If variety is the spice of life then the bike menu in The Shed should have three chilli symbols next to it, there’s always something new and a bit different gracing the inbox. Between eBay and Craig with his lengthy list, there can’t be many affordable BMW twins left out there for customisers and builders to get their oily hands on so perhaps attention may turn to other models from the Bavarian master-marque. The K-series is a bit unloved, maybe due to the odd powerplant choice, a Peugeot derived car engined slammed over on its side, but from my point of view one of the joys of customising vehicles of any sort is highlighting the engine. The bolder or crazier the engineer that drafted it, the better.
Giorgio de Angelis from Napoli is a computer programmer by day and bike builder by night. More recently the custom bike virus has inflicted him so badly that he had no choice but to open a small workshop, RaceCafe in central Rome.
This 1984 K100RS was the first machine to roll off the line. Before work could begin Giorgio’s powers of persuasion were put to the test as this bike was owned by a shepherd in Viterbo who was in no hurry to sell, eventually the old boy capitulated and the strip down began. Once laid bare the subframe loop was attached, a neat LED stop/tail lamp grafted in which keeps the tail clear of obstruction, apart from the irritation of legalities in the form of a large licence plate. The seat pan is aluminium with leather cover and plenty of foam to smooth out the notorious vibes from the 1000cc 4-banger beneath.
The bars are Honda CR with risers to reduce stretch. The dash is taken care of by a Koso all-in-one digital display which is hidden away behind the front fairing which was once a grinding mask, altered with fibreglass and housing a Xenon headlight. This and the tank have been treated to a rather decedent paint job using genuine Lamborghini ‘Arancio Borealis’, which I think translates as ‘Oranger than the Man from Del Monte’s underpants’. It’s a 3-stage pearl process and the paint is north of €200 a litre. Looks good though against the matt black powder coated wheels and engine.
The motor is in standard trim but with the air intake moved to the left side. A Ford Escort RS Turbo K&N filter keeps the bits out and gives a pleasant intake growl to compliment the stubby exhaust. High power 9mm HT leads in white signal to the uninitiated that all the suck, bang, blow happens all on this side. ‘Scrambler 1000’ is painted on the front of the engine casing, or is it the side?
Mean looks from the front and attention to detail stretching to the inside of the tyres, nitrogen replacing boring fresh air. Another Shed Rubber Pop Quiz, old pattern Dunlop Trailmaxes? The mudguard is stock but trimmed right back and painted matt black.
Forks were rebuilt with stronger springs and thicker weight oil to cope with Giorgio’s spirited riding and gaitors added for style, the single sided rear shock was extended to give a higher, scrambler stance.
The side panel/number plates are homegrown items, fashioned from ally sheet to hide the wiring and battery gubbins and further accentuate the off-road racing aspirations of this K-series. Linear power delivery from that motor should allow for some pretty lurid slides on Rome’s cobbled streets.
Daring to be different could involve a tattoo across your forehead or wearing your clothes backwards but neither of these efforts will garner the same sort of attention as customising a bike that is a degree of separation away from the norm. Just to be sure, paint it loud and ride it fast!
Photos by Giovanni De Angelis