Owners of R100RS models from 1974 to 1984 have many options for a rear tail. You can keep the stock cushion and rear tail which is comfortable for long miles but a bit boring. You could opt for BMW's café tail which looks like mine but it’s really expensive--like in the $600 to $800 range. It does has a bit more space for those few times you go two up.
My tail leans more to the café style with a longer rear body and one up riding. And it’s cheaper. Do your research and place your bet.
Charlie Johnson shows off the pivoting seat feature we built into the under tail support base which also is the bottom of the storage compartment in the seat. Access is gained by removing the cushion which is held on with gorilla Velcro.
If you read through the progress reports below you will discover this project began in July of 2012. Four years later in August of 2016 the product is ready for sale. It’s been a bumpy road with lots of detours but I’m ready to go. (Initial orders will be a bit slow.)
This product exists because my friend, Charlie Johnson, a Deephaven, MN BMW certified repairman and his lead mechanic/brother John, suggested the BMW world needed a cheaper R100RS styled café tail to fit all /6 and /7 models. If you search the web you will understand what they were talking about. Seats only sell for $700 and tail bodies sell for $430. That works out to be $1130 before freight. With the completion of my upholstery cover I was recently able to establish a price for my version at $495. That is kinder.
When you do a web search for BMW café fender you see the usual humped tails. There are other styles but the look is hoo-hum traditional or the price is nuts. My design for a one-up BMW Cafe fender/seat is for it to blend with the /6-/7 tank styling so it looks like it may have come from the factory.
The tank has a stylized knee pocket. That pocket shape I'm using in the tail where the back of the tank transitions into the tail. BMW calls their R100RS tail a solo seat. Mine is more so because the length of my tail is longer than theirs for sleeker lines. Conversely my seat is shorter.
The very end of my tail kiss fits the stock taillight and incorporates it in the styling. There is an unpleasant vertical gap between the OEM tail and light. About ¾” of the taillight extends past my tail on long frames and is even on short frames.
My upholstery styling is very BMW-like. The cushion top and side joint line is lower to bring out the lines in the tail body. The rear end of the cushion seamlessly joins with the fiberglass tail. The front of the cushion is shaped to blend into the tank.
I have built a trunk into the hump of the tail. It measures 10” x 9” x 5”--not huge, but for sure your items will be hidden. And it’s a sealed carry space so water won’t muck up your items.
This truck bottom is drilled for rear seat mounts. You mount the stock hinges on my tail along with the seat latch mechanism. The seat bottom is relieved for this hardware. The seat attaches with Velcro and you really have to grunt to pull it off-so the seat ain’t going anywhere. You’ll notice my seat cushion is narrower than OEM seats. That’s an advantage for short legged riders-you’ll more easily reach the ground.
What does your $495 buy?
- $650+ less than other similarly available R100RS styled products
- A tail body in white gelcoat-just sand and color match
- You get a soft seat cushion that is 3 ¼” tall. Charlie said that’s what you BMW guys want for your longer rides
- A trunk hidden in the hump
- Tail opens just like the stock seat
- Tail accepts stock hinges and lock pin
- Tail fits long and short frame BMWs
- You may be able to trim down the stock item box for additional storage
- Tail uses stock inner fender, license plate mount and taillight
Direct your interest and/or comments to Phil Little at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-935-8833. Cell 952-607-6063.
BMW Café Tail Report 8/2/16
I talked with you 8 months ago. As you’ll recall I was dealing with the seat foam mold then. I’m tellin’ ya it has been a nightmare. I had to build a custom injector to jam the liquid foam into a 1 ½” hole in the mold because the chemical cure starts in 8 seconds. I have to mix part A and B in 8 seconds and get it in the mold blindingly fast or I have a mess.
The injector builder took a long time to make it and it set me back $344. All that’s over now and I’ve pulled two prototype foam pieces from the mold. I will get my chemistry right then we’ll be cooking. I’ve sent the foam out for upholstery and that’s what you’ll see in a week or so.
BMW Café Tail Report 2/29/16
Gawd am I a slow person. My last report to you was 7/13/15 and I started this project in 2013. Well since the last time I talked with you I finished making the mold for the seat foam. I am ordering to foam materials to begin making my own foam. It is the last element needed to complete the kit.
Once a good foam comes out of the mold, I’ll have the cover made and will be able to formulate pricing. I’m told BMW’s prices for a similar seat are in the nose bleed area of $800. Mine should be about half of that.
BMW Café Tail Report 7/13/15
I apologize for the slow work on this project. It’s the result of working on too many projects at a time. This photo is the first completed tail which was delivered this morning to the BMW shop who gave me the original idea for this BMW style café tail. They will double check mountings for OEM hinges and latch-see holes.
That black hole is the storage trunk access port. It will be closed off with the seat attached with Velcro. The only remaining work is to complete the mold pattern for the seat foam. That happens 7/16/15. Remember this tail will fit behind 1974 to 1984 /6 and /7 tanks.
BMW Café Tail Report 1/8/14
Here is the completed tail piece recently from the mold. It sits atop a tricked out R100R café project in the works. It's a bit hard to see the lines because the white gelcoat reflects so much light and kills the contrast.
The important thing is for you to see how it fits on the motorcycle. I am pleased to see the kiss fit around the taillight. The tail will fit either long or short seat rails-the taillight just sticks out a bit more with the long. The tail/tank joint is good too.
The rear shot shows the tail as whale like--not to worry, that's just camera foreshortening. Next on list is to make seat base and trunk floor in tail hump.
BMW Café Tail Report 8/8/13 [/6 & /7, 1974 to 1984]
Okay these are the last of the seat development photos you are gonna see. I'm done. Now it's off to the mold maker. The next photos will be the final part. After that I'll make storage compartment bottom and seat base. Until then, 10-4.
BMW Café Tail Report 7/15/13
The gray stuff you see on the part is Duratech. It is a two part spray-on finish that is hard enough to sand and polish to a mirror finish. That surface is what the mold is made from. The next time you see this part it will be all shiny and off for mold-making it will go.
BMW Café Tail Report 6/18/13
David, Mark, Prosper, Mark, Joe, Neal and Charlie (my board) I failed. I could not replicate the tank pocket in the tail as hard as I tried. The point where seat rails narrow inward to tank back is too far forward of the seat back.
So I got rid of the pockets you saw in the last report and have a hint of the tank pocket along the sides of where seat cushion will sit. Thanks to your objections to the hump height-it was lowered and the seat back was moved forward by two inches. The result is a sleeker look. If you look at the seat back you'll see where the storage opening will be. More soon.
BMW tail fender, Report 6/3/13
The basic tail is roughed out and almost done. I was able to smooth out the transition between the wide rear and narrow front seat rails. Next week I will finish the surface and insert the logo mounting dish. When this is done I will coat it with finishing primer unless you as my advisors suggest a shape change.
Once the first fender comes out of the mold I will make the tail storage bottom which also doubles as the rear hinge mount for the flip up seat. If you look closely at the back of the seat, you'll see my marks for the storage opening. The cushion will be a minimum of 4" thick and will mount to a seat base (to be made) which mounts to tail with removable Velcro.
If you are not already on my mailing list and would like to future progress reports like this one, just write me at email@example.com. Thanks.
BMW tail fender, Report 5/28/13
Now you can see the tail has taken shape. You can also begin to see how I am attempting to put the tank's vertical transition line into the tail. It wasn't easy because the forward jog-in is defined by the frame rail shape and the tail's seat back is significantly rearward of the jog by 5" or so. I have to smooth out the abruptness of the jog-in hump and you'll see that next time.
If you are not already on my mailing list and would like to future progress reports like this one, just write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks
BMW tail fender, Report 5/1/13
Work begins on new BMW café tail. At this point I am establishing a base for the shape by using wood and fiberglass. In the next stage you'll see auto body filler applied to refine the shape.
You see that turned in edge just behind the lifting handle-that's going to be the smooth indentation which mirrors the shape in the 1974 to 1984 /6 and /7 tanks. I'm going to do my best to have the tail mount just like the stock seats with stock hinges and locking post. It may be hard to see (amongst the clutter of other fiberglass parts on the shelf) but if you look at the very end of the tail, I have an opening for the stock taillight.
That's it for now. If you are not already on my mailing list and would like to future progress reports like this one, just write me at email@example.com. Thanks
BMW Café Fender Report 7/17/12
This slab of fiberglass sitting on the seat rails is the foundation of the fender-it determines the overall length and width. I will add exterior shapes above and below this horizontal surface. The hinge mounts and lock pin location will be plotted on this slab so shape building will have a reference point.