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The BMW K1600 Custom Project

These Awesome BMW K1600 Custom Bikes Are Sci-Fi On Two Wheels

Updated August 8, 2018

For modern custom builders, BMW’s are all about the iconic boxer engine and retro stylings; very few builders stray from the well beaten path but here we have two superb motorcycles cut straight from the K1600 GTL, the pinnacle of BMW’s luxury tourer range. Here are two K1600 custom machines like you’ve never seen before!

How About Two Unusual BMW K1600 Custom Machines?

For these special machines, BMW called in two very talented builders to create the centerpieces for their display at the 2015 Osaka Motorcycle Show. The two motorcycles are very different, both from each other and from their donor. No one ever thought that the 1649cc behemoth could ever look so good.

BMW chose two of the most prestigious Japanese builders of the moment. Keiji Kawakita and Kenji Nagai.

BMW K1600 Custom 1

Keiji Kawakita of Hot Dock Custom Cycles, based in Tokyo, has a long history of restoring, rebuilding and customizing Harley Davidsons and is also a racing legend in his own right.

BMW K1600 Custom 2

Kenji Nagai, owner of Ken’s Factory, is another Harley specialist who has shops in both Japan and the USA. He’s built bikes and supplied motorcycle accessories for riders all over the world and knows exactly what he’s doing.

BMW K1600 Custom 3

The finished articles are hard to classify in terms of style; they don’t conform to the current custom trends at all. And it’s refreshing to see something different for a change!

BMW K1600 Custom 4

Starting with Hot Dock, the aptly named ‘Juggernaut’ K1600 is a beast of a bike. With a length of nearly 2.5 meters and a weight of 767lbs, it’s not for the faint hearted. It’s no wonder that very few K1600 custom projects take center stage, because very few are even started!

BMW K1600 Custom 5

Complete with aluminum bodywork, the already powerful K1600 GTL motor can now reach speeds just shy of 200km/h. Sure, it’s got a new muffles and air box but this build is all about the visuals.

BMW K1600 Custom 6

Many journos have been quick to dub this build as a steampunk inspired motorcycle but they’re wrong. For all subculture fanboys, this is cyberpunk – and to the max. The gauges, cases and pipes are from the future, not the past. This is Final Fantasy VII on wheels.

BMW K1600 Custom 7

Kenji Nagai’s offering is another amazing feat of engineering. He’s modified the K1600 GTL into a low rider, drag racer. The rear has been removed and the rake and trail have been expertly elongated.

BMW K1600 Custom 7

The wheels are 23 inch alloy up front and 20 inch disc at the read, wearing 220-section Avon Cobra tires.

BMW K1600 Custom 8

Overall, the bike carries beautiful lines, crafted with a minimalistic, aluminum vibe. The front fairing with an isolated LED headlight is the icing on the cake. It’s another futuristic build but no less inspired than the first.

BMW K1600 Custom 8

It’s refreshing to see custom motorcycles embrace a futuristic and fantastic formula, rather than settle with classic designs. The buzzwords like ‘retro’, ‘vintage’ and ‘bespoke’ should be shelved for a while and real, enthusiastically bizarre builds should take the center stage more often. What do you think?


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Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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