The build continues! Click here to read part three!
The Pikes Peak BMW S1000XR Build Is Underway
If you’re just tuning in: We’re building this bike in partnership with the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, with the intention of racing it at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in June. The bike just rolled into our shop in March, and we’re on a tight deadline to get it prepped, painted, and outfitted so we can test it before the race. Want to learn more about this project? Check out our first post here.
This project has three main segments — fabricating custom parts, painting bodywork, and installing accessories — which need to happen in roughly that order. As soon as the bike showed up, our design team, Nate and Greg, started tearing it down and taking measurements to start the custom fabrication.
A key part of our design concept was to integrate the number plates into the original lines of the bike, so they would read as stock body work and not a two-dimensional add-on. Starting with the windshield, the guys roughed out a shape on the band saw (aka the hand laser), and then finished the edges by hand.
The side-facing number plates are a special addition. We’re tucking them into an open part of the frame, a rectangular section that’s just about the right size and shape. Nate first mocked up the panels in cardboard, and then cut and shaped the final polycarbonate panels to match. While a standard ABS plastic would have been sufficient, Nate chose ⅛” polycarbonate because it’s super durable and will hold its form well. He and Greg then fabricated brackets that attach to the frame, to mount the new panels. The final step will be to apply the number plate graphics.
Initially, we planned to create carbon fiber inserts to replace the stock headlights, since the Pikes Peak rule book requires that nearly all lighting equipment must be removed. But when we checked with the race committee, we learned that you can leave the headlights in place if you completely cover the polycarbonate lenses. We opted to leave the stock headlights so the bike can be easily converted back and forth between street and track mode. Instead of a lame masking-tape job, we wrapped the stock lights in carbon fiber vinyl.
Next, the entire tail assembly came off — partly because that’s what it took to get all the bodywork off the bike, but also because we’re replacing it with an R&G Tail Tidy fender eliminator. Once the tail assembly was off, the last of the bodywork was removed. We’ve shipped all the plastics, and the wheels, to Alternative Chrome Creations in Haysville, Kansas, for chroming. Yes, chroming. This bike is going to gleam like gold in the sun.
Lastly, here’s an update on our race entry. We submitted an application with longtime Isle of Man TT racer Thomas Montano as our rider. Thomas has more than 30 years of racing experience, including 12 top-twenty finishes at Isle of Man! He has a number of US championships under his belt, too. Between our rider’s experience and our bike design, we thought our chances were pretty damn good.
Unfortunately…we’ve been waitlisted, which means we’re on a short list of teams who may be called to enter if someone else drops out. There was fierce competition to get into the race this year and a very small field of bikes. On an upside, the committee apparently liked our bike and rider, and we’re in the top handful of waitlist candidates. June 13 is the cutoff date for waitlist notification, so we still have a little ways to go before we find out for sure whether we’re racing. In the meantime, we’re moving ahead with the build so we’re prepared for the day we get that call! Fingers crossed.