A couple of years ago, two fellows named Nick Rovello and Anthony LoGalbo joined forces to summon HellGate Moto in Queens, New York City.

BMW K1100LT Embraces the Cafe Racer Spirit, Becomes a Fierce One-Off Warrior

If custom BMWs happen to be your thing, you’ll be pleased to learn that fiddling with Bavaria’s two-wheeled brutes is this workshop’s main area of expertise. As you browse through the photos on their Instagram profile, you will come across a drool-worthy K1100LT with cafe racer DNA. In fact, let’s see what we’re dealing with here, shall we?

Before it got subjected to HellGate’s surgical interventions, the bike we’re featuring today was an ordinary 1995 variant from Motorrad’s touring lineup. This German predator is powered by a liquid-cooled DOHC inline-four behemoth that packs a colossal displacement of 1,092cc and sixteen valves.

When the tachometer hits 7,500 spins, the engine is perfectly capable of supplying 100 feral ponies to a five-speed transmission, which feeds the oomph to the rear wheel via a shaft final drive. On the other hand, a peak torque output figure of no less than 79 pound-feet (107 Nm) will be produced at about 5,500 rpm. This whole shebang translates to a respectable top speed of 130 mph (210 kph) and a 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) acceleration time of 4.3 seconds.

In our day and age, these figures aren’t exactly as impressive as they used to be during the ‘90s, but this Beemer is far from sluggish. Nonetheless, the laborious task of transforming BMW’s beefy ‘95 MY tourer into an agile cafe racer is still no walk in the park! Without further ado, we’ll go right ahead and examine how NYC’s HellGate managed to achieve this remarkable feat.

After discarding the bike’s factory bodywork, the duo enlisted the help of Brooklyn’s Tim Harney Motorcycles to have its subframe replaced with a one-off alternative, which tightens K1100LT’s proportions. The entire framework was then cleaned up and enveloped in a stealthy coat of gloss black paint.

Next, the Queens-based moto specialists turned their attention to the creature’s powertrain. As such, they disposed of the standard gearbox to make way for a higher-spec item, while the final drive was refurbished to ensure smooth performance. A set of top-shelf billet aluminum velocity stacks can be seen where you’d normally find the airbox, joined by a unique exhaust system and a stainless-steel aftermarket muffler on the other end of the combustion cycle.

Handling improvements are accomplished thanks to rebuilt forks and a premium piggyback shock absorber from Ohlins’ catalog, as well as new brake pads and drilled rotors. The beast rides on a pair of 17-inch forged wheels that hail from a K1100RS, both of which received grippy tires from Bridgestone.

Although the original gas tank has been retained, the same can’t be said about the remainder of K1100LT’s chunky outfit. At the rear, we spot a Twisted Brothers fiberglass tail section sitting atop the custom subframe, while the front tire is flanked by a minute fender. In terms of accessories, this bad boy comes equipped with a 7-inch Motodemic headlight unit, Vortex clip-on handlebars and an LED rear lighting strip.

The clip-ons wear Motogadget mo-View mirrors and bar-end turn signals from Rizoma. To bring about a tougher riding stance, they are appropriately complemented by rear-mounted foot pegs on the opposite end. Lastly, the tail and fuel chamber were honored with a Tungsten Silver Metallic finish from Aston Martin’s color palette.


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