BMW motorrad japan ignite straight six customizes K1600 GTL motorcycle
images courtesy of BMW motorrad




radically modifying BMW ‘K 1600 GTL’ motorcycles which have a six-cylinder engine with a 1649 cc displacement, BMW motorrad japan’s ‘ignite straight six’ project comprise of two reinterpretations. the first, named ken’s factory special’, by kenji nagai of ken’s factory, has hand-made aluminum girder-type front forks, made from chopper style using a modified headstock. its original  full fairing has been replaced by a small aluminum front cowl that houses the headlight, and the rear subframe and seat are removed for a low positioned aluminum seat. enhancing its dramatically low seat height, the narrow motorcycle uses a 23-inch front wheel and a 20-inch rear one.

the two radically customized motorbikes together




kenji nagai said: ‘at first I had a bagger style in mind that grew out of the tourer image. but simply transforming a tourer into a bagger was a bit too obvious a choice. so I thought of a different approach. I settled on the digger style. the long, thin digger style would make the in-line six-cylinder engine look even more prominent.’

it has a dramatically low seat position




side view of ken’s factory special


kenji nagai sitting on the customized K 1600 GTL




the masculine juggernaut is completely different to ken’s factory special




in contrast, the ‘juggernaut’ by keiji kawakita of hot-dock custom-cycles, has a dark and masculine stature, with no sign of minimalism. like a synthesis of mad max metal and jules verne’s imaginations, the motorbike features a aluminum tubing skeleton that broadens its chassis and instruments. this gives it a military appearance that, along with its dual fog lights and front trail-like beak, is reminiscent of the BMW motorrad ‘GS’ range.





keiji kawakita said: ‘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. 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?’

side view of military looking bike


keiji kawakita along side his interpretation of a BMW K 1600 GTL