Ignite Straight Six Project: Watch Japanese custom builders transform the BMW K 1600 GTL
Two creators. Two visions. Two masterpieces
Forget everything you know about the BMW K 1600 GTL. The handsome ride just upped its street cred with a radically different look and feel, thanks in no small part to Japanese motorcycle customisers Kenji Nagai and Keiji Kawakita.
Under BMW Motorrad Japan's Ignite Straight Six Project, Nagai and Kawakita were tasked to modify the six-cylinder engine K 1600 GTL according to their vision and they certainly didn't disappoint.
Nagai's masterpiece sees the stylings of the bike morphing from that of a tourer to a digger. "The long, thin digger style makes the in-line 6 cylinder engine look even more prominent," says Nagai. He realised his design by cutting the front end of the bike frame and constructing a new face altogether. In addition to these modifications, he also installed bespoke aluminium girder forks, ramped up the size of the wheels, and gave the exterior of the bike a more streamlined, simple finish.
Kawakita's transformation of the BMW tourer couldn't have been more different. Thankfully for Kawakita, his vision was guided with a distinct form in mind. "I found an old photograph of the cockpit of a convertible that looked like something from the future, and I got the idea of making a bike that had that kind of atmospheric feel," Kawakita reveals. While he left the suspension and frame as it was, he painstakingly created the bike's exterior parts before giving the machine an aging paint treatment to achieve a steampunk vibe.