This ex-Police BMW R 80 RT has crossed over to the dark side

Once a loyal servant to the Swiss Police force, this 1988 BMW R 80 RT has been given a shadowy new lease of life as a promotional vehicle-come-supercharged drag racer…

The offending machine, named Polizia Uno ‘P1’ by its creators, was one of three ex-Police R 80 RT patrol bikes procured by Swiss-based customisation shop, VTR Customs. Originally used by the Italian-speaking division of the Swiss Police force (though wearing the livery of its German equivalent in tribute to its homeland, hence ‘Polizei’ rather than ‘Polizia’), the P1 drops only a few hints of its past life. These come in the form of the original blue emergency light, and some battle scars suffered while in service, kept as character witness statements.

Guilty as (super)charged

Long after being relieved of duty – and shedding its police-spec panniers – the bike now fulfils a new role, operating as a drag-strip racer and a rolling attestation of VTR’s expertise in the model. The company has engineered a custom fuel-injection system (with a switch on the top fork yoke for different fuel and ignition maps), and has also added a belt-driven Rotrex supercharger and a nitrous oxide set-up in a quest to bring down its eighth-of-a-mile sprint times. Less serious additions include a child’s dummy (for noisy prisoners of the pillion?), and a spiralling design to the rear wheel hub that supposedly hypnotises onlookers into wanting to visit the VTR Customs workshop, which is hidden in the basement of a strait-laced BMW Motorrad dealer in Schmerikon. Unsurprisingly, the bike is no longer road-legal – a case of reverse-reformation, indeed…

Photos: VTR Customs

You can find numerous classic BMW motorbikes for sale in the Classic Driver Market.