VTR CUSTOMS’ BMW R 1200 R
Factory Class Bike
Background and history of the “Spitfire”
After the overwhelming success of our first two R 1200 R conversions “Goodwood 12” and “Eddie 21” which appeared in several trade magazines and on the world’s largest custom platforms, we decided to once again convert an R 1200 R. One thing was clear: it had to be even more radical. And this, too, was clear: our Amelie had to drive the thing again. She is already affectionately known as our “factory rider,” and out of the shared passion, real and deep friendship has developed. Her extraordinary friendliness and natural charisma has made a significant contribution to the popularity of our bikes, especially to the fun we have as a VTR Customs Race crew.
As Dani Weidmann himself has been a member of the Sultans of Sprint www.sultansofsprint.com with POLIZIA UNO since the beginning, he heard first hand of the idea to found a “Factory Class” in 2018, which would allow makes with modern 2-cylinder engines (not allowed in the “Freak Class”). Although we were very successful in the Essenza Class (2nd place Design Jury, 3rd place rider ranking), we decided together with BMW Motorrad for the Sultans Factory Class (New Class), where there are at least four rounds and a somewhat wilder bunch provides the necessary flavor. So we officially registered in the Factory Class as BMW Motorrad Bike. Next to BMW Motorrad, we found TW Steel (a watch manufacturer) almost by chance with their custom-conscious “Son of Time” offshoot. We are an official BMW Motorrad Custom Race Team with the additional sponsor of TW Steel and various supporters from the scene (ROKKER Company, Magura, Parts World etc.)
Son of Time Spitfire movie
The design inspiration was born from a mixture of Dani’s own career in aviation and as a mechanic of a 2nd World War aircraft, as well as a sketch from a pure design studio from France (Barbara Design). A torpedo-like monster completely sheathed in aluminum would be immediately reminiscent of old airplanes. It was also clear that the “thing” would take part in breathtaking and spectacular races and not be simply built for the living room. Once the word “spectacular” was out in the open, the name soon followed. We wanted the bike to shoot real flames from the tailpipe, like old radial engines used to at ignition. The name “Spitfire” was born.
The idea may have come quickly – carrying it out proved it to be the most elaborate and complex bike we have ever built. The complex design to prevent the line from ultimately looking “clumsy” was a challenge, as were the extremely deep line (approx. 90cm high) and all the technical challenges that brough with it. As Swiss customizers, things like authenticity and details are important to us – in this spirit, original cockpit instruments from a Spitfire from the Second World War were bought from England, aircraft start switches were organized and a wealth of details and “Amy Special” gimmicks were brimming in our minds. At the moment, we are still on the extremely ornate aluminum work – we work the metal ourselves in-house – and on the technical solutions (e.g. fork shortened by over 30cm, but still fully functional).
The engine has remained to meet the series of Factory Class regulations, which stipulate a weight to power ratio for the class to ensure fair competition among the diverse participants. Everything but the basic engine and swingarm has been modified and “made to fit” – the front frame has been extended by 20cm and shortened by 20cm, the head tube shortened, all electronics repositioned and more.
Since we all come from racing, we aren’t just building to take part – we also want our experienced Amelie to ride to victory in the saddle of the elaborate, expertly-fashioned “Spitfire.”
The shell was presented to an astonished audience in late February at the Swiss Moto.
- Based on BMW R 1200 R Year 2017 with quickshifter, traction control and drive modes PRO
- Aluminum work handmade by VTR Customs (Marcel Brauchli)
- Saddle: handmade by VTR Customs & Yves Knobel
- Wheels and brakes: standard
- Brake pump: Magura HC3
- Handlebar: ABM Vario Clip customized
- Exhaust system: handmade by VTR Customs incl. flamethrower system (fully open)
- Motor, gear unit and drivetrain: series
- Rear shock absorber: none (fixed steel)
- Fork: BMW series shortened by more than 30cm – 3cm suspension travel
- Instruments: original WWII cockpit instrument from a Spifire of the Royal Airforce
- Foot grid : VTR Customs
- Fuel tank: handmade by VTR Customs (volume approx. 5 liters), under the seat