Sinroja Motorcycles have been producing sublime customs from their Leicestershire, England workshop for the past five years. This BMW R80 is their 17th build, and started life two years ago with a very simple brief.
“I want a classic BMW in true Sinroja style, with a good mixture of modern and vintage details,” said the client. For builder Birju Sinroja, this was the perfect commission—offering free reign, and scope to provide a high level of attention to detail.
We always have time for a top-drawer airhead custom, and this is up there with the best. The donor bike was a BMW R80 TIC, which means it was built to police specification. (‘TIC’ is reputed to mean ‘Touring Integral Cockpit.’) Rahul Sinroja recalls it being “a true barn find,” but the brothers were unfazed by the condition.
The first step was to strip the whole bike, taking it back to bare metal by sand blasting the frame, and then cleaning up any unnecessary tabs and bracketry.
Then Sinroja fabricated and welded on a redesigned subframe, to create a clean line at the back. New footpegs were also fabricated, and positioned to suit the slightly revised ergonomics.
All classic customs that leave the Sinroja workshop get a full engine rebuild and this R80 was no exception. “We stripped the almost 40-year-old powertrain all the way to the crank,” says Birju. “We replaced the key components, like the big end bearings, chains, guides, pushrod tubes and so on, and rebuilt it to better-than-factory standards.”
The 797cc boxer engine has also been bumped up to 1000cc, with machined and ported heads and high compression pistons to boost the power higher still. It’s pristine on the outside too, with vapor-blasted cases, black paint and polished fins.
The gearbox and bevel drive got fresh bearings, seals and gaskets, and the carburetors were rebuilt with bigger jets to suit the upgraded engine. The exhaust pipework was fabricated in-house, and then finished off with custom end cans from Motone.
Handling is vastly improved with a custom suspension set-up: Birju has reworked a set of Yamaha R6 forks with race-spec Nitron cartridges, and installed fully adjustable Nitron rear shocks.
The forks retain the R6 calipers for improved braking performance, and they’re hooked up to the frame via custom yokes, billet machined by Fastec Racing (and hosting a Motogadget Chronoclassic speedo). Then Hagon built up a pair of 18-inch wire wheels, using custom-made rims and stainless spokes.
There are handmade fenders front and back—a wise decision in rainy England—and they’re neatly suspended with discreet struts.
Even more discreet is the brand-new wiring loom, from the motorcycle wiring specialist TowzaTronics. At the heart of the loom sits a Motogadget m.unit Blue control box, which has a Bluetooth phone connection for diagnostics and a keyless ignition system controlled by the owner’s phone.
The R80 is also fitted with Motogadget switches, bar end indicators and grips, plus a 7-inch halo-style headlight. The rear indicators are from Rizoma and double up as brake and running lights.
The paint is by GD Design: a stunning black and Land Rover ‘Corris Grey’ livery, drawing inspiration from the client’s love of Britain’s iconic 4WD brand. The seat stitching mirrors that of the cars, and even the saddle leather came from a Land Rover.
The aesthetics are finished off with machined Sinroja emblems that sit on the tank where you’d normally find the BMW roundels.
‘R17’ is one of the best examples of the custom airhead genre we’ve seen recently, but Birju is quick to point out that it’s a joint effort between client and builder. “It’s great to be in a place where customers just let you do what you want, and have trust and faith in the skills we have.”
“Giving rebirth to an old airhead that had been neglected for years in a barn is just a great feeling.”
We reckon the owner had a great feeling too, when he saw the result. It’s proof that choosing a skilled workshop and putting your trust in them will pay dividends.