Carlos Colonia’s 1977 BMW R100

On June 18, 2016, Carlos Colonia officially went in over his head. After a bad break up he was looking for something to keep himself occupied and he thought a motorcycle rebuild project was a good idea. He spent four weeks scouring Craigslist for the right bike and the same listing kept coming up over and over: A 1977 BMW R100 for $500 (OBO). It was a rolling chassis and a box filled with engine parts.

Carlos knew nothing about Beemers or their legendary airhead motors but he was curious and he battled two and a half hours of Bay Area traffic just to see it. When he arrived, he immediately noticed that it was in worse shape than the listing let on. He had doubts about being able to pull it off and get it running again. That, and he could tell the man selling it was once attached to the bike so he felt a little bit of pressure to complete the project. There was no title or registration so he was able to talk the owner down to $100 but he promised him this: he would someday show him a finished bike.

After a month, Carlos had purchased a few parts here and there but didn’t have a direction. His first big purchase was a new set of cylinders. It should be noted here that Carlos, has no engine building experience and lives in an apartment. He started assembling the motor in his bedroom and had it put together in a couple of weeks. As big of a satisfaction as that was, there was still lots of work to do, however.

His original deadline for finishing the R100 – which has been nicknamed Ellie – was Christmas but that came and went. Then he reset it for his own birthday (May 26) but he missed that, too. In June, however, he got it on the road and when an event in the Sierra Mountains popped up, he took a one hour detour to visit the man he bought it from. It was around the one year anniversary of the purchase.

“This project was incredibly fun even when it wasn’t,” Colonia said. “I spent many hours, a good amount of blood, and a whole lot of cuss words to get it where it is today. I look at it every day and see how far I’ve come and sometimes wish I still had a lot more to do. I’ve met some really great people through this bike, even my new girlfriend, who enjoys riding just as much as I do.

DCC Parts

Instagram: @675carlos

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(via Dime City Cycles)

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