In Iron & Air Issue Thirteen, we published a profile piece on Franco Augello's shop, Moto Sumisura, based in Milan, Italy. Frank turns out inspired interpretations of old BMW Boxer airheads, including his latest, a 1981 BMW R/80.
Built as Frank's personal motorcycle, his only limitation was himself. He purchased the motorcycle from a friend some years back and built what he calls Inge #09, but Frank couldn't leave good enough alone. Drawing from the Vincent race bikes of the past, he was inspired to "give her a new dress."
One of the most unique qualities of this bike are its cleverly repurposed items. The front fender was made from the rear fender of an old R/50, the headlight crafted from a valve cover, and a finned exhaust ring converted into a tail light. The master cylinder was also relocated out of sight to the frame, the electrical system simplified, a new 21" front wheel was wrapped in Avon rubber, and the rear sheathed with Firestone Deluxe Champions.
Another standout feature of this motorcycle is the wooden seat. While our ass cheeks scream "No way!" its beauty and craftsmanship look incredible. If function was the be-all-end-all, we'd all be wearing Crocs and sweatpants, but we're talking aesthetics here. Think about all the hard-tail bobbers and choppers with little to no padding and only a rudimentary spring between you and every pebble on the road. We never have any trouble getting over that "functional flaw" to fantasize saddling up on it and heading off into the great unknown.
This motorcycle will surely get people talking and, by that account, Moto Sumisura has a winner. We look forward to what Frank dreams up next. Bellissima!