The world of BMW motorcycle parts is full of creativity. There’s something about BMWs that lends itself to customization and a personal touch. Custom shops all around the world are building great bikes for their customers, and we love checking out the latest builds from guys here in the US and all across the globe.

But how do these builders think about the parts on their bikes? How do they decide what to leave stock and what to modify? We decided to find out. We asked them these 3 questions.

What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

Their answers were awesome. Read on!

1. Scott Halbleib, H Garage:

What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

Depends on the model but I like to reduce bulk and get rid of plastic so tail section, seat, side covers, minimize the controls, things like that.

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Scott’s 1985 BMW K100RS. Photo courtesy of the builder.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

Not necessarily but typically I’ve used the stock BMW tanks. Not to say I wouldn’t do a tank swap or modification, just haven’t to date.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

I have to look at the bike as a whole. I come up with a design concept for the whole project then make sure whatever I customize follows the theme. If I’m using a stock tank or other stock parts, I try to complement those.

ABOUT H GARAGE:

Scott brings a lifelong passion for art and design to every build at H Garage. He has received awards for his motorcycles all around the globe.

2. Florian, FrenchMonkeys Design:

On The Back Roads with FrenchMonkeys Design from Roman FORTUNE on Vimeo.

What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

We like to personalize the rear part of the bike. We do everything in our workshop. It’s a real pleasure to work on these bikes.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

We never touch the front fork for safety reasons. If you do that, the geometry is changed, and that’s never very good…

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

We always look for the best ergonomics for an optimal use. It must be beautiful, unified, and practical.

ABOUT FRENCHMONKEYS DESIGN:

FrenchMonkeys is the work of a father and son who are best friends. Their goal is to create motorcycles with character.

3. David Widman, NCT-Motorcycles:

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NCT Motorcycles team.

What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

My favorite part is a handmade exhaust made by us.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

On our bikes I will never use a sissybar.

ABOUT NCT MOTORCYCLES:

“My Name is David Widmann and I am the CEO of NCT Motorcycles. I founded the company in March 2015 with 1 worker, whose name is Kurt Kosjek. Now I have 2 workers. The name of the second worker is Manuel Tilke.

“We are specialists in custom motorcycles (Cafe Racer, Scrambler usw.) To date, we have built about 30 Custom Bikes. Our motto is, ‘We build motorbikes that nobody needs but everyone wants.’”

4. Antonio Testillano Gil, Nitro Cycles:

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What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

I like to customize everything… but if I have to choose one, I think that my favorite part is the subframe and the tail. I prefer it because, for me, it is the part where the bike gets personality.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

We always try to customize everything. It depends on the customer needs. But if I had a project where I could “fly free,” I would like to customize everything!

One of my desires for this year is to customize my father’s BMW nine t XD.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

We are a family where motorcycles and cars, modern and classic, are our passion. When I have a new protect, i get inspired looking old F1, GP bikes, etc… But always, the design is born suddenly! No matter where or when, it can come in a BBQ with my family or watching a film on TV. We try to make different bikes with our special touch and give them our personality.

ABOUT NITRO CYCLES:

Nitrocycles loves all kinds of bikes. Classic, modern, and everything in between. Their passion leads to stunning builds, and their design team is ready to transform a stock bike into a café racer, bobber, tracker, or anything you can dream up.

“We are a young workshop. We started this adventure in 2014, but we have always loved the gas smell. My family are absolute freaks for cars and bikes, specially the old ones. So we knew that sooner or later we would have something related to this world.

Since I was a kid, I always liked to design bikes and dream with my friends about how cool it would be if we could built a bike.

The idea of starting with this project, was born in 2013, when I built my first bike, an Honda CB900 Bol d’Or. That bike has a special meaning for us, because it was a tribute to my grandfather. He had cancer and he was a fighter till his last breath. So the best way to express my love for him was building a bike.

For us, is an honor to be included in your Top BMW Custom Awards and I am absolutely convinced that my grandfather is so proud of us.

We love what we do and we would like to keep doing it for a long, long time.”

5. Jose, Macco Motors:

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Tito (left) and Jose, the guys behind Macco Motors.

What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

Our favorite part when we customize a BMW is the subframe and the front part probably.

The subframe because we chop and machine a complete new subframe and weld it to the original frame. At this point we always give it our touch.

And the front end because we use it to lower the front bars to give it a more balanced look.

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Macco Motors’ latest BMW R100RS. More pics here. Photo courtesy of the builders.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

I think no. We customize all parts on our bikes. Although this depends on the customer preferences and budget, I think we´ve customized every part on our bikes, from the electrical parts to the engine, front bars, etc.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

As the manager and designer of Macco Motors, I always design our build in Photoshop before we build the bike. This allows me to experiment with different looks. For us, the balance of the bike and shapes are very important. Sometimes it´s a matter of some centimeters or a different angle, but we work on the design until we get exactly what we want.

Before designing, I get inspiration from everywhere, from old model bikes to new bikes. Then we try to put our sign on them.

ABOUT MACCO MOTORS:

Macco Motors are Jose and Tito based in Cádiz, southern Spain. We are two friends since a long, long time ago. We are just like brothers, and we have shared the same passion for the four and two wheels since we met more than 20 years ago.

“So we spent more than 20 years passionate about the automotive world.  Our passion for motorcycles led us to start 2011 Macco Motors in late, a place where we could realize our dreams and others’ dreams. And from here, from Cadiz, we´re exporting custom bikes worldwide, from UK, Germany and Italy, to Miami; because more than the 90% of our work is being done for the rest of the world.

“Besides the competition, we have been always interested and we are greatly attracted by the aesthetics of classic bikes; good taste and refinement of brands like Triumph, Ducati and BMW among others. Influenced by the retro look, when building a new bike, we try to combine style and performance, and try to get in each new creation something unique and exclusive.

“We care for detail, and look for harmony in curves and shapes, within the spirit of the original bike. Therefore, working with the client on the previous design is fundamental for us, so that their needs along with our particular style meet their expectations.

“We build our bikes with real passion. We love what we do.

“Our philosophy when it comes to customizing motorcycles is putting aesthetical and performance work together. We speak with the customer to know what kind of driving he does or advise him when choosing a bike to customize. We like the retro style and beauty of the bikes from the 60s, 70s and 80s, and when we finished a bike and give a new life and a new personality, we feel really satisfied. So we know what we do. But to get this, the previous design for us is very important: shapes, colors and all parts must have harmony. Probably we are influenced by Italian and English motorcycles lines, more than other bikes designs.

“We build our bikes with real passion. We love what we do.”

6. Dopz, Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche:

What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

It’s hard to say, we love working on the tank and rear frame. We usually modify the original tank or we substitute it because it changes the look and feel of the bike completely. The rear is so easy to customize that we love to think out of the box and create different approaches and style.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

No, we love touching every part of a bike; for example, in the BMWs, we sometime cut off the Telelever and build a new front frame to fit normal upside-down forks.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

We draw some sketches with pencil and computer, after we start building… each time during this process we found the “Satori” and change the original sketch to follow different paths.

ABOUT EEM:

Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche (Emporio Mechanical Processing) is one of Italy’s hottest custom shops, based in Rome. They specialize in café racers, scramblers, brats, and more. In their own words:

“Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche was born 6 years ago in a small garage in Rome. After many years customizing our bikes, we decided to make a team and buy a bike to resell.

“We built an XJR named MASTINO and a XJ 600 named STRISCIANERA that gave us a good public results. You can easily find the bikes on the web and in the pages of one of the most important bike magazines in Italy.

“Growing day by day, we built a winner Competition Honda 500 cx, changed the location 3 times, did the Sky Tv program “Lords Of The Bike,” won a sprint race at The Reunion, exposed in Paris (The Bike Shed), named in Top 10 Worldwide Inspiring Customizer from Generation Moto, and were chosen in the Top Custom BMWs from Wunderlich and, most important….. ride thousands of kilometers on our bikes.

“I have a Bmw R80 G/S… a bit modified 😉 my partner has 25 bikes from the 80-90’s!

“We realized our work was appreciated when we started seeing copies or bikes inspired by our models on the web. Now we are around the 40th Special bike built!

“Emporio works on every bike. We are omnivorous 🙂 We love anyone who tries to think out the box. We see too many special bikes that are similar now…

7. Michael, Titan Motorcycle Company:

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What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

Our favorite model and – of course – the parts related to it is the K Series, K 100 and K 75. These bikes have huge potential, due to their very ugly design of the mid-eighties. We love to cut the tail section of the frame and convert the descending back part to a nice scrambler frame with a round, closed loop. The K-engine is very good in our opinion, engine and transmission do a very good job, in comparison to the R Models of the /7 series.

Another nice feature is to customize the exhaust system on the old BMWs. The stock exhausts are made for long range travelling and to be a good combination with side cases. Our expectations to an exhaust are a bit different….

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BMW R100 Milano. Photo courtesy of the builders.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

Here in Europe, we are forced to meet strict laws to have street legal bikes after our conversions. Therefore, we can’t do a lot of cutting and welding on structural parts like the mainframe and/or steering head. Secondly, TITAN’s attention is always to build bikes that have equal or improved handling in regards to the base model. So we avoid cutting forks and do not play with tire dimensions that decrease the driving performance.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

As mentioned, during the design and build process, we are thinking about the functionality of the finished bike. Of course it has to be good looking, we love aggressive styling, therefore not every development is good for every kind of model.

Weight is always a topic, we try to get the mass down on all the parts, especially if they are unsprung. In reality we start at 225kgs on a K model, and get it down to 187kgs, with more functionalty and improved handling. Weight reduction, and every bike knows that, is the key element to improve power, handling, and brake stability.

ABOUT TITAN MOTORCYCLES:

Titan Motorcycles is the happiest two men on the planet. Michael and Tom love all things related to motorcycles, from riding to rebuilding to talking carburetors. Their builds speak for themselves.

8. Paul, Vagabund Moto:

What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

I think the most interesting part of customizing specific BMW parts is to remove the original rear frame and build a new one that fits our ideas of design.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

There are no parts we would not customize if it is necessary for the overall impression of the bike.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

The customized parts should be integrated as good as possible and should give the impression that it could be a production motorcycle.

ABOUT VAGABUND MOTO:

Vagabund Moto is based in Graz-Styria, Austria. It’s the brainchild of Paul Brauchart, who is an expert in the design industry, and Philipp Rabl, who is an expert in mechanical engineering. Vagabund has produced some incredible work.

9. Peter, Urban Motor GmbH:

What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

Those that give the build the essential change.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

We are not dogmatic about anything.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

Form and function are of equal importance. In case of doubt … I tend to form.

ABOUT URBAN MOTOR:

Urban Motor is one of the hottest custom shops working today. Their bikes are frequently featured in BikeEXIF, Motoculturalist, and other publications. You can find them on Facebook.

10. Arjan Van Den Boom, Ironwood Custom Motorcycles:

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What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

The triple tree, the upper fork clamp/brace.

Love to think about new designs, improve the OEM plate and integrate a Motogadget speedo into it.

And rear shock.  Mono conversion or replacement, horizontal shock etc.

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Ironwood R80 Bobber/Scrambler. Image courtesy of the builder.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

No, we try to customize, replace, or modify all parts.

Some will be sandblasted and coated, others replaced by OEM or AM parts and others changed by custom made parts.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

It has to match with the final look of the bike. All parts should correspond with the style which we are aiming for.

Basically it’s fitting/testing/shaping and trying…

ABOUT IRONWOOD CUSTOM MOTORCYCLES:

“My first project completed in 2013 was an authentic 1979 Honda CB550. I turned this one to brat style in my living room with parts from Dime City Cycles. Still seeing this bike getting shared on Social nowadays.

 “Now 30 customers are enjoying a genuine Ironwood motorcycle. Some with just some minor mods, other full rebuild corner benders.

“Not every build is or can be precision engineering, different, bald, innovative or expensive, it basically all depends on customer budgets, inspiration and time availability.

“I like to help out customers with lower budget, make their iron horses look rad but also enjoy to do full rebuilds and even new bikes. When time I build own projects.

“Since this year Eric and Sam joined the team, together we customize, conceptualize & realize motorcycles to one-of-a-kind vintage machines, piece by piece!

“Happy to announce we moved to a bigger venue last week so we are growing and becoming more mature. The brand Ironwood Custom Motorcycles is now out there and supposedly known in the scene, next up is launching merchandise, upgrade the website and continue building cool rides!”

11. Giorgio, JV Performances:

What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

It’s difficult to answer that question. There is not a particular part that we prefer. What we like to do is a combination that fits a vision. In the beginning of the project, we think of the bike as a unique word, then we start building the frame, lowering the fork, looking at the thank etc… So there is no particular parts that we prefer to modify. But if we really want to answer the question, we would say the frame. This part is the most important because it defines if the bike is going to be mono place or biplace, short or long, low or high, radical or classic etc., so that’s why it’s extremely important to consider it as the center of the modification.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

I would say the engine block itself… most of the time, the customer that want an old BMW or ride it, they don’t focus on power. Not all, but a good number of them. Most of them have another bike more powerful or newer and they want the Old BM for cruising around and showoff… But we build some crazy powerful bikes like “La turbo K” BMW k1100lt that we put a turbo on it and highly modify.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

I would say that we first focus on the purpose of the part, what is the main function of the part. This allows us to make a clean and functional part with no extra stuff on it. I would say that our style is not shiny or with lot of chrome, it’s more sober, functional and radical. Nice stance of the bike, simple and a nice simple paintjob. We go far on technical details and mechanical modifications and less in crazy paints or shiny chromes.

ABOUT JV PERFORMANCES:

JV Performances builds awesome trackers, scramblers, café racers, and more. They have been featured in numerous publications. 

12. Chris, Boxer Metal:

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What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

Body work, electrical and lighting.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

No.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

Will it enhance the overall look and feel of the bike?

ABOUT BOXER METAL:

Chris has 30+ years of experience working on motorcycles. Since 1993, he has been involved in metal art and fabrication. His favorite BMW is the R75/5. Check out Boxer Metal online.

13. Frank, Moto Sumisura:

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What are your favorite BMW motorcycle parts to customize?

I don’t have favorite parts. The boxer engine is the most important thing around which I create, after focused analysis with the customer about what satisfies his desire and my creative work the most. Unfortunately, non all transformations can be as extreme as I wish. Not everybody lets you drive the project in total, but when it happens, everything is the most unique.

Is there one part that you never customize in your builds?

I like to try new solutions on the engine. There are no components that I have never tried to change.

What’s your thought process when you design a custom part?

My custom project begins from the way the customer wants to use the creation. Drawing the motorbike that I can see complete in my mind, I can see all the details as they were just built.

Everything has to be harmonious and has to be part of a hypothetical semi-sphere.

ABOUT MOTO SUMISURA:

Frank is a kind of two-wheeled tailor who cuddles old irons into custom machines. He has loved motorcycling since age 6. He takes old bikes and transforms them into unique, beautiful creations at Moto Sumisura. He also does motorcycle accessories tailoring.