Wild BMW R80/7 Bobber Has Fat Tractor Tires and Little Regard for Practicality

BMW R80/7 Bobber 10 photos
Photo: Upcycle Garage
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Striking a good balance between form and function is an essential part of building a custom bike that is both rad and usable for daily riding. However, it’s sometimes fun to throw the rulebook straight out the widow and come up with something wild or borderline bizarre. That’s precisely what Johnny Nguyen of Upcycle Garage did on the project shown below, basing it around some massive Firestone tractor tires.
You have, indeed, read that correctly, and the chunky rubber is just one of many striking features you’ll see throughout this bobber. As a starting point, Johnny used a BMW R80/7 from the model-year 1978, but the only Motorrad-developed parts still present here are the air-cooled 797cc boxer-twin engine, five-speed gearbox, and driveshaft. Upcycle’s first port of call was the creation of a new hardtail frame.

The rigid skeleton was built using parts of the R80’s original module, and then linked to a set of springer forks from TC Bros. In addition, the same firm supplied the front-end braking components, which are connected to a 16-inch lenticular wheel wide enough to accommodate the tractor rubber. At the back, there’s an Excel rim laced to the stock hub through Buchanan’s stainless-steel spokes.

We notice a handmade bobber-style fender placed right above it, and it’s joined by a curvy solo saddle a bit further ahead. The seat is upholstered in perforated leather and perched on a tiny shock absorber to offer a smoother ride. Center-stage, Johnny fitted a slender gas tank he’d manufactured from scratch, with a modest fuel capacity of just under 1.3 gallons (4.9 liters).

Up in the cockpit, we notice an interesting pair of bespoke handlebars placed on a billet aluminum top clamp, along with Vans x Cult grips, Kustom Tech control levers, and a digital Motogadget dial. The Upcycle treatment blessed this BMW bobber with a triangular headlamp, as well, but there’s no front fender or rear-view mirror to speak of. Moreover, some serious attention was paid to the motorcycle’s electronics.

All the wiring is brand-new, running through a Motogadget control unit and a lithium-ion battery from Antigravity. The machine saw its twin-cylinder boxer engine refurbished inside out and subsequently fitted with a stainless-steel exhaust system. Running a two-into-one configuration, the pipework ends in a Competition Werkes silencer on the right-hand side of the rear wheel.

Moving on to the final touches, our protagonist fabricated an assortment of brass fittings and bushings, then he proceeded to tackle the paint job. The bike’s rigid frame was wrapped in an understated coat of greyish blue, while its fuel tank and rear fender were finished in emerald green. On the other hand, items such as the wheels, forks, and handlebars have all been painted black to keep your eyes drawn to what truly matters here.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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