had increased the bore slightly to achieve the extra scavenging ability, they also developed lighter pistons and reduced the engine’s reciprocating mass to reduce vibration and improve performance.

The suspension, aerodynamics, chassis and brakes were also similarly upgraded, some with lessons learned from the BMW K1.

In the early 1990s, there were very few sport-touring motorcycles that could compete with the K1100 series, and interestingly, BMW still remains at the top of the genre today.

The BMW K1100 Cafe Racer shown here

The K1100 you see here has been extensively modified from its original form by the team at Kustom Moto, a team that has somewhat specialized in modifying BMW K-series motorcycles over the past few years, with a number of releases to their credit. belt.

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Description of the imageThe rear subframe was cropped and a shorter single seater was installed. This is a bicycle designed to carry one person at a time.

This build began with a complete teardown, the front and rear suspensions were completely replaced, as were the brakes, and the stock bodywork was ditched in favor of a modern, minimalist look.

The new front end comes from a modern BMW R nineT, it features 55mm inverted forks mounted in bespoke triple shafts and it retains the brakes – a pair of Brembo Monobloc calipers on floating rotors.

At the rear, the stock suspension has been replaced with a modern, fully adjustable Wilbers monoshock and an additional rear disc brake makes stopping even easier. The rear subframe was cropped and a new seat fitted to match.

Up front you’ll find classic cafe racer clips and a hidden headlight behind a black grille. The front fender is carbon fiber and covers a fat Shinko Trail Master tire, there is a matching unit in the rear.

This unusual customized BMW is now offered for sale on Collecting Cars in Brighton UK, if you would like to find out more or register to bid you can visit the listing here.

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Images courtesy of Collecting Cars

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