Motorrad Atelier in Munich.

Two friends, one thought. Based on a 1992 BMW R 80 RT, the bike will be a replica of the Retro Café Racer. Something that the two buddies had no idea back then: Their hobby project would be a shining example of the growing custom bike scene in Munich - admired by BMW fans around the world.

Two customizers

Tom Konecny (21) and Pablo Steigleder (24) are both motorcycle freaks. As often as possible, they take advantage of weekends and evenings for going out for a spin. Their destination: Munich and the beautiful surroundings of the Bavarian capital. Initially, the two young students did not create their own bikes, but drove conventional bikes like everyone else. Tom's bike was not new, but it was near and dear to him – he had had his 1992 model R 80 RT since he was 17. And when he was finally allowed to take it out on after turning 18, he had already modified it slightly. Over the next few years, the two became more deeply involved in the motorcycle scene in Munich. The scene was small, but it quickly grew. Things really got going as the custom shaft and the adaption of older machines, trackers and the urban "hacks" from France and England left their mark on the Café Racer. Nowadays bikes are increasingly customised. And in 2013 the motorcycle future suddenly changed for the two friends.

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An idea is born

Of course the owners of 'classic' motorcycles tuned their bikes back then as best they knew how. They used everything that their time and workshops allowed. But Tom and Pablo had a problem. "Wherever we went we saw the same stuff everywhere - particularly when it comes to BMWs and the Airhead Boxer Motor." That would have to change. So we tried to make things better. We wanted more personality, something more aggressive - something that would make our bikes stand out from the crowd." And so the idea was born.

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A diamond is produced

Over a short period of time from the end of 2013 until June 2014, Tom and Pablo set about creating their version of a café racer. The "donor bike" was none other than Tom's beloved R 80 RT. A truly great commitment. And it paid off. As you can see from the images, the result proves their hard work, pure devotion, applied creativity and a new way of thinking. The latter paradoxically arose mainly from the two friends' lack of experience when it comes to motorcycle construction - balanced out by lots of passion. At the same time, the name for their new hobby was found: "Diamond Atelier".

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Details on the R 80

18 inch BMW R 100 front tyre, STD wheel fork lowered by 85 mm, headlight assembled from vintage Yamaha and Honda parts, attachable Fehling handlebar, Brembo PSC-16 front brake, master cylinder with chromed steel tubes and Brembo caliper in conjunction with new R 100 R disc brakes. In addition to that, custom-designed front suspension, quick action throttle valve/gas pedal from Tomaselli with modified carburettor, Magura parking brake with customised clutch cable and machine adapters, Tarozzi rear sets and a custom made aluminium rod and side-mounted number plate holder attached to the drive shaft to make the rear wheel more visible. Under the seat, a Porsche GT3 cup gel battery and the gas tank was raised up 50 mm to form a line with the seat. The seat itself is from fibreglass with padding. The entire rear frame is built from scratch and made 150 mm narrower to allow for the sleek look of the seat and highlight the rear end of the bike The exhaust system consists of stock headers, no middle silencer and has short cone mufflers with one-off noise reducing inserts to pass German TÜV regulations. The alternator, starter covers and driveshaft-housing all CNC-machined for a different look Vintage valves/fittings and ring-shaped air filter housing also had to be included naturally The old number plates were removed from the frame. The frame itself was cleaned. The base colour was hand mixed. The fuel tank and seat were individualised by adding black stripes.

Enthusiastic feedback. Wherever it goes.

Tom explains: "We just got into it. Started taking it apart and doing what we thought was right. We kinda share the engineering skills, from metalwork to bike suspension and geometry, it’s a 50/50 thing. The electronics, however, is Pablo's area of expertise. I’m just the guy that presses a button and wants everything to work. Pablo is someone who can sit down for a week playing with electronics – and that's not really my thing. You could say in return I’m the one who's more responsible for the design. We kind of split the job-thing very well.”
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When I took the R 80 to work and parked it on the side of the road, folks turned their heads, took pictures and asked questions. ”

Tom Konecny (21)

The first time the finished R 80 was presented was at BMW Motorrad Days 2014 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. One of the main responsible persons at BMW Motorrad came to see the two guys to look at the bike and to talk to them. He was very impressed by the R 80. A pleasant round of shop talk about the "Diamond Atelier" ensued and what the two young men planned to do with it. Tom found his courage and asked for a job then and there. It went successfully: a short time later Tom completed a short internship within the BMW Group in the Brand Communication and Customer Relations Division.
It's clear to see why the R 80 is so exciting. It comes directly from the city and was made for the city. Super slender and agile, it cuts a path through the rush hour traffic. And it altogether loves urban agility. The lines and colours work the best in a busy area where it really can stand out from the “monotonous crowd,” so says Tom.
And not without a trace of pride he adds: "The R 80 immediately draws attention to itself. Before my internship at BMW Group, I used to work at a lawyer’s office on Maximilianstrasse, where the most exotic sports cars with foreign number plates are the daily fare. When I took the R 80 to work and parked it on the side of the road, folks turned their heads, took pictures and asked questions. The Lamborghini Aventador, which shortly before drove by, was quickly forgotten."
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Top secret

"We don't make bikes to earn our daily bread", says Tom and adds: "And we don't intend to. Maybe it would even work, but we don't want to lose the freedom to do what we love. We talked with some workshops and all of them told us that there's a lot more to building a motorcycle and it takes a lot of time. We would have our hands full with building half of the month and the rest of the month with things such as changing the oil, filters and tyres. And all that just to pay the bills. That's not our goal. That's just not what we want to do."
From building the R 80, the two youngsters behind Diamond Atelier have learned so much about the art of customising. What are they working on right now and which bikes can we expect to see next come rolling out of their workshop? All we can elicit from Tom and Pablo is a mysterious, but contented smile. The next project is again top secret and the world will surely be just as surprised as it was by their R 80.
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