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ADV NewsA Custom BMW R1150GS With Dakar Rally Flair

A Custom BMW R1150GS With Dakar Rally Flair

 Meet the Toma #22, a rally-inspired R1150GS for big miles on- and off-road.

Published on 11.06.2020

The BMW R1150GS is known for being a tricky platform to customize but for Belgian custom builder, Thomas Jeukens, the challenge is what he enjoys the most. 

Jeukens of Toma Customs is the mastermind behind this Dakar Rally-inspired R1150GS build, done at the behest of customer Bernad Cornut. Cornut is an experienced off-road rider and he wanted something lighter and sleeker than the stock GS, while retaining the bike’s ability to eat up road miles and still be competent in the dirt. As a fan of Dakar motorcycles, Cornut was also wishing for a Rally-inspired transformation.

Toma customs BMW R1150gs bike build
The stock R1150GS was trimmed, tucked and stripped to its essentials so that the mechanical elements of the bike were front-and-center.

Jeukens eagerly took the challenge. “Every part of this BMW is designed to fit together in a unique way. To make a ‘balanced’ custom, you have to rework virtually everything from front to rear,” he told BikeExif. ‘’I wanted to create a unique motorcycle, and if it was easy to make and reproduce, it would be a lot less fun!’”


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To achieve those goals, Jeukens subtracted some key GS features and retained others. Gone is the R1150GS “beak,” and in its place is a sleek, rally-inspired mini fairing that houses a unique two-headlight front end. One of the headlights is an old-school, round glass unit while the other is a modern LED, emphasizing the blend of old and new throughout the build. Jeukens reused the original round, analog tachometer and speedometer above a bank of warning lights, but mounted them in a smaller, custom dash.

Toma customs BMW R1150gs bike build
The back of the bike went on a diet with Jeukens removing a good chunk of the subframe, trimming the rear fender and shortening the seat.

The bike retains BMW’s signature Telelever front suspension, but Jeukens managed to visually lighten the front end by trimming the lower fender so it’s barely visible, and replacing the massive upper fender with a unit of more enduro-bike proportions. Custom handguards are attached to a fat handlebar mounted on risers, and the bike retains the stock BMW switchgear. The gas tank is stock, a detail dictated by Cornut who wanted to maintain the bike’s range. It wears a custom paint job done by a Belgian shop known for their work on custom cars.

Toma customs BMW R1150gs bike build
Gone is the R1150GS “beak,” and in its place is a sleek, rally-inspired mini fairing that houses a unique two-headlight front end.
Toma customs BMW R1150gs bike build

As for power, Jeukens left the reliable, 85-horsepower, air-cooled boxer engine alone, though he did add a new silencer and wrapped the exhaust pipes in heat tape. He also left the stock air box in place, and dressed up the sides of the bike with custom panels. The back of the bike went on a diet with Jeukens removing a good chunk of the subframe, trimming the rear fender and shortening the seat. Visually, the bike lost a lot of weight just from the treatment in the rear.

Toma customs BMW R1150gs bike build
Toma customs BMW R1150gs bike build
Most of the modified parts were custom including the hand guards and the hand-built rally fairing.

It isn’t the first time Toma Customs has worked with a BMW donor bike. They’ve also applied their skills to a BMW R80rt, transforming it from a bit of a heap into a sweet “flying bobber” with a modified subframe and a custom brown-leather seat. They also turned a K1100 into a scrambler, managing somehow to hew the “flying brick” into a bike with light, purposeful lines showcasing the chunky engine.

Toma customs BMW R1150gs bike build

Each of the builds exhibits Toma’s careful consideration of both a bike’s lineage and the owner’s desires, but the GS in particular seems to reflect an appealing blend of style and substance. It’d be as much fun to ride as it is to look at. 

Photos by Olivier Truyman

Author: Bob Whitby

Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.

Author: Bob Whitby
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2 thoughts on “A Custom BMW R1150GS With Dakar Rally Flair

  1. Pingback: This BMW R 1150GS Has Been Turned Into A Dakar Inspired Enduro ~ Nation Custom Cycles

  2. Pingback: A Custom BMW R1150GS With Dakar Rally Flair - ADVENTURE & OVERLAND MOTORCYCLE TRAVEL

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