There is no doubt we are living through some incredibly challenging times and many are hoping that, as Sam Cooke sang, a change is gonna come! So rather than drown ourselves in further misery, today’s little tale comes to you about a man who had a crisis run him close to the edge and has now fought his way back to absolute success. Gerard Gutiérrez is a man on the rise and building his empire under the Bandarra Motor Classic name, and there is even a big new workshop on the way. His latest build is this stunning BMW R65, that takes him back to his roots of turning classic Bavarian steel into beautiful cafe racers.
But it wasn’t always smooth sailing, Gerard grew up tinkering on bikes together with his father, and used their hobby to spend time building bikes in their home garage. Collecting, restoring, and having a great time, until the global financial crisis (GFC) hit and in 2008 the father and son had been forced to sell off all their bikes, except one. That bike was a BMW 75/6 and as the economy began to recover, Gerard took it up to his fourth-storey unit and inspired by the increasing interest in custom bikes in Spain, built a slick cafe racer that attracted enormous interest.
With that success, BMC was launched and along with colleague Albert, they’ve only gone from strength to strength. A new workshop is nearly finished and will give them the space they need in their home of Ponts, Lleida. But paying the bills means building bikes and the next patient lifted onto the bench for surgery was this R65, in a fairly sad state. All stripped down the chassis has come in for some major changes, and has been smoothed out to perfection, destined to play a central role in the build.
The rear has been cut back and a new subframe and supports built in the style of the new design. A hooped section finishes out the back end, new shock mounts are integrated into the lower support rails, and changes made to relocate the rider’s pegs. There are also some very cool mounts hanging off the frame for the battery box and a neat license plate holder, that pivots off the swingarm and supports a tiny custom rear fender. Rarely does a frame play such a massive role, particularly visually, in a custom bike, but finished out in that blue this baby sure does.
The bodywork is up to the same high standard and Gerard wanted to craft a monocoque look with ultra-smooth lines. The tank is exactly that, you can see the BMW R silhouette under there, but everything flows much more beautifully and the lines form no hard edges. With a custom cap machined for the job, and a set of one-off badges, the fuel tank flows rearward. Here it picks up the tail section, with the frame deliberately exposed and the rear hump offering the same curvaceous lines, just in smaller proportions.
Once again, the paintwork is absolutely stunning, the brushed silver effect offset by the inclusion of the M Sport tricolor and a gloss black racing stripe running down the centre of the body. The traditional leather seat with a diamond stitch fits the design perfectly and the machined filler cap helps to set the stage for a bunch of other milled parts, like the footpegs, exhaust mounts, and the raw metal front fender with custom struts and the small rear hugger that is bolted to the swingarm. Even the levers and the master cylinder have been carefully chosen to match the look.
But, there is no point looking this damn good if the bike doesn’t perform to match, so the front forks were simply tossed aside. With a bearing kit to suit, their replacements come in the form of a fully adjustable set of front forks, triple trees, and components from a Yamaha R1. It also donates its modern calipers and the stock wheels have been converted to accept the 310mm discs. The rear end gets a similar treatment, with specified length YSS shocks used to provide a comfortable and yet sporty ride. The wheels are painted to match the body, silver with black rims, and then wrapped up in modern rubber.
Finally, attention could be turned to that legendary Boxer twin, and with the wiring all neatly hidden inside the frame, the bare engine is allowed to stand out without any interruption. It too features slick paintwork on the faux battery covered, as well as a crinkle black finish to contrast the raw metal areas. The Bing carbs look a million dollars and breathe through a set of K&N air filters, with the twin-pipe exhaust system barking out of a set of GP mufflers.
The cockpit too is flawless, Motogadget products make it heaven for the rider and not only does this bike look incredible standing still, but BMC has made it just the machine for a good canyon carve to escape the crisis that ails ya.