Sinroja R18 "2 Smoking barrels"
We’ve known the TW Steel team for a while from meeting them at shows and have been fan of their “Son of Time” series. A great initiative working with custom builders with passion for art and details just like they are passionate about their watches to promote their brand values and products. Following the Enfield projects we could show TW Steel and the custom world that given the right budget and freedom of design / work we an really show our skills. Usually we are restricted with limited budgets of clients and their vision but when given a certain creative freedom we can really out do ourselves.
TW Steel saw our passion and vision which lead them to choose us for their next Son of Time project. Straight away we got talking about the donor bike and we were keen to work with BMW’s latest boxer engine since from our past we are known to work with classic boxer engines. We chose the BMW R9T as a donor bike and BMW loved the idea of the project too and got onboard straight away support us all the way through the build especially when it came to their state of art Can-Bus electrics.
We knew for this project we really had to go above and beyond. Usually we work off some basic lines sketches and ideas in the head but this time we got onboard our good friend Rajesh Kutty (please credit him for help with design and digital rendering) who is one of the head designers at Bentley Motors. He helped us envision this bike before we started making it which made the whole build part a lot easier, he played a key role in the design process of this bike. I had the idea in my head and could visualise the bike but just through my words and some dotting around my iPad he created a beautiful concept.
The build process!
Once TW Steel saw the rendering they were blown away along with BMW. They both got onboard straight away. They didn’t even imagine a R9T would like like this. However as with every project there’s always twists and turns. Any design is designed with time line in mind, we initially had 6 months to build the bike but due to unforeseen circumstances it came down to 10 weeks but because we loved the design so much we were hesitant to change it for ease. This is where passion took over business sense and lifestyle haha. We decided we will work 24/7 should need be but we would nail the concept we decided initially and make sure we have one of the best R9T’s out there.
Since cutting corners isn’t our style and wanting to create something totally awesome we decided to pull in all the favours for extended Sinroja team i.e rang of our partners to help us out. We called in our mate Chris Walton and got him onto hand beating unique bodywork in aluminium. Our friend Richard over from Motorcycle Wiring Specialists was called in to tackle the Can-Bus systems with help of BMW Motorrad UK. 8 Ball custom paint was called in to make sure they were prepared to tackle and awesome paint job as soon as we were ready with all the parts (it came down to the last wire literally). With Bikeshed 2018 as a lunch date everything had to go well for us as it was the biggest show of the year for Sinroja and we wanted to have the best bike there.
The process started with a complete strip down and getting rid of every single Euro 4/5 compliance tricks which we felt weren’t necessary. We stripped all the bodywork, took off the airbox (such a pain to do so), subframe was going, exhaust system, tank, seat units, rear sets, head covers, handle bars, wheels. Everything that remained was engine and main frame. Every single part of the motorcycle was looked into without cutting corners. Sinroja Motorcycles are known for it’s attention to detail in the builds rather than a massive over the top design when bike becomes impractical to ride. Our idea with any build is to find the right balance between art and motorcycling.
First step of the build was to get the correct rolling chassis, so we called up our friends at Nitron who built us a custom rear shock that was raised precisely 27 mm according to our calculations to get the right stance and lines of the bike. The front forks and brake callipers were sent to Flying Tiger coating to get ceramic coated all black to match the paint scheme of the concept. We replaced the wheels with custom made wheels from Kineo who made it to our spec also adding a little touch when it came to spoke nipples. In all the red nipple they swapped 2 for black ones representing 2 black dots of the TW Steel logo (its all about the details).
Next step came from our partners Rizoma who sent us a whole load of their high end Italian billet aluminium machined parts for the bike We mounted the rear sets to the frame, clip ons, rocker covers, front timing cover etc to see how the rolling chassis sits. This helps us make sure when the bodywork is built of aluminium we take in consideration the basic ergonomics of the motorcycling i.e. ride height, stance, lean angle to clip ons so one doesn’t break wrists whilst riding, rear set position to the seat so rider sits comfortably and finally it helps us make sure we have correct clearances on the moving parts like the clip ons, switch gear and levers clear the bodywork when turned lock to lock. We also replaced both levers by Brembo performance master cylinders. This is the most important part of the build for us. Every single bike we build is built to ride first then to look good so ergonomics are very important to us as taught to me by my design teachers at university. This bike with its complicated bodywork it’s still got full original steering lock to enable comfortable riding. There’s a reason BMW has set it to what it is originally.
Next part was to do the whole bodywork in aluminium. The concept of the project involved a complete redesign of the original bike so a lot of work was put into it. Almost over 150 hours of aluminium work was done all by hand using artisan skills and coach building techniques of the past. We started with tank as it dictated a everything else that went around it and it’s proportions (as always looks far too easy on the computer than doing it for real). It didn’t get it all done in one go, throughout the build we had made 3 different tanks to make sure we had the very best final product and we believe we’ve nailed it.
Following the tank we got on to the tail section which was a very unique piece and very important as it make the bike totally stand out. A very unique tail that houses the rear lights, simple yet striking in design.
Following that came the most the challenging part of the bike, a unique front fairing. We didn’t want to have just classic style fairing as we’ve seen it too many time. We wanted to do something that stands out and makes a statement. It’s made of 3 separate sections, two sides and one top piece which replaced the original idea of perspex screen. We just didn’t feel right with perspex so we wen’t ahead and designed a aluminium piece that seamlessly joined the two sides and also added strength to the structure which meant we could mount the whole fairing with two mounting points on each side on forks. The front of the fairing just leans over the headlight to give bike an attitude (something I felt created an ego of the bike just like in one of my favourite games as a kid, assassins creed. There was always something about the hoodie the character always had on and we felt the fairing does that for the Moksha, representing the attitude of “Son of Time”). The two side scoops in the fairing were inspired by the scoops on BMW M sport cars like the new 4 series which has air vents on the side to keep the air flow through the car and same here the scoops on the fairing directs air to heads and exhaust headers cooling them down. Functionality then looks.
Once we finished all the bodywork we jumped onto all the details and branding we wanted to include on the bike like replacing ABS sensor ring with laser etched place that reads the Son of Time story, added a custom plaque that proudly bares our name, custom made fuel cap was machined by Fastec Custom Racing to replicate (oversize) the crown of the watch designed to go with our bike. We also got Speedhut to make a GPS gauge to replicate the watch and wearing the Son of Time logo to show extra level of details Sinroja bikes have. We really go above and beyond to represent the brands without being too loud and in the face.
Whilst we were finalising all the small details our friend Richard at Motorcycles Wiring Specialists started going through the loom and managed to help with our demands to get rid of most of electrical components and systems that we didn’t feel were necessary on the bike like ABS, airbox and sensors, indicators (replaced with Rizoma club s and l line of indicators), replacing complicated Can-Bus switch gear with simple and quality motogadget M switches and finally replacing the clocks with custom made Speedhut GPS Gauge that represents the exclusive watch designed by TW Steel to go with the bike. Richard did amazing job cleaning up the wiring and tackling almost impossible BMW systems without having to reprogram ECU’s etc.
Once we got the bike electronics sorted we had the whole bike mocked up one last time to finish off the custom stainless custom exhaust made in house. After that the whole bike went to our painters 8 Ball custom paint for paint work. They did amazing job for us in weeks time they had all the panel prepped for us including base paint to lay final lines on it. We literally laid the lines on the bike the night before bikeshed and 8 ball team (3 of them) spent all night to paint show quality bike for us which we managed to then reveal proudly at the show. It all came down to the wire and we pulled it through.
We hope you love this as much as we do!