Just when you thought the addiction to the BMW R had peaked, a whole new wave takes the plunge, desperate for their taste of the boxer twin. It’s easy to see why, built right they’re more reliable than many brand new machines and offer a level of character that is hard to find on the cookie cutter showroom floor. Then there is the fact that workshops like Ironwood Customs make them so damn delicious you just have to have a bite of your own. So with the client finished ticking the boxes on the options sheet, the IWC team got cracking and serve up another brilliant BMW R100, appropriately named ‘The Narcotic’.
Based in Flevoland and led by Creative Director & Founder Arjan van den Boom, Ironwood Customs have turned the building of beautiful BMW’s into a fine art. But just as they constantly hone their own skills, so too does the taste of each customer vary, ensuring that no two bikes are ever the same. And when you’re dealing with second hand motorcycles that are nearly 40 years old and not always owned by the most discerning of individuals in the past, you never know just what you might find.
With the donor R100 stripped down and a bare frame to work with, getting it into a rolling chassis is the first priority. With the client having requested modern USD forks, the appropriate set of gold suspenders was picked out and a stunning custom alloy upper triple clamp machined to suit. With the factory wheels remaining, they’re painted up, and then spacers machined to ensure the modern lower legs can clamp them properly. While at the rear a set of fully adjustable TFX rear shock absorbers allows the bike to be properly dialed in for the new owner.
Not content to simply upgrade the suspension, a set of huge 320mm drilled front discs clamped by a set of Brembo calipers give the BMW a whole lot more stopping power. But true confidence in braking, allowing you to run hard at a bend, comes from the feeling at the lever. And nothing gives you that touch like a switch to a Brembo RCS19 master cylinder, with the clutch lever changed to match. Then the perfect tyre for the combo was selected, Continental Classic Attack rubber, giving high performance in a vintage pattern.
Over the top of those tyres is the first of the bodywork, keeping both law enforcement and the comments section all smiles, hand-rolled fenders! Both the blade-like front and generous rear are positioned close to the rubber and held in place by neatly fabricated mounts bent up from round bar. Along with the factory tank that receives a set of IWC badges, they were sent out to Jacco from Royal Kustom Works to lay down the stunning paint in Boxwood green.
The understated look is matched up with just the right leather on the two-up seat, all upholstered by Marcel from Miller Kustom Upholstery. While making that a reality, the factory pillion pegs are switched out for something more befitting of a custom bike. The leatherwork continues with a handmade battery case and the CNC clip-on bars also get wrapped up in the same hide. The mixing of old and new continues with the Motogadget indicators and the Koso ‘Thunderbolt’ LED headlight providing a more flush fit.
While that work was happening on the lift, the big boxer twin was getting taken care of on the bench. Stripped down, the cases are blacked out and new gaskets fitted up before its back together with a full set of new bolts. Mikuni TM40 carbs deliver much improved throttle response and a smoother idle, drawing their air via DNA filters. But it’s that exhaust by Marcel van der Stelt from The Custom Factory that steals the show; big twin stainless pipes running to the boxed muffler that barks via dual outlets.
The final piece together of the project sees an all new wiring loom built for both simplicity and reliability. With the all conquering Motogadget m-unit the centre of the show and their Scope Pro speedo perfectly flush fitted into the custom top clamp. Grips and mirrors also come from the big M, while a custom made number plate holder helps with the strict road rules.
Finishing out the job is the very utilitarian yellow driving light that matches brilliantly with the paint. It wraps up the mix of custom and classic that The Narcotic’s owner desired and if he was ever willing to toss us the keys, we’d definitely take a hit!
Photography by Paul van Mondfrans Lindénl