Willoughby 65 by VTR Customs

A while back, some guys came up with the idea of strapping their surfboards onto their bikes. Although one might wonder if there are no cross winds or passing lorries in that part of the world, we all have to admit that these guys and their surf & bike workshops significantly helped making the actual new custom scene become what it is today. Since then, every single extreme sports-equipment one can think of, from skateboards to BMX bikes, has been strapped to motorcycles. However, there are people who don’t see motorcycling as an X-Game but like to ride with the aim to clear their head and relax. So what could be more appropriate for this kind of motorcyclists than strapping a fishing rod onto their bike? After all, it is said that fishing has a soothing effect on people.


I’m not sure if that was the reason for Daniel Weidmann, owner and general manager of Stucki 2Rad and VTR Customs in Switzerland, to build this BMW R65 for himself but if you happen to live your entire life on the shores of Lake Zurich some things seem to rub off on you. Knowing that Daniel competed in Swiss Supermoto and Motocross Championships, this seems more likely to be the reason why a wooden paddle and a fishing rod ended up on his bike.


Further, Daniel is a fan of old Doris Day /Rock Hudson flicks. He especially liked ΄Man’s favorite sport΄ about a fisherman called Willoughby. That, combined with the fact that Daniel is born in 1965 and the donor bike is a BMW R65 literally left him with no other choice than building this bike. Agreed? Be that as it may, the Willoughby 65 war born in Daniel’s head.


But just as you can’t rub off the stripes from a tiger, racing genes can’t be dropped from one day to another. Therefore it was clear from the beginning that the calm appearance of the Willoughby 65 had to be opposed by a nervous engine. By fitting a Siebenrock 860cc Power Kit including a cam shaft and installing two Keihin FCR 39 flat side carbs, VTR started upping the ante. Optimized cylinder heads, a Silent Hektik ignition and alternator system as well as handmade 2in1 headers leading to a Hattech Gunball muffler resulted in 70 vivid horsepower.


The frame is powder-coated in matte gray while the wheels, the engine and the forks are dipped in black paint. Öhlins Black Edition shocks add to these black details and lower the bike a few inches. The starting switch is relocated down to the engine covers while LSL Café Vario Bars, a Tomaselli short gas grip and one single Motogadget micro switch unit make for a clean front. A small LED rear light has been integrated into the frame loop and allows fitting a minimalistic rear fender. Fat Firestone Deluxe tires complete the picture.


While integrating a Motogadget Tiny speedo into the gas tank, VTR Customs welcomed the opportunity to add a gas level tube to the right side of the tank.

After several samples, the guys from Freuler Paintshop in Brenken managed to mix the vintage blue and ivory-white colors that matched Daniels idea of 60’s color scheme. True to the storyline of the classic movie, a fishing hook and three time specifications have been engraved into the Monza gas cap. The ΄Schmerikon Lakeside΄ logos on the wooden paddle and the VTR Customs-logos on the gas tank are hand painted by Johanna Vogelsang.


The VTR Customs Willoughby 65 turned out to be, committing to Swiss understatement, a very clean and calm bike hiding more power behind its…paddle that onlookers might suspect. After all, one has to be accelerated back into daily routine after a relaxing day at the lake, no?

More information about VTR Customs can be found here, on VTR Custom’s website.

Pictures by PHOTOCAB.ch / Andri Margadant