Moto Sumisura BMW R80GS, the Second Coming

There definitely is something magic about the old BMWs, as these bikes often turn into breathtaking pieces of modern engineering art, in the shape of head-turning custom rides which look tenfold better than any modern-day Beemer. This ’81 R80GS is yet another magic machine, proudly bearing the signature of Moto Sumisura, one of Milan‘s top-drawer custom bike workshops.

With Sumisura being a word game for “su misura”, which is Italian for custom-fit, this bike is a creation of Franco Maria Augello, the guy who runs the workshop… but the pics after the jump show the second version of the machine. What started 5 years ago as a dream for which Franco quit his day job turned out to be the debut of a successful story. A bike he rode and loved all this time, the JM (for that was the name he gave to the old Beemer) went once more in the garage for a makeover.


Despite the initial disagreement between Franco and fellow worker Inge, the project started well and ended up, well… even better. With parts from other old bikes and in-house crafted ones, Franco was able to create a new attire for his bike, adding a hefty dash of steampunk styling which we simply adore.

He recycled a valve cover from a boxer engine and cut it in such a way that a rectangular headlight fitted in it. We’re not only looking at pure, unadulterated creativity, but this solution also adds functionality the equation, as the aluminium cover and its fins provide better cooling for the headlight. A finned header nut was also transformed into a killer-look tail light which sticks out from the rear fender and adds a consistent look to the bike. 


Rough sheet metal was used to craft the bespoke fenders. The R80GS 21” front wheel fender got deeply valanced side panels, matched by the same job for the R50-sourced rear one, both left in polished metal finish. The low bars were uncluttered by moving the brake master on the frame, while steel braided lines provided matching metal looks. A custom brass fixture for the vintage speedo was fabricated, and its golden shine is beautifully matched with metal S badges and insignia around the old BMW.

The R80GS now breathes out through a 2-into-1 Supertrapp silencer, and yes, the seat which looks like varnished wood… is real wood! Not the most comfy of touring seats out there, but by far one of the boldest styling and customization statements we’ve seen in quite a while. Cool or fool as you might deem this Moto Sumisura JM 01.2 machine, it is a fascinating one nevertheless.

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