AUTOBAHN 2332 – the R1150RS Bagger

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Possibly the easiest and best way to build a highly precise Motorcycle Frame

What you could build with the NCCR frame

The in 1994 introduced BMW 4 valve Boxer motors, so called “Oil Heads” were the start of an unbelievable journey for BMW. While the R80/100 GS and their other road oriented “Air Head” sisters were only accepted in a niche market, BMW started to bite with the 1100 series from the big cake. The success ramped up to a grade of first inventing and afterwards dominating some market segments. 2023 in the year of the 100 year BMW Motorrad celebrations, the company announced they have sold 1 Million GS since 1980, the most of them using the BMW Telelever front end. BMW was in our family forever, my father’s first car was a BMW 700 with the Boxer in the back and he stick to the Bavarian brand his whole live. Birgit’s father owned an R25 back in the days and Birgit still have her 1968 R50 Custombike for now nearly 40 years.

We decided to stay off from the BMW Caféracer hype for good and will do that also in the future, but we see a soon upcoming demand for a frame. Precisely a front frame, that enables builders to realize some cool projects. When you look on the markets worldwide, there are by far more offers than takers for these 1100 GS, 1150RT or the nice RS we grabbed for that little project. Bikes are cheap and the motor mostly have tons of fun and joy left in them. In case you’d need one, they are so reliable that used operational engines go for less than what you would spend for your weekend music event.

With the shaft drive mounted to the gear box case and a rear subframe that practically screams “modify me”, it was just a front frame that we at NCCR needed to develop. Docol Tube R8 was set, there was nothing to think about, the strongest and at the same time easiest to work with frame building material. The base design was a bit self-explaining out of the necessary packaging and mounting points to the engine. The refining wasn’t. As you like to have the maximum rigidity combined with a good amount of side flex for the tire feel, there was going quite an amount of developing by Julia in. Important was, not only to hold up a flexible construction, but also the costs should be on a level that it’s not a deal breaker. We are sure, there will be very different projects – like the 1300GS owner, who desperately want a Sunday morning GS, light, rugged and cheap he can throw in the woods. He needs for the, maybe from a KTM lend front end, a high steering head with a completely different geometry than she who wants to go Twin Cup Racing and aims to build herself a low silhouette perfect asphalt cornering BOT racer. Last but not least, the Caféracer were very often mostly the design and the available components dictate the frame details. Well, also Caféracer can ride great, just saying…

The original bike with Telelever

The NCCR Telelever replacement frame can do it all, and even like it was the task on the AUTOBAHN project, adapt a 2023 BMW F900 R front end to a 20-year-old R1150RS. Projects like that, are more advanced than they look on the first place, but that’s also the thrill. Making

a 2003 BMW R 1150RS looking cool as in 20 years later cool, not like in 50 years later cool, when all the old stuff is cool again anyhow. Spirit of the time are the Baggers these days, and the style of the full covered RS is at its dislike peak, challenging to get those two antipodes together. MRA in Germany made us a front screen, what is from now on available in black and smoke and we found a pair of Police/Ambulance luggage box lids. Julia printed covers for the handles and some louvers at the back. ABM Superbike Handlebar was a must and some mods like the relocation of the ignition lock and an updated cockpit add up to a great (new English) user interface experience. To let others join in, we build with Alan Hawkes APH an exhaust prototype with an SC-Projects can, we discuss to make available. Wilbers Suspension in Germany, helped out with a Cartridge kit to give the F900 fork an adjustment and their 630 Adjustline Competition shock in the rear helped with the extra length adjustment to tune in the correct geometry.

The finished frame at just 4,7kg.

Birgit and Julia then had a hard nut to crack how to point out and visualize what the mission of this bike is, promoting our new Telelever replacement frame. Holger Rother at Teamdesign, our partner since decades for all about stickers and wrapping, send over a wide selection of wraps, at the end the girls decided to stay on a 2-tone design. The frame visualized and dislocated BMW Propeller particles flowing over the bike in company with AUTOBAHN and the numbers 23 for the first production year and 32 what was the first model code.

Honestly, we all underestimated how much fun all over a low budget project like this can be. Great handling with the NCCR frame and Wilbers suspension, a real good front brake, nice sound and a cool look. The 95 HP are enough for carving the back roads and you can be sure that wherever you stop, people come to talk about the reliability of the BMW and that bike seem to be a special one. What they don’t get and that’s in a way both curse and blessing at the same time, why someone would paint a trellis frame to the side fairing…