Custom 1979 BMW R80 ‘Skyway’ boardracer by Hutchbilt

With styling cues from a 1980s BMX bicycle, this custom 1979 BMW R80 stands out from the crowd! California-based Hutchbilt went all-in to create a bike with unique features and a clean retro vibe. Check out all the amazing details and you’ll see why this isn’t just another styling tweak job…

white painted R65 18” wheels

The custom 1979 BMW R80 ‘Skyway’ boardracer

Jeremy Hutch of Hutchbilt in California started this project, when a friend of his brought in a lazy 1979 BMW R80. The initial plan of just a couple of minor styling and performance adjustments quickly grew into something much bigger. As Jeremy explains it himself:

“not being one to conform, I wanted to create something totally different”.

handmade seat and tank cover in brown nappa suede

Full-blown custom project

The stance was the starting point of the project where the entire front was replaced with a rebuilt and lowered Yamaha R6 front end. A big part of the retro vibes comes from the big salvaged headlight that was repurposed to fit both the keyless ignition and an anti-aircraft grade headlight. To get super clean handlebars, both levers were removed and replaced by a twist clutch and internal throttle – and a new braking system was installed to operate both the front and rear brakes from the brake pedal.

Custom 1979 BMW R80 ‘Skyway’ by Hutchbilt

Styling-wise the 80s inspiration from BMX bikes is visible in the super cool white painted BMW R65 18” wheels which compliment the graphics on the tank in classic BMW colors. The handmade seat and tank cover in brown nappa suede is both a brave decision that shows off amazing craftsmanship and right in line with the design as you are reminded of the popular 80s suede jackets.

Custom 1979 BMW R80 ‘Skyway’ by Hutchbilt

Specifications and features:

  • 1979 BMW R80
  • Yamaha R6 front end (fully rebuilt and lowered by 35 mm)
  • Custom ‘3CR12’ brake rotors
  • Custom progressive and adjustable rear shocks
  • Repurposed anti-aircraft grade headlight with LED lights
  • Motogadget keyless ignition
  • Seat and tank cover handmade in napa suede with hexagonal stitching
  • Custom tank graphics with Mexican inspiration and in BMW racing colors
  • Hutchbilt badge CNC’d out of walnut
  • Custom billet gas cap by black silver
  • Custom exhaust
  • Clean handlebar where both levers are removed and replaced by twist clutch and internal throttle (Exile Cycles)
  • Front and rear brakes powered by the rear pedal
  • Motogadget M-unit
  • Antigravity battery
  • No visible wiring
  • 120/18 Beck Whitewalls on BMW R65 18” wheels

Custom 1979 BMW R80 ‘Skyway’ by Hutchbilt

About Hutchbilt

The man behind the bike design and the California-based Motorbike dealership Hutchbilt is Jeremy Hutch. Jeremy has created 5 bikes before the ‘Skyway’ and each of them celebrating its own unique style. The 1980s California culture with BMX bikes is incorporated into the design of the bike and looking at the complex custom features of the bike, you know this is not a place for any shortcuts!

The popular BMW R-Series

The BMW R-Series are very popular for building café racers. The main reason for why the bike is so popular is the fact that it’s one of the most sold motorcycles around the world. In addition to this, it’s very reliable, the shaft drive means less maintenance, a low center of gravity gives a solid handling, the boxer engine sounds great and there are lots of different models from 500cc to 1000cc. At Old News Club, we have previously featured a couple of very different designs and the possibilities are pretty much endless depending on your style, skills and budget.

Learn more