The K101 project is a collaboration between the Munich based customizers Impuls and the artist Fabian Gatermann. We followed them around for a year and documented the rebuilding of this bike from scratch.
The K101 is based on a 80’s BMW K100, a motorcycle mostly known for its comfort, reliability and sturdiness. Back then the design of Hans Muth was ahead of its time, even too far ahead for most people due to its rectangular design. Back then Motorcycles were predominantly round, had no fairing – the K was the exact opposite. It was to the BMW boxer motorcycles what the transaxle Porsches were to the 911. The engine concept was bought from PSA Peugeot, basically a car engine flipped 90° to the left and reworked by BMW to fit in a motorcycle. Japanese bikes started using four cylinder engines in the early 70’s and were very soon dominating the motorcycle market. BMW had a hard time selling their boxer engine motorcycles that were basically a refined pre war technology that just could not match the Japanese motorcycles’ stats on paper. With it’s full fairing, the 4 cylinder engine, high torque and nearly 100 bhp the K100 was BMW’s last desperate hope to catch up with the Japanese competition and they succeeded. The K100 became immensely popular and was driven mostly by older people looking for comfort, protection from nature’s forces and reliability.
Impuls had a different vision of this bike. No suitcases, no windshields, no heated grips, no ABS, no comfort. Stripped down to the absolute necessities of a motorcycle the K101 still reflects the key design elements of the original K100 with a modern interpretation that is emphasized by the art of Fabian Gatermann.
With the raw essentials of the BMW exposed, especially the engine which haters never got tired calling “the flying brick”, all that remains is a beautiful piece of machinery.
Fabian Gatermann created a 3D model of the motorcycle and calculated the polygons. Through manual iteration he then drew the polygons back onto the motorcycle with ink.
With the k101 project the makers are starting a new fusion between art and motorcycles. The bike is released in an exclusive edition of three, two of which have already been sold. The last bike is for sale at weekendheroes.com.