There have been renditions of cars with Spitfire engines before but this BMW has to be the first motorcycle inspired by one and one of the most unique custom build jobs. The Spitfire fighter plane was used before, during and after the World War II and perhaps a hot favourite of anyone who knows even a slight bit of fighter planes. The famous fighter first took to the skies in 1936, and retired from RAF duties in 1954—by which time the Merlin engine had been superseded by a 2,050 hp supercharged Griffon. VTR Customs of Switzerland too perhaps thought the same and worked on a R200 R supplied by BMW. They worked with Dutch watchmaker TW Steel.
VTR boss Daniel Weidmann worked as a technician on vintage aircraft in his early career, so he’s comfortable with these methods. But even so, his skills—and those of head tech Cello Brauchli—were stretched to the limit.
“This is the most challenging and complex bike we have ever made,” Dani admits. “We had to make the tail end three times to get the look we were after. I now have to wear my back protector at work, because I fear Cello is going to kill me with a knife from behind!”
The design inspiration came from Dani’s own career in aviation and a sketch from the French studio Barbara Design. A torpedo-like monster, completely sheathed in aluminum, would be immediately reminiscent of old airplanes.
VTR could not modify the internals of the boxer engine. Instead, they’ve simply freed up breathing with a free-flowing intake and custom exhaust system. It delivers a modest power boost from 125 to around 135 hp.
VTR now have two incredible BMWs ready for combat at the Sultans of Sprint: as well as the TW Steel Spitfire, they will be running their blown R80 ‘Polizei’ bike in the more open ‘Freak’ class.