As an eight year old, I used to sneak into my elder brothers’ rooms to steal their records. Following the slogan; the more monsters and blood the cover depicts, the more urgently I have to listen to it. But before I left for my child’s room to torture the vinyl with my mucky fingers and the cheap needle of my compact turntable, I always marveled at the various posters on the walls. First, I had to take a very close look at the Easyriders posters. Partly because of the long forks, the chrome and the glitzy paint jobs, but mainly because of the half-naked ladies lolling on top of them (in the early eighties, a pair of naked boobs was quite a sensation for an eight year old). But there was another picture that gathered my attention on every single one of my secret commando missions; it depicted Eddie Lawson going sideways in a corner on his mean, green Kawasaki Z1000. I was in awe of the large handlebars, the big number plate bearing his 21 as well as the deep black exhaust. All of it perfect ingredients for a youngster’s fantasies.
At the same era, a few hundred kilometers away, a bunch of young men were equally impressed by 'Steady Eddie' and his green Superbike, leading them to modify their four-pots to look like it. Today, some 25 years later, the same young men decided to build a tribute to Eddie and his Kawasaki. And since these guys are the crew from VTR Customs in Switzerland, they quickly turned their ideas into reality.
Now guess what bike VTR decided to be the best donor for a build honoring an early Z1000. Any ideas? No? Well, they opted for a…BMW! A Boxer-engined BMW, to be more specific! But knowing that VTR Customs is a branch of Schmerikon based BMW dealer Stucki 2Rad, things start to lighten up.
Dani Weidmann and his crew caused quite a stir last year with their BMW R1200R named 'Goodwood 12' (read the article HERE) and were determined to repeat this in 2017. After all, making 2nd place in the overall ranking of the 2016 Essenza Sprint Race class meant they had to accept the challenge. But this time it had to be something different. Taking a closer look at the Z1000 reveals it had to look boxy!
In contrast to the 'Goodwood 12', it was clear from the beginning that the air box as well as the gas tank needed a little more than just minor tweaks. But first, a seat unit adopting the shape of the Z1000 was manufactured. It’s got the same angled appearance but is way smaller and lighter than the original one.
Then, Dani and his crew started to reshape the gas tank as well as the air box. Modifying the latter allowed to rotate the OEM instruments and integrate them into the new gas tank. VTR Customs had a low and small bike in mind and taking a closer look at the R1200R’s chassis and sub frame reveals the task that comes with this idea. The leather seat was hand-made by Yves Knobel, the decals were applied by Johanna Vogelsang and the paint job was made by Freuler.
Just like in 2016, Miss Amelie Mooseder was chosen to give the Eddie 21 the beans on the track. And since this lovely lady is in the habit of fixing her lipstick prior to every run, VTR decided to simplify things by mounting a foldable make-up mirror to the handlebars. Apparently, Swiss men are familiar with gentleman-like behavior.
Here are the tech-specs:
- Donor bike: 2017 BMW R1200R equipped with Quickshifter, Traction Control and Driving modes PRO
- Alloy parts such as air box, gas tank, tail section, front fairing and front fender are handmade by VTR Customs
- Handmade seat by Yves Knobel
- Kineo custom wheels (6x17 & 3,5x17) with a custom color concept
- Bridgestone Race Slicks (200/55-17 and 120/70-17)
- BMW stock brakes
- Akrapovic titan headers customized by VTR Customs leading to a Unit Garage muffler
- Stock BMW engine, gearbox and drivetrain
- Black anodized BMW fork
- Öhlins rear shock
- Black anodized handle bars with make-up mirror
- Stock speedometer unit with customized scale by Zeitzone Zürich
- Magura HC3 Race brake & clutch pump
- BMW HP Race Parts foot rests
- Rizoma gas tank cap
- Paint: Olive copper matt and Blue-white „Kawa“ stripes by Paint Shop Freuler in Benken
- Decals: hand painted by Johanna Vogelsang
Now, if these pictures keep popping up in your mind over the next few days, you might be delighted to hear that the Eddie 21 will be up for sale after the Essenza events. It comes with a 55.000 CHF price tag, so what are you waiting for? Let’s break the piggy bank!
Pictures by Andri Margadant / PHOTOCAB.ch