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BMW K1200 cafe racer

The KAgusta BMW K1200RS

When someone describes a bike as a clean build you usually expect it to be something pretty special and I can tell you this is one of the cleanest I’ve seen. Built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Irv Seaver Motorcycles in Orange, California, this K1200RS powered Cafe Racer is the work of BMW K expert Larry Romestant. While many BMW fans write the K series bikes off as “flying bricks” Larry spends his time to re-engineering them into unique, expertly built custom creations. With a background in mechanical and manufacturing engineering and component design, Larry has an enviable set of skills up his sleeve and he’s put them into great use with his latest project, the “KAgusta” Cafe Racer.

BMW K1200 cafe racer

“The inspiration for this build came from the German, British, and Italian Cafe Racers of the late 60’s and early 70’s. The tank is similar to the ’74 MV Agusta America (though less square and much narrower in the knees) with other Italian influences such as the seat, which emulates the Ducati 750/900 Super Sport, the Magni style handmade exhaust pipes and the Ducati 900SS tail light. The frame color is Imola Green as used on Ducati’s in the 70’s. The Velocette adjustable pre-load shock mounts are the British bits, and the final drive, swing arm, front suspension, and drivetrain are of German origin. The rear hub is one-off, turned from solid 7075 billet aluminum, and the differential and swing arm are from a late 70’s BMW boxer, widened and reinforced. The drive shaft is a hybrid, with the rear section having a spring-loaded cushioned coupling, and the front half carrying a standard K1200 u-joint. The front suspension is BMW K75S, with a Tarozzi aluminum fork brace.”

BMW K1200 cafe racer

“The frame is from a 1997 BMW K1100LT, and carries a custom triangulation to accommodate the non-standard K1200RS 6-speed gearbox and twin shock swing arm. Though the brakes are both drums in keeping with the period theme, the front Suzuki GT750 assembly is assisted hydraulically, with a Patent-Pending under-tank brake mechanism that converts cable energy to hydraulic and back to cable. This results in greatly reduced lever pressure allowing single-finger pulls. The brake itself is modified, with competition level linings, increased cooling and beefed uplink arm assemblies for reduced flex and significantly better-stopping power than what was available back in the day. The bike weighs in at 529lbs (230kg) dry, nearly 100lbs heavier than the bike the drum was designed for, so the brake is less than ideal, though manageable and is augmented with the judicial use of engine braking, which, fortunately, is massive. Future builds will sport 250 and 300mm 4LS drums of my own design, as well as Grimeca and Fontana replica 4LS units, and of course single and dual disc brakes as required.”

“Aspiration is through K1200 FI throttle bodies and oversize intake runners. The fuel is delivered through 230cc injectors and fuel management is through the OEM Bosch 2.2 Motronic which now lives under the seat, along with the fuse panel, battery, and GPS speed sensor. The gauge mount is also custom made and has a gear position indicator as well as a full complement of jeweled indicator lights.”

“My goal was to build a bike with all these elements without looking cobbled together. I wanted it to  appear as though it was a bike that could have been produced by BMW and could have been found on the dealer’s showroom floor.”

BMW K1200 cafe racer


  • 1997 K1100LT FRAME
  • 2004 K1200RS Engine
  • 6 Speed Transmission
  • Engine: 1200CC
  • Wheelbase 62 inches
  • Weight: 526 LBS dry
  • Twin shock swingarm- Final Drive Ratio 2.90:1 (32:11)
  • 4LS 200mm front brake (SUZUKI GT750)
  • Custom rear hub with standard 200mm BMW R80RT rear drum brake
  • Patent-Pending cable to hydraulic to cable brake/clutch under-tank mechanism
  • Wheels: 100-90/18 Front 130-60/18 Rear
  • Tires: Bridgestone Spitfire II

Story contributed by BMW Cafe Racers


BMW K1200 cafe racer