"Skyway" R80 / H U T C H B I L T
1979 BMW R 80 donor.
Adjustable Yamaha R6 frontend, lowered and hardened.
Custom 3 CR12 brake disc rotors - (one offs) on billet spacers
Yamaha R 6 brake callipers
Hel braided and sleeved brake hoses
CNC’d Brake hose clamps
Custom modified headlight
Billet headlight hangers
Custom board racer bars with Exile internal clutch and throttle assembly
Motogadget push button controls for turn signals/ light hi/low/ start/stop/ horn & mode
Motogadget keyless ignition & CNC’d billet housing
Motogadget digital mini speedo/odo/rev/time
Motogadget pin spot turn signals
Billet triple clamp
Custom billet knurled grips
Custom billet gas cap
Custom tank and spray work
CNC’d Walnut badges
Aigner fuel taps
Lowbrow Customs vintage plug leads
Handmade segmented performance exhaust
Billet collector box with CNC’d exhaust tips
All wiring and cables chased into the frame
12 V Antigravity Battery
Billet wafered Mayan Temple battery and electronics housing
H U T C H B I L T custom single rear billet braking system
Rear disc conversion
3 CR 12 rear disc
Progressive suspension (adjustable)
CNC’d walnut seat base with integrated Revival Cycles LED running, tail & turn signals
Handmade Napa suede seat and tank accessory
18/120 Original Beck vintage whitewalls
BMW R65 wheels
Billet knurled footpegs
Billet adjustable shifter
Uni air filters
Deutch plug electrical connectors
PHOTOS: Devon Paisley @devon_paisley
VIDEO: Wade Lambert @loudandrowdy
- " My friend Charlie McFall and his dad Nick came to me with a 79 BMW R80 which was lying around
in their collection. It was a really good, running donor bike which they said I could let loose on.
Initially I was just going to do some minor styling and performance adjustments and get it down the
road but in the back of my mind I knew that wasn't going to happen.
We've all seen the Airhead in various different arrays of customisation but to me they all started
looking generic and cliched. Not being one to conform I wanted to create something totally
different. Charlie & Nick had the faith in me to come up with something truly unique and so I set
about designing and building the H U T C H B I L T Skyway R80 Boardracer.
The stance and presence of early teen Boardtrackers, California life, an iconic freestyle BMX bike
of the 80’s, the ‘Skyway’ with white Tuff mags and my version of precious metal - Billet aluminium
all played a huge roll in my inspiration for this build.
I started with the stance. Upgrading to a Yamaha R6 front end which was lowered by 35mm and
rebuilt by Martin Petsol of MP Suspension. Custom 3CR12 brake rotors I designed to line up inside
the R65 mag cut outs so as not to detract from the mags shape or form which actually took on a
whole new life of its own and turned out pretty good. Progressive adjustable rear suspension was
custom made for this build. I found a big headlight which I salvaged from one of my engineers,
Juniors junk pile and repurposed it to fit the billet CNC’d Motogadget keyless ignition mount and
I wanted the bars to be super clean with no levers or cables so for this I turned to my long
time friend and homebase workshop Alex Stoos of Stoos Customs. Alex is a seasoned Harley
genius so we used the Exile Cycles twist clutch and throttle assembley on billet knurled grips to
create this. The clutch cable runs through the frame onto a twin pulley system making it
surprisingly smooth and easy to use. Motogadget push button controls and Motogadget Digital mini
speedo makes the Skyway totally street legal with integrated Motogadget pin spot turn signals
recessed into the headlight hanger bolts on hand made headlight hangers by my engineer Ian
Ketterer. Im not big on visible wiring and cables so I chased everything into the frame. I cut 5cms
off the bottom of the original tank and had it welded up and sealed.
The paint design came from a Mexican blanket Stance sock I had which I gave to my painter, Mad
Skillz - Jeremy Nolan to throw down in my interpretation of the BMW Bavaria Racing colours on top
of a vintage white with gold pearl. My tank emblem was CNC’d out of walnut then white resined,
sanded & sealed. The custom billet gas cap is a one off by Black Silver.
The rear subframe myself and Tallies (OB 1 of Anvil Kraft) originally fabricated when I first started
this build but when it came to the seat pan, base and suspension idea I wanted to do I had to
remake it. The custom Walnut base was hand laminated by my friend and furniture designer
Graeme Goode then CNC’d by Bruce Clarke of Stark CNC to the subframe and to house the
recessed Revival Cycles LED running, brake and turn signal lights. The seat and tank accessory
was hand made in Napa Suede with Hexagonal stitching by Eric Groenewald at Nithrone using
earth magnets and elasticated side seams to hug the profile of the tank and flow into the seat.
Because I wanted clean bars I had to come up with a braking system that would run the front and
rear simultaneously from the rear brake only. Myself and Matt from MS Engineering came up with a
system that turned downward pressure into a rear force which had to drive the billet master
cylinders and create confident enough braking and to have the aesthetics I was looking for. This
was a complete experiment which we initially came up with about a year ago. When it came to
hang and test I found that I wasn't getting enough force at the brake lever and had hardly any
brakes which was a problem. The pivot point was too high and after some genius calculations by
my friend Chris Clokie (Of Wolfmoto) we dropped the pivot and got the exact pressure and braking
we needed. I turned the rear drum brake into a disk and used Hel braided brake hoses chased into
I wanted to enhance the iconic BMW motor, keeping it raw by wire wheeling and many, many hours
of hand polishing and Scotch brighting. All the billet on this bike was brought to a brushed
aluminium finish by hand.
I took a piece of moulders foam and shaped it to the existing air-box dims and gave it to my CNC
guru, Bruce to place in CAD in the same theme as all the linear accents on the bike. I wanted to
emulate the similar lines only in 6mm billet wafers and spacing like the rest of the motor. Each billet
wafer was laser cut, shaped and tapered.
Painstakingly all them had to be hand drilled and tapped precisely to take a similar shape of the
original. I wanted it to hug the motor and top cover. To achieved this i had to hand shape each one
to fit accordingly. There were many times along the road to completion that I thought perhaps I bit
off a bit more than I could chew but I persevered amidst a whole lot of fucketry. It was quite a feat
of engineering and bloodshed I named it ‘The Mayan Temple’ which houses the Motogadget MUnit,
Antigravity battery and all electronics.
The segmented performance exhaust I designed was made by Reynard Schonken of Scorch
Bezerker. I wanted the collector to flow with the frame and rest of the boxy engine but to also look
like the fire breathing exhaust tips of a Spitfire fighter plane. Each piece was CNC’d out of a solid
block of aluminium.
I had to create some more space in the rear swingarm to fit the 120/18 Beck Whitewalls which sit
on the BMW R65 18” wheels. Custom JJ’s Engineering adjustable gear shifter gets the Skyway
hooked up whilst Lowbrow Customs vintage plug leads on Bosch plugs provides the fire. I vapour
blasted the original Bing carbs and refitted all the internals with new hardware. The Bings get to
breath better through Uni Airfilters with Aigner fuel taps and custom CNC’d choke buttons.
The rideability and ergonomics of the Skyway coupled with the performance enhancements and
an already very torquey motor make this bike super smooth and fun to ride." -
- Jeremy Hutch -