When it comes to trends, most of us follow them, a few shun them, and an elite club sets them for the rest of us to enjoy. Marcus Walz is one such man, a racer in his youth, a chopper builder in the ’90s, a big cheese of the custom scene when it exploded and then one of the first to put his designs into a limited run series of customs. That limited run keeps growing, as the trend he’s created with his Schizzo range of BMW R series bikes is more popular than ever. Eight years ago he sent us his first BMW R nineT, and ever since his series of that modern classic has been a huge hit too. So to celebrate two BMW icons, he’s found a stunning way to merge the two models and create a WalzWerk R nineT Roadster with the very best of old and new.
We’ve had the pleasure of featuring a host of amazing WalzWerk creations over the years, made up of bikes of all shapes and sizes. But one thing stands out from a conversation we had with Marcus about six years ago. “Everybody knows that we are not committed to any particular motorcycle brand. But in 2017, we’ve built over twenty of our Schizzo Beemers, which makes it a bestseller for us,” he told us. And as the six models of Schizzo kept selling like hotcakes, and his German company introduced four R nineT models, three K100s and two types of R18, the sheer success of them all has meant he’s just simply had little time to work on anything but the Bavarian brand; although there’s still been a handful of wild full blow customs.
Then as 2023 was coming to an end, a year when BMW Motorrad was celebrating its 100th anniversary and WalzWerk was celebrating its 33rd, Marcus had an idea to build a bike that would properly celebrate both occasions in style. And this is it, a brand new R nineT Pure that has been given the full WalzWerk ‘Roadster’ treatment, and then to add some Schizzo spice, had an R series Monolever fuel tank grafted on as well. But to truly understand a Walz build, you have to go back to a bare frame, as new or old, that’s how every single one of their bikes begins. The custom shop now resembles much more of a production line – just that no two machines ever look exactly the same.
The first part to go on is the company’s propriety rear frame kit, which gives the bike the shortened, hooped tail design, that we all know and love. To get things rolling, the modern mag wheels of the Pure would never suit this special creation, so a set of stunning spoked wheels has been chosen, that still allow for the use of modern rubber, with the homegrown Metzeler brand being Marcus’ favoured option. What the Pure does offer is a traditional way up fork, which gets the aesthetic right and then it’s been stuffed full of Wilbers internals to ensure it performs brilliantly. The racer in Walz will never let him turn out a bad handling bike, and the expensive Black T rear shock is yet another example of his commitment.
To add more of that old-school charm to the modern classic, a set of gaiters has been fitted to the forks and a set of WalzWerk stanchion covers helps to black out the front end. This is the beginning of the visual transformation, and interestingly enough, the factory headlight has been deemed the best option. But the large factory fenders have to go, and both the front and rear blade-styled units and mounts, come straight from the production line and are staples of the nineT limited series bikes. Not wanting to have a huge German license plate hanging off the neat fender, an axle mounted Rizoma piece is kitted out with all of your taillight needs.
But there is no escaping the big ticket item of this build, and that’s the use of a classic Monolever gas tank, which totally transforms the lines of the nineT. But it’s not even close to being a plug-and-play proposition, as the stock item won’t fit over the intricate modern frame. A hell of a lot of work has gone into making the piece have both perfect form and function and the first step is cutting out the underside to create space for the fuel pump and associated wiring. The key position of the nineT also requires a considerable recess which has been beautifully shaped, and then the widened unit is completed with a Monza-style filler cap.
And the colour is an inspired choice too, a satin finish over an almost desert sand base, really taps into the BMW nostalgia. While the black anniversary graphics, pinstripe and carbon-infused BMW/WalzWerk logo leave you in no doubt that this is a very special machine. And looking like an OEM part but with more style, the WalzWerk seat unit has been selected in the black option. Speaking of that dark hue, just about every part in the company’s catalogue is offered in black and the Pure gets the lot, with everything from the valve covers, to the handlebars, aluminium mirrors, extended kickstand, headlight brackets and much more.
Even when it comes time to up the power of the Boxer twin, it’s more black that’s part of the package, with a partnership designed and planned Akrapovic exhaust kit fitted, that terminates with a tasty muffler with a carbon end cap. Inside the sizeable airbox, a K&N filter element is added, and there is no shortage of punch to this Pure. To finish out the build, the rider is blessed with the best controls, thanks to LSL machined rearsets and ABM levers. It’s easy to see why the WalzWerk focus on the BMW brand has been such a success, and with a replacement for the nineT now here, Marcus has gone and bought 14 new nineTs to keep production running. So if they tickle your fancy, you better get in quick, as these too are selling fast.
[ WalzWerk ]