UMC-047 Blau Black
By Ross Sharp - 22 Sep 17
Untitled Motorcycles London branch have been refining their airhead recipe over for a good few years now and customers still like what's being served up - clean and simple Beemers that don't break the bank or attempt to be something they're not. Adam Kay and his team refine the process with every build which appeals to folk wanting a useable custom whilst maintaining a classic air. Felix Weber, a German chef plying his trade in London, is one such biker who's unfazed by the more radical brat/tracker/scramblers of the moment, preferring a timeless look and feel. He's clearly a traditional chap as this BMW R80/7 was bought from a Bonhams auction rather than the usual eBay. For starters the Bavarian twin has been completely refreshed and given a full rebuild - not just a valve clearance check and new oil like some custom shops we've heard about. The transmission too, that's received new bearings, bushes, gaskets and seals courtesy of UMC's in-house chief technician Rex. Stock Bing carbs remain but have been ultrasonically cleaned and refurbished, running original intakes and air filter assembly. The cases have been blasted and then hand finished with a wire brush for a vintage feel. Headers are stainless and brand spanking new, mated to a pair of silencer destined for a Laverda 650F2, with a bit of jiggery pokery. UMC pride themselves on having all the necessary skills on hand to build a bike from start to finish. Anita Chatelan has spun so many BMW looms with Motogadget trinkets on the ends that she could do it with her eyes closed. Felix's bike now has all-new, super neat wiring, hidden from sight where possible. Posh switches mounted to the Renthal bars are powered by internally routed wiring and an underslung Oddessy battery, supported by a tray from UMC's own range of prats.
Felix wanted his bike to be compatible with the stringent TÜV back home in Germany, a test that makes our MOT seem like an Egyptian driving test, so a proper E-marked Bosch lamp sits in UMC's own headlight bowl and the speedo is a Smiths retro looking but modern type, calibrated for Kms. Larger mounting ears from a BMW R75/5 were required to support the headlamp assembly and a pair of Motogadget's piercingly bright M-blaze indicators are spliced in. The ignition now lives below Felix's bum, leaving the cockpit super tidy and reminiscent of a time before plastic switchgear and ugly plastic wire shrouding.
Control cables are made to fit in the old fashioned way using brass nipples and solder, operated by 70s style levers which arrived black but have been blasted bare and embellished with brass adjustors. The throttle is a single cable type from a Brit classic, running to a splitter under the tank, alongside the braided brake lines are fed by a cable-to-hydraulic master cylinder. The fork legs have been wire brushed and tickled with a Scotchbrite pad for an aged look.
The traditional mudguards look splendid with an off-white pinstripe and should keep the rainophobic keyboard warriors on social media at bay. The matching tank is equally resplendent, painted in a blue black from one of BMW's recent cars. A Monza cap takes the edge off any perceived modernity.
Niko Kartampanis is the man behind fabrication at UMC, relieving much of the build headaches for Adam. The subframe is an in-house piece and 3/4 length giving plenty of room for a pillion without looking like a surfboard. Brushed shrouds on the Hagon classic shocks are fresh off the production line (made just down the road from the Bike Shed in Essex) yet appear to be from decades earlier. The saddle is by Glen Moger who was instructed to make an overly strong pillion strap to keep the TÜV man happy. Germans don't like to hug it seems.
Black powder coated rims, stainless spokes and classic Avons, Speedmaster MKII front and Safety Mileage rear, suit the build perfectly and complete the blend of retro and contemporary.
Adam and team UMC London have delivered on brief yet again, it's no wonder that we see so many Untitled Motorcycles here at the 'Shed. Felix, you'd be welcome to visit us anytime aboard your new stead - enjoy!
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Photography Ludovic Robert