Building a unique custom for a living would be the idea of paradise for most motorcyclists. However, like an author trying to write a sequel to a hit, the pressure has to be enormous. Rear group Renard’s Speed Shop in Estonia know all about this, but it has never slowed them down.
Their first bike, the Renard GT, was a carbon fiber V-twin dream, offered as a limited production model. Renard has followed it up with a series of world-class custom builds, from gentle to wild. Now, in a sense, they’re going back to their original formula, with a series of prototyped BMW R100s. cafe racer build.
Shop manager, William Sarevet, explains: “We have always wanted to build limited edition motorcycles, to continue the same trend we started with the Renard GT. “It is important for Renard to return to its roots.”
“This doesn’t mean we won’t do any one-off customs. We will – but they must be very special, or provide us with a creative challenge and we are happy to build. “
Renard has spent the last year prepping these short-lived BMW boxer-based machines, creating their interpretation of the ultimate cafe racer. Every bike starting from 1976-1979 BMW R100 touring model, and then remade to strike a balance between classic style and modern performance.
Each donor bike will be entitled to full treatment. If you’re claiming to make the ultimate coffee racer, then the engine is essential — so Renard goes above and beyond in this area. The engines of the R100 are all rebuilt to a strict specification, using a 6 series engine box and a windbox designed by Renard.
Lighter pistons run inside a new spark twin cylinder head, along with lightweight cranks and flywheels to help the 1000 cc flat twin spin even faster. The Bing carbs were overhauled, as was the starter motor and gearbox. Each engine is blasted and coated in clear ceramic, before being fitted with the Renard badge.
The exhaust is also custom; The 40 mm exhaust tip ends with a Hattech stainless steel conical silencer. Rear-wheel drive is from an early round box spoiler, with Renard attaching a side swingarm on available single-sided options.
Moving to the rolling elements, the Borrani wheels are fitted with stainless steel spokes for Renard’s own hubs and bearing units. They’re wrapped in Bridgestone Acclade tyres, bringing modern performance to an old-school tyre’s look.
The front fork is a copy of the Ceriani, attached to Renard’s custom fork clamps. Modern adjustable shock absorbers run at the rear, while the brake discs, brake calipers and master cylinder are all top-of-the-line Beringer parts.
Up front are LED headlights, located below the custom visor. Hidden behind it are a pair of similar Smiths watches. Combining speedo and tacho is all too common these days – but separate gauges are never unattractive, especially on a classic cafe racer.
The low handlebars are equipped with Beringer levers. There are fluid reservoirs on both sides, because Renard chose to install a hydraulic clutch.
The levers are integrated with Renard’s own CNC machined switches — they screw directly into the Beringer clamp and are easily one of the best looking switches in the industry. Leather-wrapped handles and end-of-bar mirror add a touch of class.
The entire bike is wrapped from the ground up around a Motogadget mo.unit is blue. Setup includes keyless ignition and the ability to track your motorcycle via a smartphone app. The small Lithium-ion battery is hidden inside the bodywork, while the taillights and turn signals are LEDs.
The entire sleek bodywork is hand-crafted by the Renard team. A great deal of work has been done into the barrel, seats, dashboard and fenders, and it really shows. The factory R100 gas tank is an iconic piece in its own right, but Renard nailed their reinterpretation of it.
The perfectly proportioned tail unit rests on the modified subframe, and the leather upholstery on the seats reveals masterful craftsmanship.
So far, Renard has built four bikes to their own specifications. But in the future, each building will be tailored to the owner’s preferences.
William told us: “We sold the first four bikes to previous customers and club members. “All bikes are street legal with approved frames, three trees, suspension, sound, emissions and engine power upgrades.”
If you are looking for a custom BMW that will stand out from the crowd, look good and stay extremely good for the rest of your life, you may want to contact Renard. But do it quickly. Construction slots for 2023 are limited and these are sure to sell like hot cakes.