Fuel R65 Racer
By Ross Sharp - 19 Mar 15
Fuel Motorcycles are better known for their off-road orientated customs and dune-bashing adventures across the Sahara but one thing remains relatively constant for them, utilising the BMW R-series as a donor. Jorge, owner of this 1986 R65 Monolever, lives near the Fuel HQ in Barcelona so gave founder and owner Karles Vives artistic freedom on this Racer project. Jorge asked for a bike with the usual Fuel MCs attention to detail and finish, but without knobbly tyres. He also needed to look sharp riding to work in a suit and tie, in a year-round distinguished and gentlemanly manner. As is often the case with well looked after boxer engines, age doesn't always necessitate a rebuild. Thankfully, the 650cc twin was in fine fettle and required little more that a thorough service and tun-up to enable smooth running on the more open pipes and velocity stacks. The stock tank has been superseded by one form a Laverda 750SFC, giving a clean bone line and a sophisticated overall shape. The paint colour was influenced by Eleanor from the film Gone in 60 seconds. Remember it? The loud and lairy Shelby Mustang GT500. An elegant and super clean cockpit features a single BMW tacho, speed limits being something to adhere to through experience, guesswork or perhaps not at all, leaving that for others to worry about. A stealthy Motogadget starter button sits just below the dial, slick. The relatively slack head angle of the R-series chassis can dampen attempts to add a racy look, often combatted by fitting a fairing. Karles decided to get all creative and modified the tacho housing to accept a Biltwell bubble visor. On paper this sounds like a dubious concept, but here in practice it works, allowing a high power headlight unit to hide away slightly out of sight. A classic race car influenced leather seat and bum pad is an in-house affair and well executed, fitted to a sleek tail unit. A single Hagon shock and progressive springs up front are calibrated for the reduced weight and should improve handling over stock. Heidenau K65 are a decent modern tyre, with a classic tread pattern; so a pair are fitted to the black-powered wheels. We're sincerely hoping that this break from routine is repeated in the Fuel workshops as sophisticated builds like this are welcome in the 'Shed anytime. Karles will build and ship to anywhere in the world so get in touch via the website and keep up with current projects on Facebook. In the meantime, come and see this bike on display at Bike Shed Paris, April 11-12th 2015. Photos by Pere Ferrer.