By Anthony van Someren - 28 Jun 13
Our Kevils features are normally prompted by Kev Hill & his crew turning out a new build, but this lovely cafe racer came to our attention in Biarritz at Wheels & Waves, and is owned by Jamie Ireson who had ridden it there all the way from the UK with one of our favourite photographers, Merry Michau - who took these lovely photos. Jamie is already knee-deep in the bike business. He works for RBKustoms in Coolham, West Sussex (which, weirdly, was where I grew up and went to school). The company is owned by Russell Brown and they do all the fabrication for Warrs Harley Davidson, and for private clients. Jamie's role is to help Russ come up with the concepts for each build, and he does all the CAD drawings, as he was an F1 engineer for many tears. Russ is the king of welding. Jamie has been riding bikes since the dawn of time (he reckons) and loves all types of two wheeled machine, owning a few, including a Lambretta, MV Augusta, Yamaha XS650. He also had a custom Harley which he unfortunately wrote-off. Jamie had planned to take his custom XS650 to Wheels & Waves (brave man - clearly immune to hours of vibration) but it wasn't quite finished so he needed a sensible steed for the trip and came across the R80 cafe racer on ebay. At the time he didn't know it was a Kevils build, but he was seduced anyway. Any of you who have ridden a R-series Beemer will know that it takes a while to get accustomed to, but once you get the hang of the handling and learn to ride the torque instead of the rpm they quickly become favourites. Easy to ride and enjoyable in most situations from city streets to country blasts. Jamie took a while to get used to it too, but like the rest of us he's been won over, and best of all it's a BMW which he knows will start on the button and run for many trouble free miles, and at last, Jamie is on-trend too. Bonus. In Jamie's own words: "I get so many thumbs up when I'm out people really seem to like these bikes. I'm aware there's a great revival of the R80 at the moment. You can pick one up for around £1500, a great bike to mess with or just to ride." It might cost you a bit more than that to get a Kevils BMW custom built, but Jamie's dead right that the R-series Beemers are much under estimated by many people, and it's still one of the most affordable street bikes out there - even as a pro build.