By Anthony van Someren - 18 Oct 13
Some of the most popular builds on The Bike Shed are bikes like Boris Moretti's 1983 R65 Brat (ish) build. The rugged engine, tank and frame of the R series beemer has been etched into our collective subconscious as the simple mechanical heart of a range of custom builds from cafe racers to scramblers and even the odd bobber, but it's the leanest of these builds that seem to bring out the best of the bike. Chassis parts are all black, including the cast wheels which blend seamlessly into the fat tyres. These 1980s pattern wheels are much less sought after than wire spoked wheels or the snowflakes from the late 70s, but in all black they look great. High scrambler bars and the tiny Bates headlight shrink the bulk of the tank and with the shortie fenders at the front and rear they all conspire together to give the the look of a relative lightweight. Boris lives in the south of France and teaches French to foreigners. He loves old bikes and old cars, riding around on a 1956 Peugeot 176 TC4, a Honda Bol d'Or cb 1100 and he's been driving his 1973 Suzuki Vanvan to work in every day for the last seven years. Boris had always fancied building himself a bobber, so he saved some money and picked up a Honda CB450 but it was beyond salvage. Fortunately his mission to build a custom bike was rescued by his friend Crikou who found this "really ugly" BMW R65 LS for just 950 Euros and offered the use of his garage, his tools and even a helping hand. Crikou is a former mechanic and retired firefighter, and obviously very useful, so he and Boris worked together on the bike every weekend for five months. To describe how they worked together I really have to quote Boris directly, as he puts it better then I ever could... "I had ideas, two left hands and a lot of determination" ... "and he is the expert with fingers of fairies, a great mechanic and sculptor. He has ideas and know-how out of the ordinary, ...I was his disciple." 'Nuff said" The donor is a 1983 BMW R65 1983. Its frame was shortened by 10cm at the rear and looped to accommodate the flat scrambler/brat seat. The headlight is a Bates, with LSL upswept bars. The tank comes from an R80RT painted in Kawasaki Green with a Gorilla logo as the badge, simply because Boris loves Gorillas. And why not. The exhaust was upgraded, engine seals sorted, the airbox replaced for a metal one, new lights and indies added, and the cast wheels wear chunky Avon tyres. It's a simple build, but it just looks right. No fuss, no fancy bits, just a lean, mean, green-machine, built to ride, and looking splendid against this azure blue sky. Great work Boris and Crikou, and thanks for sharing with all of us on The Bike Shed. It makes me want another Beemer. Again.