Since the dawn of automotive design, manufacturers have been searching for ways to battle against one, stubborn coefficient: the wind. In the early to mid-1900s, the utilization of curvaceous bodies, shaped metalwork, and the study of aerodynamics led to the cumbersome but beautiful coachwork that became symbolic of the 20th century’s early vehicles — an iconic look that was painstakingly recreated by Sydney, Australia’s MotoRRetro for this bespoke BMW R100 RS motorcycle.
Motorcycle customizers Georgio Rimi and Vaughn Ryan (of MotoRRetro fame) share a love for the aesthetically pleasing platforms of the early 1900s, referencing the aerodynamic principles used by many of their favorite cars, including the Auto Union Type C, driven by Bernd Rosemeyer in 1937, and the famed airstream caravans that were popularized in the ‘30s and ‘50s. To complete a tasteful two-wheeled machine inspired by the pair’s most lusted-after pre-WW2 Auto Union Grand Prix cars, BMW’s first full-fairing motorcycle seemed like the perfect place to start; and after enlisting a donor R100 RS from Queensland, the duo began their arduous four-year build. Using their combined knowledge of metalwork, Rimi and Ryan shaped, stretched, and crafted the alloy body panels of the bike with the help of dollies, mallets, blocking hammers, and the English Wheel. Aircraft riveting and lightning punches give the RS a decidedly aeronautical presence, while a Buell Lightning front end, custom triple tree, and CNC-machined front wheel play nicely with the cycle’s vintage automotive aesthetic. The result: a polarizing concept bike that boasts all of the handsome attributes of early-era vehicles and a testament to the designers’ love for the process.