Go fishing in style with the 'Willoughby 65' custom BMW bike
The arrival of the Biarritz-based Wheels and Waves festival back in 2012 kicked-off a craze for custom motorcycles based around the hip themes of surfing and skateboarding. But Zurich-based cafe racer craftsman Dani Weidmann doesn't like to follow the crowd, so for the superb 'Willoughby 65' build pictured here he drew inspiration from a sport that isn't quite so readily associated with a cool and carefree lifestyle: fishing.
Weidmann's VTR Customs workshop sits on the shores of Lake Zurich where he spent his childhood hanging-out at his uncle's boat hire business and embarking on laid-back angling expeditions with his cousin. A love of the hobby led Weidmann to discover the 1964 comedy 'Man's Favorite Sport,' in which Rock Hudson plays phoney fishing expert Roger Willoughby who works as a smooth-talking tackle salesman with high-end sporting goods outfitter Abercrombie & Fitch - despite never having cast a line in his life.
The film's focus on fishing and its perfect representation of the '60s Zeitgeist captured Weidmann's heart, leading to the creation of the 'Willoughby 65' that reflects not only the name of the main character, but also the year in which the builder was born and the BMW R65 that he chose as the basis for the project. And the finished article is a long way from the staid, middleweight tourer that emerged from the Spandau factory in 1982. As a multiple Swiss national motocross and supermoto champion, Weidmann has a need for speed that simply couldn't be fulfilled by the bike's standard, 26 bhp .
That meant tearing-down the engine and building it back up again with an 865cc Siebenrock 860cc big bore kit, fitting custom-made camshafts and valve gear and ditching the standard Bing carburettors in favour of flat-slide Keihins. More power was unleashed through gas flowed cylinder heads, a high-power ignition system and a bespoke two-into-one downpipe with Hattech Muffler.
The frame, meanwhile, was stripped of all superfluous brackets and hangers before being powder-coated in matt grey to create a subtle contrast with the all-black engine, wheels, fork legs and diamond-like-carbon fork tubes. Black Edition Ohlins shock absorbers were used to drop the rear ride height and improve handling, with the back end being rendered ultra-minimal with a cut-down frame, short mudguard and inset LED lighting.
The bike is super-clean at the front, too, with the 'brat' style handlebars carrying just a single microswitch (the main electrical switches having been set into the engine covers). The fuel tank, meanwhile, was given a sight tube with which to monitor petrol levels and also became home to an integrated Motogadget 'Tiny Tacho' and a custom-made watch head by ZeitZone Zurich.
And as for the fishing theme that inspired the bike - that can be seen in references from 'Man's Favorite Sport' that are engraved into the fuel filler cap and in the cleverly integrated carriers for a 1950s Fischer rod on the right and a '60s boat paddle on the left. Weidmann originally built the bike for his own use, but the cost of creating it has forced him to take the tough decision to sell.
To find out how much for - and it strikes us as a very reasonable price - you'll need to contact him directly through his page on Classic Driver (He doesn't want Mrs Weidmann to know how much he spent....)