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BMW R 17 project a stunning retro

Could BMW build more retro models?

Sinroja Motorcycles BMW R80 (Photos: Tom Horna @driveclassics)

This stunning custom based on a classic air-cooled BMW has us wondering whether BMW will produce more retro models to complement their popular R nineT family.

It was produced by British custom motorcycle shop Sinroja Motorcycles and they call it the R17 which is interesting since BMW recently returned to cruisers with their R 18.

The R 18 was actually born after BMW gave the R 18 engine to a couple of custom houses to see what they could do with it.

In fact, the R nineT was also born after famed LA designer Roland Sands built a modern custom project to honour the venerable R 90.

So it’s not improbable that BMW would look at this classic as a potential for a more retro model in its line-up.

While the R nineT family is popular, I always thought Roland Sands’ version was better and BMW made the r nineT just a little bit too modern looking.

Birju Sinroja started Sinroja Motorcycles in Leicestershire, England, five years ago and has been working on the R17 for two years ago.

Here is their account of the rebuild:Sinroja Motorcycles BMW R80 (Photos: Tom Horna @driveclassics)

The bike started as a BMW R80 TIC (police specification) that was a true barn find.

The first step was to strip the whole bike, taking it back to bare metal by sand blasting the frame and then cleaning up any unnecessary tabs and bracketry. From there a new subframe was fabricated to create a clean line. We also fabricated and repositioned the footrest for rider and passenger to fit their ergonomic needs. The handmade mudguards are finished with simple braces, holding them up to nicely balance the lines of the bike and provide some protection from dirt on the road.

All classic customs that leave Sinroja workshop get a full crank-up engine rebuild and the R17 was no exception. We stripped the almost 40-year-old powertrain all the way to crank, replacing all key components like big end bearings, chains, guides, pushrod tubes etc, and rebuilding it to better than factory standards. This engine received our 1000cc (originally 800cc) conversion with machined and ported heads and high compression pistons to up the power. All the cases are vapour blasted and painted black with fins polished for great looks. The gearbox and bevel drive got a full rebuild with all fresh bearings, seals, gaskets etc and some unique Sinroja upgrades. Carburettors were also fully rebuilt with bigger jets to help with upgraded engine. The exhausts were fabricated in-house and then finished by Motone’s one-off end cans.

Handling is vastly improved with a complete custom suspension set-up. Yamaha R6 forks have been reworked with Nitron Suspension racing range cartridges and fully adjustable Nitron rear shocks. The forks retain the R6 calipers for improved braking performance to further increase rideability. Fastec Racing created the billet machined yokes. The custom 18- inch wire wheels were built by Hagon using custom-made rims and stainless spokes.Sinroja Motorcycles BMW R80 (Photos: Tom Horna @driveclassics)

A brand-new wiring loom from TowzaTronics replaces all of the original wiring. At the heart of all of the electronics is a Motogadget M-Unit Blue. It controls all aspects of the electronic system and also allows Bluetooth phone connection with a diagnostic support function. The M-unit also allows keyless ignition system via the owner’s phone. The R17 is fitted with Motogadget switches, bar end indicators and grips along with 7-inch halo headlight. Rear indicators are from Rizoma and double up as brake and running lights. The final element is a beautiful dash hosting the Motogadget speedo.

The stunning black/Corris Grey livery draws inspiration from the client’s love of Land Rovers and Range Rovers. The stitching on the seat mirrors that of the car and even the saddle leather came from a Land Rover. The aesthetics are finished with a machined Sinroja emblem that sits proudly on the tank.

This bike came with a perfect brief in my opinion. We had pretty much a free reign on what to do. It’s great to be in a place where customers just let you do what you want and have that trust and faith in skills we have. The end result is something we are super proud of indeed. A timeless design and giving rebirth to an old airhead that had been neglected for years in a barn is just a great feeling.Sinroja Motorcycles BMW R80 (Photos: Tom Horna @driveclassics)

Sinroja Motorcycles R 17 specs

  • Suspension: Nitron Racing Suspension
  • Exhaust: Motone Customs
  • Paint: Glen of GD Design
  • Wiring: TowzaTronics
  • Upholstery: Classic Car Services
  • Sinroja Motorcycles links