Nowadays, BMW is well-known for its motorcycle and especially the R-series (BMW R65, BMW R80) and K-series (BMW K100, BMW K75). These are the models that are often rebuilt into Café Racers. Apart from the BMW R65, BMW R80, BMW R100, BMW K100 and BMW K75, other models from the brand include the F, S, G and C series, even with a scooter version for the latter.
The BMW brand stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH. However, its History dates back to 1916. The company began in the aviation sector under the name “Bayerische Flugzeugwerke”. Only after a few years of pioneering did BMW begin to focus on motorcycles in 1923. They chose that direction because the Treaty of Versailles, signed in 1919, prohibited the production of aircraft engines for the German army. Once the company focus shifted, Max Fritz turned the Bavarian engine 90° in the frame and the first BMW motorcycles allowed to be named after the brand was born. This motorcycle was the R32 and would form the basis for most BMW motorcycles still around today, with the air-cooled BMW Boxer engine.
Throughout the following decades, all kinds of models were born, but always with the air-cooled BMW Boxer engines. This caused the block to develop even further with sports models such as the BMW R90 S but also Enduro models like the R80 GS. BMW engine and principles became its trademark. Up to this day, both the GS and the BMW R90 are still in production. The only difference resides in a new water-cooled system.
The two-cylinder Boxer engine was not changed until 1983, when the three and four-cylinder K models were introduced with the BMW K 100 and BMW K75 series. Some car parts were used in the production of these models, which created a motorcycle with dual overhead camshafts and fuel injection. In terms of performances, the engine was a real improvement and could compete with other brands while meeting the increasing environmental requirements.
The K series was aimed at sports and touring, but old school BMW fans did not seem fond of it. Still, a lot were sold on the mark. Nowadays, this model is considered perfect for DIY applications because the money will be more than worth it.
What models of BMW motorcycles are there?
BMW actually keeps it pretty neatly arranged, so let’s start from the beginning. When it comes to building a Café Racer, the following models are preferred: BMW R65, BMW R80, BMW R100, BMW K100 and BMW K75.
The first R came to the market in 1923 and was called the BMW R32. After dozens of models like the BMW R65, BMW R80 and BMW R100, we reach the newest R NineT, which is a tribute to the sporty BMW R90 encountered in the 1970s. The two-cylinder Boxer engine is the main characteristic of the R-series as it is present on all models. Nowadays, most models are water-cooled, but a lot of air-cooled models are still on the road.
The K-series, despite not being popular among R-series riders, is a very popular series. No matter the weather, they are a common sight on the road. BMW K drivers are not afraid of the wind of the weather. The series started with the BMW K75 3-cylinder, then the BMW K100 4-cylinder following quickly. No matter what model was released, the main focus of the series was sports motorcycles. The last K-series model is a BMW K1600 with a water-cooled six-cylinder engine.
Popular BMW Cafe Racer models?
As mentioned above, a large number of BMW K motorcycles have been sold, particularly the BMW K100 and BMW K75. They were mostly bought in the 80s and 90s, which means that they are now pretty cheap while being quite tough. The engine can handle thousands of kilometers and the BMW K100 and BMW K75 really excelled compared to motorcycles the competition offered back then.
The BMW K75 is a three-cylinder variant but it looks and feels quite similar to the BMW K100, which is a four-cylinder motorcycle. Both engines have a strong and fairly straight subframe, which makes it easy to mount a new seat. In addition, the brake mechanism on these motorcycles is still up to date, so you do not need to replace it. The same goes for the rims, which come in multiple variants.
Since there are many BMW K75 and BMW K100 motorcycles on the market, a lot of aftermarket parts designed for these models are available. Of course, this is also what we offer at caferacerwebshop.com. Every technical problem, be it on a BMW K75 or a BMW K100, has its unique and modern solution. For example:
CNC-milled gas caps
Custom license plate holders
Exhaust kits (fit directly to the BMW K75 and BMW K100 models)
Electronic kits for meters
As the R-series driver will admit, the fans of these models will always be the purists. This series is probably the most recognizable, both brand-wise and series-wise. The two-cylinder Boxer engine, air or water-cooled, set the BMW R100, BMW R80 and BMW R65 models apart.
DIY lovers will often go for the BMW R65, BMW R80 or BMW R100. The BMW R65 is a bit underpowered compared to the BMW R90, but that model is expensive and uncommon. This is why most people choose the BMW R80, while the BMW R100 is reserved for a lucky few as it is an expensive and less common model. Here is a rule of thumb: the more you pay, the higher engine capacity and horsepower.
Our customers at caferacerwebshop.com like the R-series because the engine is simply stunning and has a tough look. The sound of the two-cylinder engine is music to the ear and the engine’s torque makes every ride fun. Moreover, the engine looks very clean and neat, which means you can quickly set up a project with a BMW R80, BMW R100 or BMW R65.
The R-series also has a bolt-on subframe, which is easy to remove, adjust and/or change. For this reason, we have developed a series of subframe designed for these BMW engines. This way, you will be able to get the most out of your BMW R80, BMW R100 and BMW R65. Many parts are available and can be used on several models because the different models have many similarities.
Since there is a lot of potential demand, the R&D concerning this series has greatly increased. If you have decided to rebuild a BMW, then you can picture yourself as a child in a candy store. There are so many custom parts available that you will not know where to look. For example:
Actually, this R model is officially part of the R-series. Nevertheless, this is a completely different motorcycle. The only thing it has in common with other R-series models is the two-cylinder Boxer engine, but this is where it ends.
This motorcycle is a tribute to the BMW R90 S released in the 70s. However, this model focuses on the future. Even when fresh out of the factory, this engine is perfect for customization. BMW makes the best of the situation by offering many parts for this model.
As a client, you find yourself with a modern motorcycle that you can easily modify or transform into a totally different machine. You can give is a retro look and feel if you want or go for something completely different. This is also why this model is a base for modern Café Racers. There are numerous awesome parts that you can find, namely: