By Anthony van Someren - 08 Apr 14
Having just complained that we don't get enough builds from Down Under, this lean and tasteful R65 airhead popped into our inbox from Bruce, a bike built in collaboration with Ellaspede in Brisbane. ...We'll let Bruce tell you the story in his own words. I always viewed BMW bikes as bikes for old guys, but something happened that I had no control over, I got old. Well, this isn't strictly true. I got older, that's true, but I kept seeing some cafe'd BMWs that I thought looked off beat and cool at the same time. Particularly a La Corona build off a couple years back. I also wanted a German stablemate for the BMW E21 coupe that I've owned for many years. I settled on a R65 mono, partly because I think that cafe racers should be of a modest capacity, and partly because the smaller R series bikes were a little cheaper. A 1987 R65 was found local for the right price and it was in fairly good condition I tore it down and dropped off the rolling chassis into Ellaspede with a a bunch of parts, a brief and an idea of what I wanted the finished bike to look like. They fabricated the rear subframe and battery box to suit the Nitroheads seat, took off all the unnecessary brackets and dropped the front end by 45mm by modding the top tree. They also sorted the mudguards and fabricated the headers that have 12'' Dime City Cycles stainless mufflers keeping the noise to a socially friendly level. Ellaspede are a Brisbane based shop founded by Steve and Leo who are both industrial designers, Located in the hip West end of Brisbane, they bring unique talents and unique eyes to bike builds. I actually went to school with Steve and it was only fitting to work with them on this build. I've owned many bikes, but this was to be my first custom build. Back together, everything looks right! Tear it back down and off to paint. A few mates in the auto collision industry offered to paint it for me at their shop. Over a weekend and a couple of days the Hotrod black was applied, along with the custom colour for the wheels. Back home for reassembly, then back to the shop for wiring and firing. Gearbox was rebuilt locally by a BMW fanatic, and he also found some bits and pieces for it to finish it off. From buying the bike, to finishing the build took just 8 months and I am super stoked on how it turned out. I've put over 500km on it since it's rebuild and I'm impressed by the low down grunt of the opposed twin and it's unique character. It's low, loud, and slices through the city traffic with ease. Is that Nitroheads seat comfortable? Not really. But motorcycling isn't about comfort is it? I love the minimalistic look of the mono's rear end. The fabrication work by Ellaspede is beautiful, as is the paint laid down by my good friends. Bruce looks pretty pleased with the Bavarian line-up in his garage, and rightly so. Thanks very much for sharing with all of us here at the Bike Shed Bruce. See more from Ellaspede on their website.