Munich based Michael Matzke runs a company restoring rare old bicycles, shop signs, furniture and occaisionally, motorcycles. Custom Vintage have a few motorcyle builds under their belt and this 1978 R60/7 began as a trip down memory lane for Michael, he recalls ” I found the bike on the internet a few years ago which sparked an idea, and a roadtrip to Belgium. The Touring BMWs with their big windshields were kind of the top range of motorcycles when I was a kid. So I guess when I saw the ad it took me back to the days when, as an 8 year old, I stood in awe of my neighbour’s metallic blue R100.”
“After unloading it from the trailer and doing a few laps around the block my childhood dreams vanished completely. The fairing being too heavy, me being too tall to fit comfortably behind it I realised a bike with fairing and suitcases wasn’t for me. So 60 minutes after unloading, it was completely taken taken to pieces.”
Michael wanted a mix of scrambler, tracker, bobber and WWII military, settling on the name Bobtracker for his impending creation. Quite rightly he believes in building whatever takes your fancy rather than conforming to the so-called rules of a particular genre. So, the subframe was lopped-off and replaced with a sprung Harley-Davidson saddle. A talented leatherworker friend upholstered the knee pads and tank strap to match, which look great against the matt grey paintjob.
With nowhere for a battery to hide Michael innovated and shoehorned two small Li-Po packs into the airbox housing which now power a full Motogadget compatible system. A Motoscope Mini lives behind a numberboard leaving the dash super neat, with wires routed inside the bars running to an ignition switch and idiot lights nestled in a steel hump on the fuel tank.
The desicion was made to leave the frame unpainted and engine patinated by nearly four decades of adventure. A thorough overhaul of the mechanicals, a new stainless exhaust and pod filters on rebuilt carbs should see the Bobtracker being enjoyed for many years to come.
Images by Christian Vogel