BMW Motorrad Japan kicks off ‘Ignite Straight Six’ project with two customised K 1600 GTLs

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We love the idea of a BMW K1600 supernaked, but these two are are not the kind of machines that we had in mind. Maybe Japanese customisers should just stop messing around with BMWs...

Last year, a bunch of Japanese customisers took to the BMW R nineT and the results were… er, less than palatable. And now, we have the Ignite Straight Six project from BMW Japan, which sees the creation of two customised BMW K 1600 GTL machines. The Japanese are, apparently, fascinated with the GTL’s 1649cc six-cylinder engine, and while BMW themselves haven’t taken the initiative to build a 1600cc 6-pot supernaked, that isn’t stopping the Japs from having a go at that.

The two gentlemen who’ve chopped a K 1600 GTL each are Kenji Nagai of Ken’s Factory, and Keiji Kawakita of Hot-Dock Custom-Cycles. The engine and chassis have not been altered on either bike, and Keiji Kawakita’s creation, ‘Juggernaut,’ also keeps the standard BMW Duolever front suspension, but everything else is custom-built. Kenji Nagai’s creation, very imaginatively named ‘Ken’s Factory Special,’ uses hand-made aluminium girder-type front forks raked out chopper-style using a modified headstock.

“At first, I had a bagger style in mind that grew out of the tourer image. But simply transforming a tourer into a bagger was too obvious a choice. So I thought of a different approach. I settled on the digger style. The long, thin digger style would make the in-line six-cylinder engine look even more prominent,” says Kenji Nagai. The illusion of dramatically low seat height and narrow motorcycle is enhanced by the use of 23-inch (front) and 20-inch (rear) wheels. Fuel tank covers, radiator and handlebars are all made with aluminium, highlighting Nagai’s craftsmanship.
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