You know what we’ve seen a lot of lately? Custom BMW bikes. Seriously, they’re starting to reach a Hide the Pain Harold-level of ubiquity. And we’re starting to feel Harold-levels of ennui while surveying all the custom jobs out there – there’s not a whole lot of variation in their styling. Apparently, California-based custom bike specialist Jeremy Hutch knows that feel. So he’s taken matters into his own hands with the 1979 BMW R80 ‘Skyway’ Boardracer.
Sick of seeing cliche BMW airhead builds, Hutch designed this one to be entirely singular. That entailed upgrading a “lazy” ’79 BMW R80 with a Yamaha R6 front end, which was fully rebuilt and lowered by 35 mm. He then added some custom 3CR12 brake rotors, along with custom rear shocks that are both progressive and adjustable. He also repurposed a “crazy big headlight” from one of his engineers to fit the Motogadget keyless ignition.
Hutch’s inspirations for the bike included “early boardtrackers, California culture, and the iconic ‘Skyway’ freestyle BMW bike of the early ’80s with its white plastic Tuff Mags.” (Hence the name.) We can pinpoint all those elements here, right down to the hexagonal-stitched Napa suede tank cover and Mexican-blanket style paint job that recalls BMW’s racing colours.
But, really, the Skyway is much greater than the sum of its parts – it’s a BMW custom job that’s actually fun. And with a bespoke one-foot braking system and updated suspension pieces, it’s fun to ride, too.
So fun even Harold’s excited about it.
And that’s saying something.