Welcome to Part 2 of The SMIDSY Bike Build! Antique Motorcycles took delivery of the bike in June & started by stripping off the fairing and other plastics to find what lies underneath.
There’s good news and bad news. Johnny from Antique says that even for a 30+ year old bike, there is literally miles of wiring in the K100! A lot of time will be devoted to the electrics, with a whole new wiring loom a likely inclusion. The fork seals are leaking, as expected, and the fuel pump will need replacing, as old fuel has gummed it up and also affected the lines and tank. Despite this, the engine runs and given his experience with these motors, Johnny is confident this particular unit will be pretty solid inside. Time will tell as a full strip down is on the cards. The exterior plastics are all pretty good, but not many of them will make it back onto the finished custom. The factory seat & handle bars won’t be used either. With all the external parts removed, the frame condition proved to be less impressive than first thought, so when the engine and suspension have been removed, this will be gone over with a fine-tooth comb as part of the “safety first” mantra that’s driving this project.
Now that the bike has been thoroughly assessed the real work can begin. With safety being a key component of this build, changes won’t be made for the hell of it and they certainly won’t be made if they’re not going to be safe. The first change is to dock the KT100 LT’s oversized rear end to suit the café racer theme. Reece from Antique Motorcycles did the job properly. “We modified the rear frame rails and lifted them up two inches,” Reece explained. “After that, we put the whole frame in a jig and checked it for straightness.” Additional tube sections have been added to both strengthen those repositioned frame rails and provide additional support for the rear shock mounts. To cap this off, additional sections will be added, that will also serve as a mounting point for the tail light.
Next we look at the brakes. Not many motorcyclists need to be told of the benefits of Brembo brakes. Fitted as standard to this K100 when it was new in 1986, Brembos were top of the line then and are still the benchmark for braking performance today. Of course, the units on this bike have suffered the ravages of use and time, so the calipers will need rebuilding and the disc rotors replacing. “We are sending our worn-out discs off to Metal Gear in Queensland - they’re a great company to deal with and recondition disc brake rotors on a change-over basis. We’ve spoken to Bruce at Metal Gear and he’s going to help us out with these discs.” In a similar vein to the Brembo brakes, the BMW’s Koni suspension will be retained for the project as its quality is undeniable. However, to ensure they’re safe and functional, the rear shocks will be fully rebuilt, while new seals and progressive springs will be fitted up front.
When the BMW’s 987cc horizontal four is reco’d and refitted, it’ll retain the factory exhaust headers, too, but the long silencer will be swapped out for a more compact, GP-style stainless steel muffler. Reece is a big fan of those beautiful twisted headers, so was keen to keep them in place. Rust in the handlebars wasn’t the problem it might have been if this was a stock restoration. They were going to be ditched anyway, with a set of clip-ons already trial-fitted, but like the rest of the componentry, these will be sized and placed so they don’t adversely affect safe riding.
As you can see from the photos, some of the café racer-influenced aesthetic changes that will individualise this bike are already underway. These include the aforementioned clip-on bars and rearsets, as well as a radiator shroud from a K100. As the K100 was the naked companion to the K100 LT tourer, the shroud fits perfectly. Slung just aft of this on the offside is a RamFlo air filter that will lend an appropriate old-school look. The old-school headlight is from a new Indian Scout. As Antique Motorcycles are Indian dealers, it was convenient, but it looks good and will be functional, too. “It suits the purpose perfectly,” Reece explained, adding that the Scout’s single light beam also has good hi/lo beam characteristics. The indicators and other legal essentials are still a work in progress, while Reece and the team have also been toying around with ideas for the ducktail, which will be revealed later in the build.
Reece says the LT’s 8-spoke alloys will be retained for the café racer, but cleaned and repainted before they’re sent off to Pablo’s Tyres in Mordialloc (VIC) for fresh rubber. The type of tyres used for the build – chunky or slim, blackwall or whitewall – will be decided at a later date. “Rick from Pablo’s is an expert at matching the right tyres to custom builds, so we will tap into his expertise for our new rubber,” Reece explained. Many of the other accessories, including mirrors, reservoir covers, levers, indicators, grips, etc. will be sourced through MCA Motorcycle Accessories Supermarket in Dandenong (VIC) and BikeCraft in Mordialloc (VIC), close to Antique MC’s base in Cheltenham. “Brad from Bike Craft is an expert at selecting accessories, so we will be leaning on him for advice. Being a distributor of Rizoma accessories, his choice well no doubt be a little biased, but hey, we’re talking about Rizoma here, so that’s a good thing,” Reece laughed.
Be sure to check back on the coming weeks as we reveal more of the SMIDSY Bike Build process and may even include a couple of teasers on how the finished build will look!
The SMIDSY Bike Build is an initiative of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, supported by Antique Motorcycles and JUST BIKES. The goal is to produce a custom motorcycle that combines attractive appearance touches with the sort of safety features that’ll make a great-looking custom a great and safe bike to ride, too. Maurice Blackburn Lawyers are driving the project, with the aim of further spreading their SMIDSY – Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You – motorcycle safety message. Antique Motorcycles will undertake the build, with support from selected specialty suppliers, while JUST BIKES will document the build process. The finished SMIDSY Bike Build will be revealed in JUST BIKES and debut in the metal at upcoming bike events, including the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride this September.