Cape Town has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. It also has some of the most formidable landscapes. Venture out from the city and you’ll hit the Franschhoek Mountains; a bit further and you’ll discover the gravel roads mainly used by large logging trucks. When building their latest bike, the South African-based shop STOOS Customs wanted to build a tough but classic-looking Beemer that could handle any road this region could throw at it. The STOOS aesthetic philosophy is ‘brutal simplicity’ and their custom builds usually start with an American V-Twin donor, but this time around the choice was a 2016 BMW R nineT.
“The build started with the owners’ vision of an old-school bike with modern underpinnings, fulfilling the retro look but with none of the classic problems,” says STOOS. Using the classic R100 as inspiration, the Cape Town crew set out to build a classic styled R nineT with modern technology and some apocalyptic vibes thrown in.
As with all full custom builds, the BMW was stripped down to the frame and engine. Once disassembled the subframe was attacked to make way for the next few steps, including a hand-fabricated exhaust and an unusual tank setup that you might not notice right away, but which works seamlessly to achieve the classic look they were after.
The angular stock tank of the R nineT was too modern-looking for the build so an alternative was sourced. As the R100 was the inspiration for the build, the guys couldn’t avoid using its beautiful tank. Luckily they found an old R100 tank for sale and gutted it to just reuse the shell. They then built a custom fuel cell to house the fuel pump and cradle the boxer engine. This turned out to be the most challenging part of the build, but well worth the effort.
The fabrication didn’t stop there: STOOS tried to make as many one-off parts in-house. Up front, the billet head light was machined out of a 10kg block of aluminium. Adding to this, the velocity stacks, rear light housing, speedo housing, battery box, foot pegs, fuel cap, risers and even a key case were all custom billet pieces.
When it came to the electronic components, the guys went crazy, buying up all the Motogadget units they could get their hands on; they fitted the bike with Motogadget LED indicators front and rear, mirrorless bar end mirrors, an LED headlight and a Motoscope speedo. They also custom built some crash bars and mounted a spot light for extra seeing power in the dark backroads.
A friend of STOOS that goes by the name Dead Crow was called in for the leather work, which had to be on point to match the detail on this BMW project: hand-stitched leather seat and grips in black to match this apocalyptic looking motorcycle, with the satin metallic grey tank. Suspension on the BMW has been left as stock, with the combination of OEM Brembo brakes that give more than enough stopping power.
Although STOOS are newcomers when it comes to building airheads, the guys have stuck to their ‘brutal simplicity’ mantra perfectly, creating a classic-styled modern cafe racer that is now ready for the next zombie apocalypse – or just heading for the hills to escape a global pandemic.