Beautiful Machines BMW R1100RS
Interview Luke Ray Photography Amin Hamid.
Just a few months ago, during my maiden voyage to Malaysia for the superb ‘Art of Speed’ event, I got to hang out with the guys from the Beautiful Machines workshop in the quiet industrial suburbs of Kuala Lumpur. Having been impressed with the bikes (including the stunning Benelli TNT 300) and the working methods behind them, I was excited to receive an email from Arthur Loh of the Beautiful Machines parish. Arthur wanted to share a BMW R1100RS project that they had recently completed, so I was keen to hear more...
LR: Tell me about Beautiful Machines and how it all started.
AL: Beautiful Machines began in 2011, the original intent was to open a Harley service centre, but where's the fun in that? They veered off course not long after rolling their shutters open and began building one-off pieces of art that weren't just for show, they were actually made to ride.
Beautiful Machines isn't one person, it's a collective of different enthusiasts from a range of different backgrounds. A commercial director, a helmet and riding gear salesman, a tattoo artist, together with the head mechanic and fabricator. The builds only come to life through the mutual understanding each and everyone has about the role they play in making every bike a true masterpiece.
What are we looking at here?
A 1996 BMW R1100RS.
How long did the build take?
The build took around four months collectively. This was a personal build, belonging to one of the founders, Rajay Singh. So, we had to work around other concurrent client builds as well. We had the bike for a while and it rode fine and well, but it came a time where the itch started and we thought we'd take a go at it and try something different with this one.
Who was involved with the build of this bike and what roles did they each play?
Rajay himself oversaw the whole progress of the build, together with shop manager Jeremy Leong and our head mechanic and fabricator, Toni, for most of it. Some parts of the bike were outsourced due to time constraints with other ongoing builds.
What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The R1100rs comes with a lot of body parts and fairings, so we stripped her to see what treasures she kept hidden. With a relatively huge tank and a high front end, we took on a Dakar Rally-esque concept for the look of the new build.
What custom work was done to the bike?
We kept the whole geometry pretty much original with the stock engine and suspension as this bike is going to be a daily ride. We skinnied her up by removing all the fairings and building a single seat and multi-function cargo racks in the back. The most obvious change to the bike was the front end where her 'profile' was shaped by creating a frame around it, that would house the huge dual headlamps, meter cluster and a small multipurpose rack up top. We also fabricated a custom engine guard, a custom profile to house dual lights and meter cluster and a custom rear rack.
Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
With most builds, we usually like to give it a lower profile to the front but in this case, doing the opposite gave this build a really cool and unique look.
Follow Beautiful machines: @beautifulmachinesmc.