Somewhere in those teenage years most of us, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, are bundled into a careers advisors office and asked what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Given a whole ten minutes, if you’re lucky, you’re soon agreeing to a job you didn’t even know existed. Now leaving dazed and confused many stumble on this path forever; but not Madrid’s Antonio Schefle. At 40 he packed it all in to follow his dream of building custom bikes. Each a unique expression of his client’s deepest desires, like his latest BMW R65 ‘Invader’, purpose fit to monster any type of road.
In the beautiful country air just outside the Spanish city of Madrid, Antonio setup 72 Cycles Performance in 2012 to pursue his passion. But for him, it’s not just the name of a company or a workshop that builds bikes. It represents his own personal brand of artistic interpretation of the customers ultimate custom craving and then bringing each to life in mechanical form.
From the start the ‘Invader’ build had a very clear direction; to utilise a classic and beloved bike, but to fit it out with only the very best components so it was genuinely fast on the unsealed mountain roads. For this reason the BMW R65 made perfect sense, bulletproof with that BMW dependability, capable of being made to look beautiful and a proven performer on and off road when treated to the right go-fast pieces.
The right donor bike was found and work commenced immediately with the BMW being stripped down and each component assessed to either be refurbished or headed for the garbage bin. Now with a bare frame to work with the whole thing was smoothed out and every last unused tab cut off and the welds smoothed out. The subframe was pushed aside and in its place is a stunning slimline unit with new custom shock mounts.
But the frame modifications didn’t end there, to truly improve the handling Antonio set about making the structural changes to improve the steering geometry. Then once he was happy the chassis was right, a set of K8 GSXR front forks was sourced and customised for the job at hand. The Suzuki’s Tokico calipers are retained and join forces with BMW K100 discs to provide plenty of stopping power. While the rear gets its own set of custom shocks and is raised 120mm to suit.
Wanting to retain the snowflake BMW wheels for the look required a modified axle and hub bearing design to fit. Before front and rear were powder coated along with the frame before being wrapped up in dual sport rubber. A factory tank was also desired but this one has been body worked to perfection with the lines subtly smoothed for a brilliant result. Before a new, more flushing fitting filler and ’72’ logos were slotted on.
The rear bodywork is slick. The tail a small, arrow-like design, that is moulded around the all-new rear. Before Antonio got bashing on some metal to shape a seat base to the distinctive lines he’d created for the rear subframes ‘step-up’ appearance. Over the top went the foam that is sanded down to shape before being wrapped up in coloured leather, accessorised and stitched. The bodywork including the hand-rolled guard are all shot in matte grey with a custom yellow graphic to suit.
Onto the engine and while the 650cc flat twin doesn’t have huge horsepower, what its got is silky smooth torque that 72 Cycles were eager to boost. The rebuilt on the inside and refurbished on the outside motor has the carbs jetted to match the twin pod filters. But making the most change both in performance and appearance is the glorious 2-1-2 scrambler style exhaust system that fires shots from the rear like an under-over shotgun.
Having already stripped nearly 20kg of weight, the all new wiring loom with LED lighting front and rear take care of a little more fat. While the 28mm low rise handlebars are perfect for muscling the beast around and only wear the bare necessities. Road registration acquired and the Invader was ready to rip. Perfectly capable of taking the highway into town before disappearing up a gravel road leaving a rooster tails in its wake. When you can do all that and look this good in the process, it’s easy to see why Antonio Schefle’s individually tailored customs are putting 72 Cycles on the map.