A synthesis of Mad Max metal and Jules Verne’s imaginations.
BMW Motorrad Ignite Straight Six Project: two radically modified BMW K 1600 GTL with six-cylinder engine of a displacement of 1649 cc.
Another two leading Japanese motorcycle customizers, Kenji Nagai of Ken’s Factory and Keiji Kawakita of Hot-Dock Custom-Cycles, where in charge of interpreting the BMW K 1600 GTL’s six-cylinder engine a completely different way. In the past year, four known japanese customizers have put the BMW R nineT spectacularly in show with their outstanding creations.
The only retained relations to the original BMW K 1600 GTL bike are engine and frame, and, in the case of Keiji Kawakita’s creation ‘Juggernaut’, the BMW Motorrad Duolever front suspension.
Kenji Nagai’s creation named ‘Ken’s Factory Special’ relies on hand-made aluminum girder-type front forks raked out in chopper style using a modified headstock. The K 1600 GTL’s original full fairing was replaced by a small aluminum front cowl housing the headlight and the stock rear subframe and seat were replaced by a low positioned aluminum seat.
The illusion of a dramatically low seat height and narrow motorcycle is enhanced by the use of a 23-inch front wheel and a 20-inch rear wheel. More nicely manufactured details made from aluminum like covers for fuel tank and radiator or handlebars are completing Kenji Nagai’s artificial craftsmanship.
Keiji Kawakita’s ‘Juggernaut’ is a complete contrast by way of its dark, masculine stature. There’s no sign of minimalism here and the loud and proud appearance makes ‘Juggernaut’ rather looking like a synthesis of Mad Max metal and Jules Verne’s imaginations.
‘I found an old photograph of the cockpit of a convertible that looked like something from the near future, and I got the idea of making a bike that had that kind of atmospheric feel,” explained Keiji Kawakita.
“Looking at the front forks and Duolever suspension, I thought I could do this with the K 1600 GTL. But the actual work was long and hard, a tough job to handle. Even when I finished, I still wasn’t really sure whether the work was complete. But that’s the thing about customizing, isn’t it?‘”