Lamborghini has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of its iconic Espada model, taking a 1976 example owned by the Lamborghini Museum in Sant’Agata Bolognese on a tour to London. First stop for the Series III, chassis #9090 Espada was the historic headquarters of the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in Pall Mall, founded in 1897 and …
German BMW parts specialists Wunderlich must like the BMW R nineT. They’ve already built 10 custom versions of the bike using the products they make. And now the Wunderbob custom BMW R nineT Bobber from Wunderlich is the eleventh, and probably most radical, creation.
The bobber style means plenty of changes to the stock BMW motorcycle. And it will all be something you can potentially achieve for your own bike in the future. Wunderlich is developing the individual parts that were custom made to be on sale from around Spring 2019. And there’s possibly also a complete Bobber kit in the works, although it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
The Wunderbob custom BMW R nineT Bobber from Wunderlich starts with raised, wide handlebars. And lowering the Wunderlich suspension by 25mm. The challenge was to then convert the style of the bike without losing the defining elements of the BMW.
Head of Product Management and Development, Felix Wunderlich: “We wanted our bobber to be more powerful and lighter while at the same time emanating an air of nonchalance. The challenge was a demanding one, as traditional bobbers are usually based on transversely installed two-cylinder V or in-line engines, which present far fewer structural and design restrictions than the BMW Boxer due to the arrangement of the footrests alone”
The Wunderbob custom BMW R nineT Bobber from Wunderlich gets a minimalist dash display, which streamlines the front of the bike. And fits nicely with the new handlebars. And the dark blue metallic paint, which along with the black finish and saddle, gives a fairly subtle and classy look.
The fully adjustable footpeg system will help to make sure you’re comfortable in the new saddle position. Which has now been relocated with a tubular loop frame. That means the rear light and indicators are incorporated, and also cleans up the rear of the bike above the new rear mudguard. The mudguard itself was custom-made to accommodate the BMW swingarm, and wider Bobber rear tyre.
Frank Hoffmann, Wunderlich Managing Director: “Our portfolio of concept bikes ranges from the Wunderlich G 310 GS, which we are giving away here during the Intermot, to our Pikes Peak hill climbing motorcycles. With the WunderBob we are presenting the first Wunderlich Bobber, which also represents our eleventh R nineT conversion. Anyone who knows us, knows we thrive on difficult challenges – indeed we go looking for them! Half-hearted solutions are frowned upon for us. Especially half-hearted retro! We have transformed the R nineT into a bobber that is a contemporary reinterpretation of the Bob Jobs of the 40s and 50s, while losing nothing of the R nineT‘s iconic appearance.“
So the Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich gives you a mix of retro and modern style. Plus you get German reliability underneath it all. And the BMW badge has become a pretty familiar part of the modern custom motorcycle world.
As mentioned above, if you want to create something very similar, you should be able to buy the parts individually from early 2019. And Wunderlich might also offer a complete conversion kit if there’s enough demand.
So what do you think of the modern BMW Bobber? Good, bad or indifferent? Drop a comment below to share your opinions…
Hard to believe it’s been nearly 20 years since the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) ran exciting, wheel to wheel stock car races on short tracks around Indiana. This series was distinct from and should not be confused with today’s southeastern CARS series that descended from the old Hooters ProCup series, blogs Stephen Cox.
The original CARS series was Indiana-based, founded by former ARCA driver Morris Coffman. The concept was built around a spec stock car chassis powered by 305 cubic inch Chevrolet small block engines with two-barrel carburetors that produced about 335 horsepower. The hard compound tires were grooved to limit grip. A completed ready to race car was available for about $20,000, while kits could be purchased for half that price and assembled by the race teams.
The result was a fun, affordable mid-level touring series that frequented premier Midwestern short tracks including Indianapolis Raceway Park (now Lucas Oil Raceway), Winchester Speedway and Ileana Speedway. The crowds were good. The racecars were fun to drive. They had enough power to slide through the turns but not so much grip that engine prices soared into the stratosphere. For a while – a very short while – CARS provided an excellent platform to learn the craft of stock car racing.
I competed in the series from early 1999 until August 2000. My record was marginal, winning two of the series’ smaller events, sitting on the pole at Winchester and finishing sixth in the season points championship. But the competition sharpened my driving skills and introduced me to some great people who remain friends nearly two decades later.
On September 19, 1999, a bright and cool Sunday afternoon, we put on a pretty good show for Winchester Speedway’s race fans. The top five cars broke away from the field and ran nose-to-tail and sometimes side-by-side on Winchester’s extreme, 32-degree banking for most of the 20-lap feature. My father and spotter, Nelson, coached me up to fourth place late in the event. The whirlwind speeds of Winchester’s high groove took your breath away, especially when running in a two or three-wide pack of five cars, all-vying for a win before a huge crowd at a historic track. I finished fourth in one of the best short track races of the year.
Series front-runners included many outstanding drivers who had already proven themselves winners at other levels of racing. Mark Fesmire could do no wrong in the 1999 season and left us all in the dust on his way to the first CARS championship title. Indiana short track legend Eddie Van Meter won in front of 25,000 fans at Indianapolis in May 2000. Jeff Cannon was so fast he couldn’t keep tires under his car. Bob Dumke, Tim Green, Wes Bullock, Tim Wallen and other fine drivers competed in my era with many more joining after I departed for the Hooters Pro Cup Series in late 2000.
Jerome Branscum, who won the 2003 CARS championship title and later purchased the series, said, “It was a series that we could get into for ten grand and get a nice looking car and we could go racing. I was 44 years old and had never driven a racecar before. It was a real thrill for me. It was the excitement of getting to go racing every week, and on a budget.”
Going through multiple ownership changes, the series was active as late as 2012 although it struggled to draw entries. It eventually faded away, forgotten by all but a handful of former competitors. The Championship Auto Racing Series existed in the era immediately preceding the Internet, so not a trace of its history can be found online. It existed in the earliest era of digital photography, so traditional 35mm photos are scarce and the few available digital pictures are of poor quality. As far as I can tell all records of its races and indeed, the very existence of the series, have been lost.
“I would like it to be remembered like it was in the early years,” Branscum recalled, “when you could go racing and it wouldn’t cost you a fortune. You could meet friendly people, race hard and have fun.”
Stephen Cox: Driver, FIA EGT Championship & Super Cup Stock Car Series, CEO, Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions Co-host, Mecum Auctions on NBCSN.
The British Superbike grid is being confirmed for next year, as Bradley Ray stays with Buildbase Suzuki for the 2019 BSB series. The 21-year-old rider from Kent has taken two race wins to secure a place in the end-of-season Showdown in 2018. And it means he will stay with the team, and the Suzuki GSX-R1000, for a third year in a row.
It’s been a mixed season for the Lydd-based rider with two wins at the opening British Superbike round at Donington. He’s racked up three more podiums, but suffered some non-finishes in the middle of the season. Currently sixth in the standings going into the triple-race final weekend at Brands Hatch, Ray can at least focus on the track action knowing his place is secure for 2019.
Ray made his debut in the British Superbike class with Buildbase Suzuki, taking a podium in his first year. It followed several seasons in the MotoGP Rookies Cup, British MotoStar championship, and in the CEV Moto3 series. In 2016 he took third in the British Supersport championship before moving to the top national class.
2018 saw Ray take part in the Suzuka 8-Hour race with Yoshimura Suzuki. And the team were able to recover to 10th overall, after dropping to 48th due to a crash. He also appeared as a wildcard for his first outing in World Superbikes at Donington Park, taking 14th and 15 place finishes.
Bradley Ray said, “I’m really happy to be staying with the team and with Suzuki for another year. I’ve got a great relationship with everyone and we enjoy working together, and that should only give us a head-start next season. This year was only my second year on a superbike and the second year of development for the new GSX-R, and we’ve won races, been on the podium, and made it into the Showdown, so we can only be happy with that, and I’m confident that will continue next season. It was good to have everything signed and agreed nice and early. We’ve now got one round to go and I can focus on my riding and to try to finish the season strongly at Brands.”
Buildbase Suzuki team manager, Steve Hicken, added, “Continuing our association with Bradley next season is really important for us. Like many, we recognised his talent early on, and when he was in the supersport class two years ago we wanted to get him onto a superbike as soon as possible. He’s one of the most natural young talents in the country, so of course we’re really excited to be able to announce that he’ll again be on a Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000R for a third season in 2019. While we’ve got one round to go and are aiming to finish the season strongly, having everything signed and confirmed means we’ll be going into the winter with a clear focus on building for a title assault next year.”
The full line-up for Buildbase Suzuki in 2019 hasn’t been confirmed yet. Current team-mate Richard Cooper is making his debut at the Sunflower Trophy at Bishopscourt in Northern Ireland this year for the team. The races traditionally end the Irish season, and occur on the weekend following the end of the British Superbike season.