Despite its rustic and heavily worn out aesthetic, the BMW R80 ESG 649 is incredibly new. Regarded a unique piece amongst the most unique builds, this machine is anything but a mere café racer. Conceptualized and constructed in one of Poland’s many premier custom workshops, the Eastern Spirit Garage is renowned for their quality over quantity philosophy, and their reputation for churning out fewer than a dozen builds over the past seven years.
Showcasing more-than-perfect shape and proportion, the BMW R80 ESG 649 is no conventional R-series custom. With a sleek finish and perfect stance, even its creator, Sylwester Mateusiak admits this project was a struggle. Commissioned by a petrolhead car and bike collector from Warsaw, the BMW R80 ESG 649 showcases modular design, switchable panels, a removable set of fairings, and a spare tail unit for passengers.
With innumerable out-of-the-box specifications to consider, Sylwester Mateusiak took it upon himself to create something rarely-seen-before. Opting for a sporty instead of chunky, stocky, and upright, the BMW R80 ESG 649 instead features a long, low tank that completely eschews the design cues of the late 70s original. Through utilizing traditional coachbuilding and metalworking skills, this machine’s entire bodywork down to its tank and fairing, was hand-wheeled from sheets of aluminum.
Knowing good and well that complexity ≠ efficiency, the BMW R80 ESG 649’s fairings are easy to navigate. Mounted independently, these fairings are removable without any fancy tools, whilst the all-new cockpit and pimped-out handlebars showcase new grips, switchgear controls, and discreet LED blinkers. Incorporating a tank which not only holds fuel, but encompasses a concealed cargo space underneath, the BMW R80 ESG 649 runs on a Lithium-ion battery, masked by a brake master cylinder.
Retaining much of its distinct BMW flair, the R80 ESG 649 features a 797cc boxer motor, overhauled with fresh gaskets, new bearings, and a custom-made starter cover. Ditching the stock Bing carbs and fitted aftermarket Mikunis for better breathing, Sylwester Mateusiak crafts a complete custom exhaust with the right-hand pipe snaking under the swingarm to join its twin.
Amidst the innumerable rearsets and linkages, the BMW R80 ESG 649’s most notable mechanical upgrade comes in the form of a set of Suzuki GSX-R1000 forks. Adapted from a 2002 Gixxer, with internals adjusted to account for the slightly higher weight of the R80, Sylwester Mateusiak is careful to retain the fork’s bottom clamp whilst machining a new top. With front brake calipers taken from the GSX-R and mounted to discs from a 2009 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, the BMW R80 ESG 649 presents an interesting blend of iconic components, modified to fit perfectly into one solid unit.
Finished in a deep gold paint, with plush suede seating and a classic humped café racer tail unit, the BMW R80 ESG 649 represents a new generation of café racers who are increasingly adventurous and thrill-seeking.