How many custom shops have built over a hundred bikes? A tiny handful. But the BMW R80 RT we’re looking at here is build no. 128 for the Madrid outfit Café Racer Dreams.
CRD started in 2010 under the tutelage of Pedro García, but is now run by Jaime Colsa. They’ve been averaging a steady ten bikes a year, with a strong emphasis on classic BMW airhead customs. Every now and then they like to mix things up, and in this case, have built a very unusual tribute to the Bultaco Frontera 370 Gold Medal.
Most folks will know Bultaco for its trials, motocross and enduro bikes, which peaked in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. Flat track racers may recall the popular ‘Astro,’ too.
But this R80 RT is a tributo to the lesser known ‘Gold Medal’—a version of the mid-70s Frontera enduro bike.
That explains why we couldn’t identify the tank on this quirky machine. “The only change to the gas tank, with its original cap bearing the distinctive ‘thumbs up’ and even the rubber lid of the toolkit, is the BMW logo,” the CRD guys say.
The front fairing and the headlight are also from the Frontera, and painted to match the 1976 original.
BMW’s hefty tourer is an unlikely candidate for a go-anywhere machine, but the mods applied by head mechanic Marcos Castro have transformed it. CRD claims a 100-kilo weight loss, and losing the heavy bodywork must have contributed a big part to that.
The new front end will also help. CRD have grafted on a set of 43mm Showa USD forks, plus four-piston Tokico radial calipers and 320mm discs. Twin Hagon shocks now support the rear end.
The stock rear frame is gone, with the shocks leaning forward to hook up to the back of the main frame. A custom pan extends out to support the minimalist seat, which is covered in 4mm buffalo hide.
There’s also a panel of sheepskin hide to provide extra grip; there’s no sliding around, motocross-style, on this perch.
The engine has been refurbished and refinished in black, looking even better than new. The rebuilt Bing carbs have been Cerakoted to match the color of the bodywork, and the intakes now sport K&N filters.
At the other end of the combustion process, the headers are now terminated with stubby, lightweight SuperTrapp mufflers.
The cockpit is finished off with Renthal bars, vintage-style Domino grips, and bar-end Highsider mirrors. The cabling is from Tarozzi, and there’s a smart new LSL brake reservoir.
Motogadget supplied the Motoscope Tiny speedo—flushed into a machined aluminum yoke—as well as m.switch mini controls and mo.blaze indicators.
It’s an intriguing build and well left-of-center, even by the standards of BMW airhead customs. But it also performs, no doubt helped by the Continental TKC80 rubber—as the action shots show, with Spanish journalist Sergio Romero riding.
Plus, anything that tips a hat to classic 1970s Bultacos gets the tick from us. Well played, Café Racer Dreams.