Go fishing in type with the ‘Willoughby 65’ customized BMW bike

While successful fishing requires patience and calm, nobody says that you can’t be fast and loud on the way to the lake. This beautiful BMW was created by VTR Customs on the shores of Lake Zurich – and is just waiting for you to bite it!

The arrival of the Biarritz-based Wheels and Waves Festival in 2012 sparked a craze for custom motorcycles, which were hot topics of surfing and skateboarding. However, Zurich-based Cafe Racer craftsman Dani Weidmann doesn’t like following the crowd. For the great “Willoughby 65” build pictured here, he was inspired by a sport that is not so easily associated with a cool and carefree lifestyle: fishing.

Weidmann’s VTR customs workshop is located on the shores of Lake Zurich, where he spent his childhood in his uncle’s boat rental company and where he went on relaxed fishing expeditions with his cousin. A love of the hobby led Weidmann to discover the 1964 comedy ‘Man’s Favorite Sport’, in which Rock Hudson plays the fake fishing expert Roger Willoughby, who works as a smooth-talking tackle salesman with high-end sporting goods supplier Abercrombie & Fitch works – despite never having thrown a line in his life.

The film’s focus on fishing and its perfect portrayal of the zeitgeist of the 60s captured Weidmann’s heart and led to the creation of the “Willoughby 65”, which not only reflects the name of the main character, but also the year the builder was born and the BMW R65, which he chose as the basis for the project. And the finished article is far from the solid middleweight tourer that emerged from the Spandau plant in 1982. As a multiple Swiss Motocross and Supermoto champion, Weidmann has a need for speed that the standard of the motorcycle simply cannot meet with 26 hp.

That meant tearing the engine down and rebuilding it using a large bore 865cc Siebenrock 860cc kit, adding custom camshafts and valve trains, and ditching the standard Bing carburetors in favor of flat-slide keihins. More power was released through gas-filled cylinder heads, a high-performance ignition system and a tailor-made two-in-one downpipe with a Hattech silencer.

In the meantime, the frame was stripped of all superfluous brackets and hangers before it was powder-coated in matt gray to create a subtle contrast to the all-black engine, the wheels, the fork legs and the diamond-like fork tubes made of carbon. Black Edition Ohlins shock absorbers were used to reduce the ride height of the rear and improve handling. The rear end has been kept to a minimum with a lowered frame, short fender and built-in LED lighting.

The bike is super clean up front too, as the Brat style handlebar only carries a single microswitch (the main electrical switches have been inserted into the engine covers). Meanwhile, the fuel tank received a sight tube to monitor the fuel level and housed an integrated Motogadget ‘Tiny Tacho’ and a tailor-made clock head from the ZeitZone Zurich.

And as for the fishing theme that inspired the bike – it shows in references from ‘Man’s Favorite Sport’ engraved on the tank cap and in the cleverly integrated brackets for a 1950s fishing rod on the right and a boat 1960’s paddle on the left. Weidmann originally built the bike for his own use, but the cost of producing it forced him to make the difficult decision of selling it.

To find out how much it costs – and it seems like a very reasonable price to us – you need to contact him directly through his page on Classic Driver (He doesn’t want Mrs. Weidmann to know how much he has spent …)