BMW’s R80 platform isn’t a particularly exceptional machine in any one department, however it’s nonetheless praised for being a generally well-balanced and versatile model. The bike was powered by an air-cooled, 797cc, four-stroke, OHV, Boxer twin that reportedly made around 50 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 42.78 ft-lbs of torque at 4,000 rpm. Introduced as the successor to the R75/7, the R80’s flat twin – which it shared with its predecessor — was housed in a steel double cradle frame and married to a five-speed transmission that was supposedly capable of propelling the 456.4 lb (curb weight) shaft-drive mount up just over 110 mph.
The R80’s minimal maintenance requirements and easy-going nature make it a popular choice for custom builders. One of my favorite R80 builds has gotta be the Hutchbilt’s R80 “Skyway” board racer. Another R80 build that I’m quite fond of is this example that is currently for sale from UK-based Liberty Motorcycles, a do-it-all shop and dealership founded in 2013. This build started its life as a 1986 BMW R80 that was stripped down to the engine and frame. Built from the ground up, reportedly using only new parts, the R80’s power plant was thoroughly gone over before being fitted with flat slide carbs and a new Bosch ignition. The stock exhaust has also been replaced with a very trick, full custom unit capped off with dual, under-seat PowerTech mufflers that boast a similar layout and style to the Akrapovič cans found on Ducati’s ultra elite 1299 Superleggera.
The BMW’s stock front-end was tossed aside to make room for a set of Ohlins forks held in WSB upper and lower triples. The R80’s factory monoshock has also been replaced with a top-shelf Ohlins unit and the stock front disc and rear drum were jettisoned in favor of Brembo hardware paired with quick-release lines. The R80’s original wheels appear to have been replaced with three-arm rims off a ‘90s BMW K1100. The entire chassis has been powder coated, along with the wheels, while the rest of the custom bodywork adorning the machine has received a professionally applied coat of frosty red and blue with touches of silver outlining.
In place of the flat-twin’s stock 5.81 gallon fuel-cell is reportedly a one-off tank that maintains a distinctly classic BMW aesthetic. The subframe was hacked off and replaced with a short, bespoke unit that now supports a one-off tail section that clearly takes a lot of visual inspiration from Moto2 and Moto3 racers. The front-end is shrouded in a cafe fairing complete with an off-set flush, endurance-style headlight and a generously sized windscreen. The bike is now steered via Renthal clip-ons wrapped in Renthal grips, and some trick, unspecified aftermarket levers and rear-sets were also added to the mix.
You can find this custom 1986 BMW R80 Cafe Racer build from Liberty Motorcycles here on TheBikeShed in Blackpool, England with a price of $22,450 (or £16,995).