Written by Martin Hodgson
The French make it straightforward to assume fondly of their countryside; it’s right here that inexperienced fields of grapes roll all the way down to small villages producing beautiful champagne and the scent of heat baguettes is accompanied by the best of cheeses. Positive it’s not all Dom Perignon and Lingerie, however there’s an artisan strategy to nearly all the things they do. It’s this actual philosophy that Sur Les Chapeaux De Roues take to constructing bikes, extra watchmaker meets sculptor than merely mechanic. And from the attractive division of Finistère they ship their newest present, a soften in your mouth BMW R850R.
That is on no account the primary SLCDR bike we’ve lined, and whether or not they’re constructing a drag machine for Sultans of Dash or a weekend warrior for a shopper, each construct is like no different. Over the past 12 months, head honcho, Manuel Jouan has spent appreciable money and time outfitting the workshop with the most recent instruments and equipment in order that all the things could be executed in-house. The manufacturing unit educated mechanic can do all of it and with such an artisan strategy, begin to end underneath one roof makes a hell of loads of sense.
Whereas working away someday the acquainted sound of a BMW boxer engine may very well be heard developing the drive. The bike, a 1996 R850R, had been bought new by the proprietor, nonetheless in completely manufacturing unit spec and displaying a mere 32000 km on the clock. That’s simply getting a BMW warmed up and with the bodywork displaying its age the proud proprietor was eager to listen to what Manuel might do to customize his steed. The builders first impression was well mannered, however to the purpose. “Ugly, with this telelever entrance finish,” Manuel smiles.
However as he contemplated issues extra, he realised it was a problem he needed to tackle. And never solely construct the R850R however to maintain that uncommon suspension setup and make it look higher than it ever has earlier than. So the deal was executed and the Boxer can be reborn at SLCDR with the purpose of giving the bimmer the shape to match its distinctive performance. Earlier than the construct began the very first job was to tear off the hideous three spoke magazine wheels and exchange them with new spoked GS objects wrapped in Avon rubber.
Up on the bench and Manuel tore in, ripping off the seat, the ugly plastic rear finish and all of the equipment that obscured his imaginative and prescient of the barebones. Instantly he knew what needed to be executed, the spindly entrance finish wanted some brawn. To protect the forks he designed in his head a canopy like strategy that may give a single piece look. However in actuality it was rather more troublesome to assemble, “It’s 20 items of metal all handmade and welded on my own,” he smiles.
What makes the work much more sensible is the way in which it seamlessly incorporates the engines oil-cooler into the construction for a muscular grille like impact. The headlight too is built-in flawlessly into the design and the entire piece strikes as one with the stroke of the suspension. There may be additionally a tyre hugging hand-made entrance guard in place and to enhance the efficiency the manufacturing unit single coil over shock has been upgraded to a totally adjustable half from YSS.
With the entrance finish full your entire rear subframe was lower off and an all new piece fabricated; the redesign reworking the dorky BMW styling into one thing glossy and complex. The superbly upholstered seat completely hugs every contour and the built-in LED lighting supplies the last word in clear finishes. Below the seat the electronics are completely hidden behind aluminium covers and lattice metal. Whereas one other YSS shock will get the gig out again and rebuilt brakes full the curler.
From the manufacturing unit the 4 valve 850cc engine was by no means identified for making large quantities of energy, however torque it delivers in spades. So, a lot of Manuel’s efforts on the mechanicals have been centered on unleashing some additional ponies. The airbox has been eliminated to save lots of weight and a pair of high quality BMC filters fitted. Whereas the exhaust is a superb 2 into 1 system that delivers an epic sound from the high-end Spark muffler whereas revealing the open aspect of the rear wheel.
To complete all of it off Manuel was joined by buddy and painter David, who break up the duty of laying down the color. With David specializing in the tins and brilliantly ghosting within the graphics and logos utilizing delicate modifications of hue for one million greenback end. The controls are accomplished with a bunch of Motogadget components to match the general high quality of the construct, and from bland as butter BMW to customized sculpted masterpiece the transformation is full. So the wine and cheese must wait, as this precision German utility has been given a French craftsman’s makeover that’s unimaginable to withstand![ SLCDR – Instagram | Photos by Charles Seguy ]