CULP Customs' "Antiqued" BMW S1000RR | Vintage Superbike

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Robert Watt

We see many things when we look at BMW's S1000RR: a 177-horse-power technological marvel, a World Superbike contender and one of the most sophisticated and capable legal sportbikes ever produced. Others, like Shreveport, Louisiana's, Steve Culp, see "history and vintage bones." These people might consider having their eyesight checked...

Still, Culp wouldn't let a little ocular obfuscation cloud his utterly unique vision of a 21st-century homage to BMW's iconic, Max Friz-designed R-models of the 1920s. Culp, a well-respected car, bike and plane restoration expert who has owned countless BMWs over the years, stripped an RR chassis, then rebuilt everything with a nod to the machine's classic Bavarian roots.

Only the original frame, engine and wheels remain. Everything else is custom. Culp estimates 500 hours of fabrication work have gone into the bodywork, wiring, cockpit, solo saddle, exhaust and other one-off components. Authentic vintage parts were used whenever possible. The ram-air intake beneath the headlight array comes from a 1920s automobile. The tailight is an antique Buick piece, and the saddle grab bar started life as an Indian motorcycle fender guard.

Culp debuted the bike at Daytona Bike Week and, as you might imagine, response was decidedly mixed. "One guy said I was a rich moron playing God," Culp laughs. For the record, he couldn't care less: "I like winning shows, but in the end, I'm building something I enjoy. Individuality is not a bad thing."

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