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The Pathfinder: This BMW boxer scrambler is Crooked’s 50th custom

BMW boxer scrambler by Crooked Motorcycles
Running a custom motorcycle workshop isn’t an easy racket, so we applaud anyone who can pull it off. Germany’s Crooked Motorcycles clearly has the right stuff; this woodsy BMW boxer scrambler is their 50th release.

Nicknamed ‘The Pathfinder,’ the bike has a special place in Crooked’s heart for more than one reason. Not only does it mark a half-century of builds for the shop, but it was commissioned by a returning customer who already had two Crooked motorcycles in his garage. So the crew felt motivated to do the 1980-model BMW R100 justice.

Classic BMW scrambler by Crooked Motorcycles
It also wasn’t lost on them that custom BMW boxers are a dime a dozen. Their customer wanted a svelte scrambler that was rugged and sporty—something that would stand out, but still cut a neat silhouette. “A challenge in a very oversaturated BMW market,” quips Crooked’s co-founder, Dominikus Braun.

For Dominikus, it boiled down to creating “a mix between a fun machine and an art project.” That meant building a bike that their client would enjoy riding, but also using it as a canvas to celebrate their success.

BMW boxer scrambler by Crooked Motorcycles
The real beauty of this BMW boxer scrambler is its minimalism. Crooked stripped the bike down and built it back up with all-new bodywork, slimming it down dramatically in the process.

The itty-bitty fuel tank came from a Honda CB50; Crooked had used it on a previous project, and figured it would fit the bill here. With the tank modified and installed, a leather and Alcantara seat was made to match its profile. Lower down, Crooked removed the BMW’s bolt-on subframe and welded in a shorter unit.

Classic BMW scrambler by Crooked Motorcycles
Custom shock mounts at the back of the subframe hold new YSS shocks, while also hosting tiny LEDs that serve as turn signals and taillights. Poking out from underneath the seat is a stubby muffler from Cobra, mounted on custom-made two-into-one headers. The underside of the seat has been shaped to accommodate the muffler and lined with heat-shielding material.

And in case you’re wondering if the rear wheel hits the muffler under load; it doesn’t. “I can already see the comments about the distance to the rear wheel,” says Dominikus wryly. “All I can say is that we’ve tested it with a rider weighing over 110 kg [242.5 lbs], without any tire contact.”

Classic BMW scrambler by Crooked Motorcycles
Moving to the front, Crooked rebuilt the OEM forks, shortening them by almost an inch and installing progressive springs in the process. They also fabricated an aluminum fender and headlight nacelle, loosely fashioning the latter after vintage enduro bikes. A punchy Highsider LED is tucked into a flare housing out front.

A discreet Motogadget speedo lives behind the nacelle, embedded into a tidy little dashboard plate. The handlebars are from Renthal, the switches, grips, and bar-end turn signals are all Motogadget parts, and the foot controls are from ABM.

Classic BMW scrambler by Crooked Motorcycles
Turning their attention to the drivetrain, Crooked rebuilt the BMW’s timeless boxer motor and installed a pair of Mikuni flatslide carbs with K&N filters. They also rewired it around more Motogadget components for a neater layout and extended the sump with a Siebenrock kit for better reliability.

A cover was added where the airbox used to sit, while the battery was relocated to a box just behind the sump. The whole engine was tastefully finished in black, with polished fins and logos to add contrast.

Classic BMW scrambler by Crooked Motorcycles
Other details include color-matched adjustment dials on the YSS shocks and a unique ‘Artic’ Cerakote finish on the exhaust. Continental TKC80 tires were spooned on at the client’s request, adding an extra dose of rugged style to this scrambler.

Crooked opted for a mossy green hue for the R100’s primary paint job, then called in frequent collaborator Chiko’s Pinstriping to adorn the tank with some travel-inspired artwork. Chiko laid down two layers of sashaying stripes (one of them ghosted), inspired by the bike’s ‘Pathfinder’ moniker.

Classic BMW scrambler by Crooked Motorcycles
“This underlines our artistic approach on this project,” says Dominikus, “combined with the search for the right way to get somewhere—regardless of whether it’s a winding pass or a small dirt road.”

It’s a succinct way to sum up not only this build but the 49 that preceded it too. Crooked Motorcycles has never bound themselves to any one particular style of custom motorcycle—and that leaves us excited for their next 50 projects.

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Classic BMW scrambler by Crooked Motorcycles


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