There is a nightmare aspect to building a custom bike that doesn’t get talked about enough; when all the work is done and you try to get the motorcycle registered and road legal. There are different schemes, rules and regulations around the world, some places make it easy, and others practically want a pint of blood and your firstborn child. In Victoria, Australia, that minefield is known as the Vehicle Assessment Signatory Scheme, but it’s no concern for customers of Melbourne’s Jax Garage, as head honcho Jas Babalija is an accredited engineer. Backed up by an uber-talented team, Jax turns out bikes that have form and function in spades. Their latest build is this beastly black BMW K100 which has been given the full treatment.
We’ve featured a number of bikes out of Jax Garage now, and while they can work their magic on just about any bike you care to name, they’ve become known for their exceptional work on products from BMW and Honda. One of the huge benefits of focusing on just a small number of models is that you have the chance to absolutely perfect your craft. This has also resulted in Jax offering a range of parts for bikes from the two manufacturers, that allow the home builder to add brilliantly engineered products to their own project. Along with Jas who is a mechanical engineer, vehicle homologation specialist, and accredited for VASS, the rest of the team is made up of Dom a qualified mechanic and creative director Christina.
But one of the reasons Jax Garage was founded was to let the team express their creative side, and in this K100 build, they found the perfect customer. “The client for this build is a local, who has been itching to swing his leg over the build. He has been great, and other than specifying that he wanted a black colour scheme gave us extensive creative freedom to make this build,” Jas told us. The BMW K series of bikes have long been known for their brilliant ability as a tourer and for their super smooth engines that are basically built-proof. But their credentials in the looks department have always been love or hate and the handling can definitely be sharpened up.
These are the key areas that the team chose to focus on, but first, they had to perfect the foundation. That begins with cutting back the chassis and crafting an all-new subframe that not only looks a million times better, and is super clean but also allows for the fitment of the modifications to come. The first of these is the new rear suspension setup, that utilises the K Series SideWinder Meccanica kit for the low mount mono-shock conversion. The brackets are machined from aerospace grade 7075 aluminium and have been perfectly welded and bolted into the frame and swingarm. A YSS fully adjustable shock takes care of damping and the factory rear disc gives plenty of stopping power.
At the front end, Jax Garage utilises its own 7 Series fork conversion kit that features a gorgeous set of machined aluminium triple trees. These can be customised at your request with a host of options, one of which on this bike is the mount for the Motogadget speedo. Sliding through the trees for this project the guys used a set of Yamaha R1 forks and their K bike wheel adaptor kit to fit the super bike’s braking package to the stock rims. “The front end also includes our billet aluminium grips and clip-ons.” On those bars, the big K has a quality Brembo master and lever combo and super cool Motogadget mirrors.
Between the bars, the looks department begins its makeover with a high-tech headlight in the form of a Max Inc LED unit. The mountings continue the modern tech vibe, but below, the front blade style fender with strut mounts gives a classic finish. At the other end of the bike, the custom rear cowl offers up some minimalist lines in the best possible way and is finished out with a Highsider tail light. The seat is one of the only outsourced items, a high-quality perforated leather piece. Then smack bang in the middle of the bike, “the tank was painted with deep black Glasurit paint with gold leaf pinstriping, all sealed with several coats of clear and cut and polished until it became a mirror-like finish.”
There is a range of black finishes used across the bike, to meet the client’s request but still offer contrast, and gloss, satin and a wrinkle-like finish are all employed. To create further contrast, the aluminium and stainless finishes really stand out and they’re largely seen on the belly pan protected engine. The custom-built stainless intake looks tough as nails, gives some extra bulk to the bike’s already big shoulders and helps to force fresh air into the engine. On the other side, the exhaust is a work of art that took countless hours to bring together, stunning stainless headers flow rearward as clever pie-cut corners help direct gases toward the under-seat muffler.
“One of the biggest challenges was hiding all electrics and ensuring a lightweight rear look,” Jas explains. This is a familiar challenge for anyone tackling the K, but Jax has done a brilliant job in building a hidden custom wiring loom, relocating the EFI box and placing the custom coolant tank under the fuel cell. Then a range of Motogadget parts are employed to take care of the front and rear indicators, and a mo.unit blue and mo.lock serve as the brains and provide keyless start. To take the wiring one step further, a C-tek battery management system allows for plug-and-play trickle charging.
What you get is a flawless black BMW, that functions brilliantly in every way and is finished to the standards of one serious high-end engineer. They’d love it in Bavaria.
[ Jax Garage ]