Radically modifying BMW ‘K 1600 GTL’ motorcycles which have a six-cylinder engine with a 1649 cc displacement, BMW Motorrad Japan’s ‘Ignite Straight Six’ project comprise of two reinterpretations. The first, named Ken’s Factory special’, by Kenji Nagai of Ken’s Factory, has hand-made aluminum girder-type front forks, made from chopper style using a modified headstock. Its original full fairing has been replaced by a small aluminum front cowl that houses the headlight, and the rear subframe and seat are removed for a low positioned aluminum seat. Enhancing its dramatically low seat height, the narrow motorcycle uses a 23-inch front wheel and a 20-inch rear one.
Kenji Nagai said: ‘at first I had a bagger style in mind that grew out of the tourer image. but simply transforming a tourer into a bagger was a bit too obvious a choice. so I thought of a different approach. I settled on the digger style. the long, thin digger style would make the in-line six-cylinder engine look even more prominent.’
In contrast, the ‘Juggernaut’ by Keiji Kawakita of hot-dock custom-cycles, has a dark and masculine stature, with no sign of minimalism. like a synthesis of mad max metal and Jules Verne’s imaginations, the motorbike features a aluminum tubing skeleton that broadens its chassis and instruments. this gives it a military appearance that, along with its dual fog lights and front trail-like beak, is reminiscent of the BMW motorrad ‘GS’ range.
Keiji Kawakita said: ‘I found an old photograph of the cockpit of a convertible that looked like something from the near future, and I got the idea of making a bike that had that kind of atmospheric feel. Looking at the front forks and duolever suspension, I thought I could do this with the K 1600 GTL. But the actual work was long and hard, a tough job to handle. Even when I finished, I still wasn’t really sure whether the work was complete. but that’s the thing about customizing, isn’t it?’