When you think of race bikes to use for battle on the race track, an old air-cooled BMW boxer twin is probably not the machine your mind immediately lands upon. Though, custom builder Scott Kolb is making a strong case to change that opinion.
This is because his latest creation is a 310 lbs purpose-built racing machine, with 82hp on tap for good measure.
Built around a 1976 BMW R90/6 boxer-twin engine, this blend of something new and something old would certainly be potent – and legal – in most lightweight club racing classes, and that tickles us in all the right places.
As you would expect though, the only piece of the original BMW R90/6 that remains is the motor, with Kolb building a custom chassis around the twin-cylinder engine, and then using top-shelf parts from Brembo, Öhlins, Rotobox, and Rizoma.
To get from the stock power figure of 62hp to the 82hp on tap, Kolb employed the hands of BMW-diehard Chris Hodgson of San Jose BMW. From there, the 898cc boxer morphed into a 1,000cc lump, thanks largely (pun intended?) to a Siebenrock big bore kit.
Other engine modifications include bigger valves, as well as porting and flowing in the heads. The flywheel has been lightened and balanced, the crankshaft balanced by Falicon, and lastly a performance clutch has been installed to soak up the added power and abuse.
The use of the carbon fiber wheels necessitated using a BMW R nineT swingarm for fitment, though a bit of modification was required to link this up to the engine. As you can see too, other accessories for the modern air-cooled BMW were used in the build too, like rearsets, levers, and a license plate holder.
Of course the bodywork is all done in carbon fiber (to match the wheels, naturally), while the fuel tank is made from aluminum. The brakes come off a BMW S1000RR, with an SWT-Sports slave cylinder added to the mix, which ditches the stock cable clutch arrangement.
Overall the effect is quite eye-catching, as the powder blue frame pops and grabs your attention, which you must surely give this machine if blood still pumps through your veins.
Set for display at this year’s One Moto Show in A&R’s hometown of Portland, we look forward to seeing Kolb’s creation in person, though we are more intrigued to see how it runs on the race track.
On paper, this BMW should give serious competition to bikes like the popular Yamaha MT-07 and dare we say perhaps the Kramer HKR EVO2 as well. Form and function…we like that.