After looking for an appropriate donor for his BMW project for over a year, Marc from Haseth Motorcycles in Amsterdam finally found a 1967 R60/2 with a 1973 R90 engine conversion for sale in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The owner, an older gentleman who had owned the bike for over 20 years, wasn’t riding it anymore and was ready to let it go. “Keeping in mind that the bike still had a sidecar and was very far from being in pristine or original condition, I felt comfortable modding it,” says Marc – he wanted to make sure he wasn’t partaking in any sacrilegious acts for the BMW purists amongst us.
Marc’s inspiration came from other beautiful custom Beemers based on the R50, R60 and R69 frames, but he was looking for a particular mix between contemporary and rugged. “I aimed to stay true to its 50s-60s heritage, maintaining its authenticity, but adding modern technology to improve handling and clean up the appearance.”
“I wanted to very quickly move away from the ‘grandpa’ setup the bike had, so I started sketching up various designs to determine the best stance and what needed to be removed all together to make the bike as ‘clean’ as possible.”
The first thing to get a modern update were the old cantilever front forks, which were replaced with modern GSXR inverted front forks. Also up front, the bike was fitted with Tokico radial brake calipers. “Finding a proper spoked hub that would fit and support dual discs proved to be an interesting challenge.” Marc happened to have a Harley DynaGlide hub laying around that ended up fitting perfectly.
The beat-up old original dual seat was replaced by a sleek mono seat by Biltwell, but Marc decided to keep the original mounting brackets for a possible second seat in the future. They also work with the vintage styling.
The engine had already been upgraded to the 900cc in the past, including the driveshaft modification to the final drive. “The bike drives like a dream, even the four speed transmission does a fantastic job transferring the higher horsepower to the road.”
The stock handlebars were updated with aluminium super-bike bars that were mounted upside down to offer a more ‘sporty’ riding position, while giving a sleeker look to the bike, finishing it off with a set of English Brooks leather grips and modern controls.
To finish the bike off and act as the pièce de résistance is the original Schorsch Meier Sport tank, painted in a contemporary BMW Frozen Bronze – often found on the new M6 models.
The end result is a beautiful classic airhead build with a mix of modern components and classic styling – sometimes those two things don’t get along very well. Marc sums it up best: “Getting this old BMW to work right with the newer technology started to resemble black magic. But boy did I enjoy the journey.”
[ Photography by Tom van den Dool ]