Just as the stock BMW R Series is surely about to become extinct thanks to ever wilder and more creative builds there still remains an appetite for a more simple look. Perhaps this brat-café style could be called traditional. Anyway, what’s not traditional is the origin of this bike, Austria. A nation not so often associated with customs in recent years but NCT Motorcycles was born out of an unbridled passion to turn a hobby into a business.
Founder David Widmann worked in steel manufacturing for five years prior to setting up NCT in a humble 30 square metre workshop in Kärnten, which recently grew to a much larger facility and in 2016 the launch party of this new building attracted over 1000 guests. 35 bikes later, including some standout showstoppers, David and his team are flat out – Mario (workshop manager & mechanic), Manuel (panel beater & bodyshop), Philipp (painter & panel beater) and Felix (Marketing & Organization). This summer the guys came to Bike Shed London 2017 with two stunning builds and we’re expecting to see a lot more from them soon.
But it’s not all whiz-bang show ponies, NCT customers often just want a clean and neat conversion, like this R 100 RT from 1995, found by the owner on German eBay. These days pro shops don’t take chances and usually always strip everything right back to basics – bearings out of frames and engine cases split. So that’s what this example was subjected to.
In a slight change from the dead-flat seat of bratted boxers an angled subframe was formed and welded into place, rather than the easier bolt-on approach. The saddle is upholstered in proper leather and features an all important lip at the front to cloak the considerable gap under the stock fuel tank.
The engine is of course fully rebuilt but left in a standard state of tune, 60hp from the lazy litre airhead provides plenty of shove for this customer’s requirements. And with a load of weight lost courtesy of a bunch of stock parts being removed it’ll go way better, and a mean looking coating of black paint is worth at least 20hp. The headers are stock but the mufflers NCT’s own work for an angrier soundtrack. The forks and calipers have been rebuilt and a YSS monoshock smoothes out the ride. The customer owns a well known car and motorcycle tyre shop so wanted to run the now very traditional Firestone Deluxe Champions.
Nearly all customers these days request a full rewire to avoid side-of-the-road frustration and the obvious choice is Motogadget’s tried and tested M-Unit system – as fitted here to control the LED indicators and minimal switchgear, mounted to LSL clipons. The speedo is a simple all-in-one from T&T.
Not ground breaking admittedly but that’s the point, not all customers want to ride a wow, look at me machine. In just a couple of years NCT have built a strong business with a long list of happy punters. We’ll no doubt see more from them on these pages soon and at Bike Shed London 2018 next May.
Photos by Peter Pegam