There is a universal truth that riding a motorcycle may not keep you young of body, but it certainly keeps you young at heart. We all suffer the corruption of the flesh, and nothing speeds that up like crashing your bike, but find any old folks who still ride two-wheels and you’ll discover a youthful passion for life and machine. And custom bikes need not be any different, sure you’re probably not going to want to run clip-ons anymore, but you still want to stand out and have fun. That’s why Mexican architect Bartolomé Rullán, a man in his ’70s, was once again on the hunt for a donor bike to make his own. Teaming up with Concept Racer, they’ve designed and built this one-off BMW GS Adventure, to tackle any terrain from Tulum to Tijuana.
Having owned dozens of bikes from just about every manufacturer you care to name in his lifetime, Bartolomé was on the lookout for his next steed when he stumbled across the BMW. “It all started when I found this 120,000km plus GS at a very good price and thought ‘well, this is an ugly machine that needs some new life’, so I bought it and with the help of my friend Miguel Lerdo from Concept Racer in Mexico City I started to do some sketches.” Being an architect of considerable experience meant that the design was an area in which Bartolomé would excel.
But he need not fear the mileage on the clock of the 2004 GS Adventure, this is after all the exact model that took Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman from London to New York City on their ‘Long Way Round’ the World. The love of the GS models has only gone from strength to strength, a huge win for BMW and a shocker for KTM who declined to provide just three bikes for the enormously successful television program. So with the indestructible Beemer in the hands of Miguel and Luis to strip down, a search for parts began online.
Before any of the new bits and pieces could go on, however, the team wanted to drastically reduce the weight of the GS, which tips the scales at 500lbs dry. That’s a big girl, and with the bike in pieces the guys could go through, part by part, and decide if it was absolutely essential for the end product they had in mind. With the design calling for a Scrambler look, while still maintaining the go anywhere function, the bulky front end was the first to go. The pannier brackets and extended section of the subframe was next to go in the bin, and the full exhaust was scrapped too.
With the junk pile sitting in one corner, the guys put it all on the scale and came away with over 40kg, or 100lbs, of parts that would neither go back on nor need replacing. But you can’t run open pipes, so the hunt for a high-quality and yet lightweight exhaust turned up an excellent solution in Italy. There, Unit Garage stocks a replacement system that is expertly crafted from stainless steel and does away with the catalytic converter, but is ready to accept the all-important O2 sensor. The rear section is also from Unit, a hand made TIG welded muffler, mounted to allow easy access to the rear wheel.
For the colour scheme, there would be no over the top paint job, just a beautifully designed and executed classic BMW look. The big tank remains for its incredible range and is finished in a pearl white with Bartolomé designing his own take on the M Sport graphics for a slick finish. That sumptuous seat keeps the GS as comfortable as ever, but gets a hefty kick of cool with its red and black upholstery and ultra neat custom stitching. Even the wheels came in for a make-over, with the rims painted in Ducati 916 gold before they were wrapped in Twinduro TKC80 rubber.
Having ditched the behemoth of a front end with its heavy cluster of gauges, a new bracket was fabricated to support a tiny Acewell digital instrument. The twin headlight look is also gone in favour of the much cleaner yellow lens light and a custom grille. The stock bars are retained but overhauled and keep the valuable bark busters, with tiny LED indicators and a custom plate hanger all that was needed to wrap up the build. The finished product is as clean as can be, has a host of Bartolomé’s personality injected into the design, and best of all is a custom that can be ridden at any age. And this Mexican Mauler is set for some speedy adventures, ‘andale, andale, arriba, arriba’!