As I write this Kris Reniers of Deep Creek Cycle Works will be loading his van and heading from his home in Belgium to France for the first instalment of Bike Shed Paris. You might think from these images, and the 15 bikes he’s previously built, that Kris is a pro-builder spending his days with and angle grinder in hand. Not so, he has a normal, full-time job like the rest of us and fits in tool time once the sun has gone down for the day.
Despite having such build list behind him, this is Kris’ first foray with the Bavarian boxer, not initially an engine configuration that inspires him. This donor started out life as a 1980 R100RS and after 35 years was in pretty bad shape. Kris wanted a sturdy, reliable bike to ride to the pub on a Sunday, head out for the day with his mates and generally look good whilst wearing a suit at the DGR; hence the name of this project The Distinguished Gentleman.
Kris wanted a more stylish aestheic from arguably a more sophistatcated period in time but buying an R60/2 frame would have blown the budget so he fabricated a subframe to the same dimensions and welded it on, enabling the retro plunger shocks to be fitted.
Cylinders poking out ahead of your shins is a tried and tested showcase of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it engineering, but as a design it could be described as a bit clunky. Kris has tried to rebalance this by adding some asymmetry and filling the gap between tank and engine. A somewhat Dakar-esque addition was fabricated for the right hand side of the fuel tank adding capacity and a visual distraction.
The left side is taken care of by a pretty large spotlight on an outrigger. The yellow tinted glass is a popular mod these days and a throwback to Europe a few decades ago so Kris carried this over to the mini screen, mounted to a Manx style nose fairing. The dash is a pretty simple setup relying on the trusty Motogadget digital speedo for the necessary info.
Obviously it’s no use going to this much trouble without putting some time into the mechanicals, so Kris gave the beemer a full overhaul, front to back, replacing worn out components, seals, bearings and gaskets as he went.
To finish the tank and break up the large expanse of gloss black knee pads were added in brown leather to match the seat. The in-house fabricated seat floats above the rear-end at a sportier height than the bobber style suspension set-up suggests.
Kris has really enjoyed this build and has now changed his mind about the venerable BMW boxer. Although he’s enjoying the weekends on the Distinguished Gentleman, something tells us he’ll be searching for another project real soon. Check out Kris’ other work on Facebook or head to Bike Shed Paris this weekend, April 11-12th and see for yourself.