Availability is the key word when it comes to customizing motorcycles. Different regions or countries have a penchant for certain bikes, due to availability and thus fair prices. Just think about the many Yamaha SR’s we see in Japan or Honda CB’s of any displacement in the US. Because we all know that the root of customizing is an affordable donor bike leaving you with enough dough to jazz it up instead of an expensive bike turned into an obscenely expensive custom bike.
In Europe, BMW boxers are gaining popularity as donor bikes. And the rule of availability, price and reliability applies to this bike as well. But if you happen to roam around events here in Europe, you’ll notice that one no longer sees the wood for the trees. Even though the number of well-built, boxer-based bikes is staggering, it can sometimes be hard to find the one that is outstanding and memorable. That’s a luxury problem, I know, but people tend to get used to beauty. I bet, at some point, you found yourself flipping through Playboy in order to find the most beautiful one, no?
Paul Brauchart and Philipp Rabl from Austrian workshop Vagabund Handcrafted Motorcycles seem to have nailed exactly that point with their V05 named R80RT. They are both committed to minimalism but try to achieve that near impossible balance between good looks and the ability to be ridden. The fact that their bike stands out of the crowd might issue from their quest for perfection and their detailed computer design made prior to every project.
When it comes to the V05, attention is immediately drawn to the aluminum housings for the front and rear light as well as the hand-made Moon disc. The 'camouflaged' number plate holder with integrated rear indicators is an example for Paul and Philipp’s attention to details. The shortened rear-frame as well as the modified R80RT gas tank makes for a very different look compared to the original bike but there’s something else that makes Vagabund’s bike stand out from the crowd. Most of the solutions and alterations have been seen similar on other bikes, so it can only be the harmonious look, the sum of all the modifications that work together in an astonishing way. And that’s the hardest part in building a custom bike: make it look as it was meant to look that way. Now, if you keep in mind that such a bike emerges from a workshop that only got founded a year ago, you’ll probably agree that one might wonder what comes next from Vagabund.
Here’s for the tech-specs:
Donor bike: 1990 BMW R80RT
- Completely redesigned rear frame
- Unique headlight designed by Vagabund and handmade out of a flat piece of aluminum
- Handmade aluminum moon cap
- Handmade aluminum tail light housing (Shin yo „shorty“)
- Motogadget m-blaze disc
- Rear turn signals integrated into the „camouflage“license plate holder (Motogadget m-blaze pin)
- Modified R80RT fuel tank
- Tires: Continental RoadAttack 2
- R 75/5 Airbox and starter cover
- Kustom Tech Grimeca Brake Master Cylinder and Domino Classic clutch lever
- Lithium-ion battery under the tank
- Hidden ignition lock and stainless steel starter button underneath the tank
- Integrated Motogadget 'Motoscope mini' in the top triple clamp
- Integrated handlebar signal horn push-buttons
- Milled aluminum upper fork cover
- Custom made light and turn signal switch housings plugged to the handle controls
- CNC-machined Vagabund tank roundel
- Fork reduced by 7cm
- Modified R100R front muffler collector box