“If your dream motorcycle does not exist, we’ll make it happen”, this is the founding statement of the new Spanish curator of all things custom cool, 911MX Factory. Founded by Diego Mena, who spent more than a decade working for Porsche, the showroom in Madrid is packed with inspiration from the best of the two-wheeled world. But, their main service is helping clients to create custom motorcycles that fulfil their every fantasy. So for build number one, they’ve partnered with one of the very best in the industry and XTR Pepo jumped on board to transform the hulking BMW R18 into this extraordinary, extra-large, endurance racer that has been dubbed ‘Blitzkrieg’.
What makes Diego’s new venture so interesting is how client-driven it is, if you’re the one writing the cheque, then it’s your dream that 911MX Factory will bring to life. Bike builders have always had varying levels of input into what they create, from taking total control from design to reveal, to working with the client to find solutions to an end goal. But an approach that truly embraces fantasy builds is going to end up with some radical results and this bike is exactly that. For each new project, Diego will work with the right builder to make it happen, and with the brief for this bike, nobody was going to be better than Pepo Rosell!
The R18 is certainly a left-field choice for a race-styled bike, with its laid back cruiser styling and hulking wet weight of 345kg, but its huge heart was always dying to be placed into something more sporty from the day it was conceived. So, the massive 1800cc boxer twin serves as the life of the party, and then every effort has gone into both reducing the kilos and making the bike more sporty in every single way. Pepo of course has achieved this with all manner of machines, so he dug into his bag of tricks to transform the big bimmer.
The first task was to get the bike on the lift and attack the entire back end with a grinder, not only would the entire subframe be cut off, but also a host of other bulk, brackets, and tabs that were surplus to requirements. The new subframe has a lot less mass than the original, with the top rails serving as the rear tank support, and the bottom rails neatly looping up off the centre posts. This has the net result of positioning the rider higher and in a more forward position for better control. The tank was next and here Pepo’s genius comes to the fore.
The design clearly called for something smaller and with a hint of vintage racer, and the guys picked out a Moto Guzzi V7 item as the perfect piece. The problem was when you laid it over the backbone it not only didn’t fit but would leave no room for the all-important EFI essentials, like the fuel pump and regulator. The solution was, first they cut out the tunnel of the stock BMW tank that has all of the mounts and pump feed, then they cut out the body of the V7 tank before the welder was fired into life and the two were stitched together. By the time you add a dry break fuel filler to the top, you’re left with one incredible creation.
The remainder of the bodywork is largely hand shaped from a mix of fibreglass and carbon fibre, from that classic vintage racer tailpiece, to the all important front fairing, a boxy styled belly pan and a front fender from a BMW F800. Then there is the paint job, a shared effort between the two builders who have done the perfect job of giving the bike a part racer theme and also, with its ‘Polizei’ scheme, has you imagining this wild beast in hot pursuit of a speeding stolen car on the Autobahn.
To help it handle with the ability to sustain that sort of chase, the suspension has been completely revised with the front end from a BMW R nineT. But clearly, there is a rather large discrepancy between the two bikes, so the internals are all new to handle the extra weight. At the rear end, the modified swingarm hosts a custom built YSS remote reservoir shock.
The braking also packs some punch with 320mm drilled discs, a set of Brembo calipers and a powerful Nissin master cylinder. Slamming on the rear brakes and clicking through the gears is now done with GP like precision, thanks to a complete custom set of rearsets and linkages.
Of course, that bruising Boxer couldn’t go untouched and the guys hand-fabricated a beautiful stainless steel exhaust system that hugs the bike and spits out of a Spark XTR muffler. A custom intake was also designed to both do away with the bulky airbox and allow the engine to breathe, while the aluminium oil-cooler now occupies prime real estate for excellent thermal management.
All of the little details have been taken care of, from trick carbon heat shields and hugger to a stunning lighting design. And boy did the BMW work out well for all involved, recently winning best in show at the Verona Motor Bike Expo.
[ 911 MX Factory | XTR Pepo ]