By Ross Sharp - 15 May 15
On a daily basis the Bike Shed inbox receives one or more BMW based customs. It still amazes us that there are any donor bikes left and that there's still potential to wow crowds. But that would be doing an injustice to the super talented craftspeople who are hell bent on raising the custom bar. Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last few years you'll have heard of Marcus Walz and seen his truly epic work. From the perfectly proportioned Ayrton Senna Moto Guzzi SP and Yamaha Yard Built XV950 to 300 section rear tyre Harley-Davidson beasts, a few constants remain throughout his work, primarily attention to detail, exquisite finishing. Marcus' latest project Schizzo Concept is no different. What is different though is the off-the-peg tailoring service offered by Schizzo Concept. If you've ever stepped across the threshold of a custom builder's workshop you'll be familiar with the infinite number of decisions that need to be made before you roll out on your new ride. Either that or you give the guy carte blanche to whip you up something to their taste or style. In both scenarios there can be a chance of not getting exactly what you thought you wanted. The other consideration is cost. Go with the flow and you'll need a snort of N2O along with the bill, but force the builder into a fixed price project and all the niggly little problems result in malnutrition for his children. Like a decent restaurant Marcus offers a simple menu, Roadster, Café Racer or Scrambler. >Now, stop right there! I hear your mind whirring. This isn't just an attempt to bang out some donors to a tried and tested formula and benefit from economies of scale. The bikes all start as Monolever R80s from 1984 - 1995, before being completely stripped bare. The engines are disassembled and given a proper going over, gas flowed cylinder heads, a balanced crank, new rods and pistons, race-spec cams and valves, brought to life by an electronic ignition system; this isn't just a Scothbrited engine case. 800cc gives 60hp and an 80hp 1000c Siebenrock version is also available. Power hungry customers can enter into a different discussion at this point. SC-Project from Milano have produced a batch of handmade race exhausts, specific to the project, and from the look of that big circlip the entire baffle looks removable, we like that. The front end is nearly all new, only the original fork lower legs remain, stripped and powder coated obviously. Brake calipers are NOS Brembo twin piston units and grip a pair of floating, drilled rotors. Don't recognise the triple clamp? That's because it's been machined from high grade aluminium. The eagle eyed of you will note the brake line running through the headstock nut, rather trick. The super clean cockpit is thanks to fellow German's Motogadget and LSL, but flying the flag for good old Blighty is Renthal who really seem to be the handlebar of choice for most builds we feature. Fenders are hand rolled from ally sheet and powder coated satin black along with the wheels. On this scrambler version Continental TKC 80s are fitted but there is an Avon or traditional Firestone option available on the Café and Roadster. A brand new subframe has been made on a jig using the same tube diameter as the main structure, giving a chunky and cohesive look. It's also welded rather than bolted on. The shock mount is relocated further back, in a more vertical plane allowing for a modified Ducati shock absorber to be used. Amateur upholsterers look away now. The wider section subframe tubing provides a teutonic looking pedestal for the exquisitely stitched saddle. Every part of this bike has been thought through, not just for aesthetic outcome but also the rider interface. Scrotums won't be slipping under that fuel tank under heavy braking. So you get the picture, this is a seriously well engineered vehicle designed to be replicated, which has an additional benefit. How often do you see a wonderful custom and wonder how major components and wiring seem to disappear? These parts are sometimes so well hidden that general inspection and maintenance can be problematic, and expensive further down the line. You can be sure Marcus has thought of such situations and over-engineered accordingly. Despite the batch production, 150 hours goes into each bike, do the maths on that and you know your not looking at a cheap bike but remember what your grandad told you; "buy cheap, buy twice". This particular bike is not for sale, it's the demonstrator model #001 which you can take for a spin prior to laying down a deposit. The only caveat being that you'll need to be near the Motorrad Meile Mannheim exhibition space, and have a good poker face as Marcus isn't going to let any old tool take his hard work for a blast. Production has begun with the aim of 12 bikes per year, the 2015 order book is already full and deliveries are expected no earlier than May 2016. Initial sales were off the back of some sketches and not even a finished bikes, such is the respect Marcus has within circles of those in the know. Most orders were for a Scrambler, hence #001 being built as such but customers are now starting to tick the Café and Roadster box on the order form. If you like what you see then there's a host of other info and specs over on the Schizzo website and if you're not convinced by my waxing lyrical above check out the WalzWerk Racing Facebook page.