Unit Garage is a cult name amongst well-heeled BMW enthusiasts in Europe. The Italian company makes beautifully engineered kits that make modern BMWs look like old ones. If you love your R 1200 R but hanker after 1970s styling, there’s a kit for that. And if you have a modern R 1200 GS but want the look of the old Dakar bikes, there’s a kit for that too.
Unit Garage’s latest offering is a little different, though. It feeds off the current interest in scrambles, and gives the mid-80s K100 a timeless Gelände/Straße vibe. “Two years ago, a client asked me to customize a K100 RS,” says Unit Garage boss Fabio Marcaccini. “It seemed like a good challenge, so I suggested making a scrambler, or rather, a ‘sKrambler’.”
Marcaccini and his crew began by dismantling the K100, and removing everything that didn’t serve a purpose. “The more parts I started to remove, the more I realized that it was going to be a difficult job…”
They shortened and raised the bike, relocated the ignition coils, and designed a new 4-2-1 exhaust system that exits high on the left side. The bodywork is a mix of resin and Kevlar—with four panels under the tank, two on either side at the front and back.
The bobbed front fender and seat base are made from the same blend. There’s a new seat too, upholstered in leather, with a red grip-style hoop looping over the top. Underneath is a Öhlins mono shock, made to Unit Garage’s specs and fully dialed in, right out of the box.
It’s an odd concept, but then again, logic does not apply to the custom world—otherwise we’d all have a Honda NC700X in the garage. The sKrambler was a hit with European riders, so Unit Garage decided to produce a kit.
But Fabio makes it clear that this is a job for experienced builders who know how to weld: The kit includes a new subframe, with mounting brackets for the exhaust, seat, and suspension. (You also get a jig to ensure that everything is aligned correctly.)
But the other elements look straightforward, and can probably be installed by the average shade tree mechanic. “We have tried to design every part so that it’s easy to mount.”
You can buy the individual parts from Unit Garage, or get the complete kit for around US$5,800. That’s not cheap—but it reflects the engineering involved. And in the US you can pick up a solid late 80s K100 for around $4,000.
Add in those R 80 G/S Paris Dakar-type stickers, and it all starts to make sense.