Fusion Style Cafe Racer By Metro Motorbike

Taking inspiration and the best of parts from different brands of motorcycles, what I called a Fusion Style approach, designer David Ballinger created a timeless daily-rider motorcycle mixing for reliability a BMW R100 airhead air cooled engine, for performance a Ducati front end and for attitude and style, either a Cafe Racer or Harley-Davidson Fat Bob gas tank.

David called the result a Metro Motorbike that he characterize as better looking that a factory motorcycle and more comfortable and rideable than most of the bikes built by professional custom builders (although he admires them…)

David Ballinger is more a designer than a custom builder, and his resume includes accomplishments as diverse as having designed the modern houseboat MetroShip and the modern garden shed MetroShed for upscale Neiman Marcus, and has also worked for both Harley-Davidson and BMW North America.

Difficult to classify, are his Metro Motor Bikes a new breed of Cafe Racers, of Bobbers or Choppers? If you like what you see, know that Metro Motorbikes start at $9,995 for a basic light customized motorcycle, while a full customized version will run about $18,000 for a carbon fiber tank with Brembo brakes, custom lights and kevlar wrapped exhaust. Metro Motorbikes.

32 Responses to “Fusion Style Cafe Racer By Metro Motorbike”

  1. 1 GuitarSlinger Apr 27th, 2012 at 9:09 am

    The more I see these Beemer customs from all over the World the more I love em : this one included . Choppers ( yes really ) Cafe , Street Tracker , Pure Custom … what ever . Some brilliant stuff being done with Beemers lately . BMW motorcycles . The new ‘ Harley Davidson ‘ of custom M/C building . Who’d of ever thought ?

  2. 2 GuitarSlinger Apr 27th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    The more I see these Beemer customs coming out lately the more I love em . This one included .

    BMW M/C’s . The new ‘ H-D’s ‘ of custom bike building . Who’d of ever thought

  3. 3 Bleeding Ears Apr 27th, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Crude and amateurish. This “designer” should stick with garden sheds.

  4. 4 dannyb278 Apr 27th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    “David called the result a Metro Motorbike that he characterize as better looking that a factory motorcycle and more comfortable and rideable than most of the bikes built by professional custom builders (although he admires them”

    Seems to reguard himself highly for putting together a largely unremarkable motorcycle. There are a lot of cool BMW customs out there, but this one falls short.

  5. 5 hk Apr 27th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    C- for effort.Sorry but it must be a slow news day ,this thing is lame

  6. 6 Ray Apr 27th, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I went on the website of this David Ballinger. The way he writes about himself is somewhat arrogant.

  7. 7 GuitarSlinger Apr 27th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Sorry I’ve spent some time on his website and I’m not seeing any more ‘ arrogance ‘ than one would expect in a Bio attempting to promote ones work . Fact is his is pretty tame .

    I’m curious to hear why a few here think this bike ” falls short ” or ” is lame ” as well .

    IMO especially in light of the asking price its a mighty fine ride . Well executed and using some good parts as well . An intelligent custom

    PS; Sorry for the multiple posts earlier ( 9:09 & 9:11 ) I put up the 9:11 post when the intended one ( 9:09) seemed to have failed

  8. 8 Michael Apr 27th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I like the bike but I don’t see any cafe in it at all, fusion or not.
    Of course Cafe is a mainly undefined style and has morphed since my years riding the North Circular but it seems the term is being slapped on virtually any creation these days. IMHO sit up and beg bars cannot be used if one is aiming for a Cafe bike even if one calls it a fusion and blend of styles and purpose.
    But I still think this creation is cool.

  9. 9 Seymour Apr 27th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Misses the mark IMHO, but who cares what I think

  10. 10 Fritz Apr 27th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    He has done a pretty good job for such an inherently ugly bike. I rode boxer BMW for years and while a great bike they are very UGLY. Fugly is more descriptive. Most people could not even find the ignition if the stock key was in it and the top of the key flipped over. Bike thieves walk right by this one.

    It is very hard to make a stock bike look custom without cutting and rewelding the frame. A stock bike with a ton of aftermarket goodies on it almost always ends up looking like …..a stock bike with a ton of aftermarket parts on it, regardless of how much bling appeal and cost is involved.

    I’ll bet it looks better up close and in person.The stock bike is really ugly so he did a pretty good job and it most likely handles well and is still reliable. It still sort of looks like a Confederate Motor Hellcat built during the last days of the Reich

  11. 11 Captain John T. Awesome Apr 27th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Rear shocks and seat springs are cheezy……..and what’s with all the racing stuff on a bike with a cruiser-style seating position? It just looks like a bunch of “cool” stuff slapped together on a cheap old bike.lol Oh and I have to reiterate….that seat is terrible.

  12. 12 Rob Apr 27th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I’ma hurt my knees on that thing. They’ll hit the handlebars for sure!

  13. 13 RUB Apr 27th, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    doesn’t anybody take ladies for a ride anymore ?

  14. 14 SIGFREED Apr 28th, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I see this being ridden by 007 in drag…

  15. 15 Knucklehead Apr 28th, 2012 at 7:38 am

    For a beamer I like it.

  16. 16 Seven Apr 28th, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Not so much.

  17. 17 Skippermike Apr 28th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Sorry, but everything about this bike is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

  18. 18 Chris Apr 28th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    It needs leather fringe and some knobbies.

  19. 19 Dog Williams Apr 28th, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I believe there are certain immutable laws of aesthetics in all forms of design, lines, balance, form etc, I’m afraid this creation and its creator has paid little heed to any of them and, moreover, the builder calls it goog looking, sorry mate, it isn’t, and that is beyond personal preference. I side with Dannyb, there are plenty of cool Boxers out there, customs, trackers, cafe’s, chops and flatout race bikes, this ain’t one of them, one visually ghastly concoction.

  20. 20 brumby Apr 28th, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Sorry, that is a shocker. Old boxer BMWs are completely devoid of any style, no matter what you do to them. Great bikes to ride apparently.

  21. 21 nicker Apr 28th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Certainly different.
    But not particularly inspiring.


  22. 22 Larry R Apr 29th, 2012 at 11:59 am


  23. 23 Zipper Apr 30th, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Fritz said it best. ..Z

  24. 24 Englishman Apr 30th, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Wow, seat (with silly springs on a suspended bike) looks to be higher than the stock position.

    I have seen some nice BMW chops, that’s not one.
    I have seen some decent BMW Café bikes, that’s not one.

  25. 25 Rodent Apr 30th, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Rode Beemers for years, Friz is right on! Ugly but relieable while others were beuitiful and broke. I cursed Joe Lucas many times.

  26. 26 RTW Apr 30th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    ugliest bike i have seen on this forum…period!

  27. 27 Brescia May 1st, 2012 at 11:50 am

    This guy a designer?

  28. 28 Wikked Steel May 1st, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Stick to sheds.

  29. 29 Septic the Sceptic May 2nd, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Jeez, has this guy got tickets on himself or what. Strewth, the only difficult part would be buying the upside down forks to put on it. Any dill can knock together an ugly bike just like this any day of the week. Oh, it’s not a cafe racer either, not by a long chalk.

  30. 30 Ripvango May 14th, 2012 at 2:32 am

    I hate to say it but… Man those are kinda Ugly…

    I mean what is Dave thinking with that upper rear shock placement? It’s going to totally distort the frame over time. I mean at least add a brace to the front under the tank if your going to mount it there, other wise it’s just going to distort.

    If you want to mess with the swingarm and shock placement at least take a look at the successful Duel Sport mods and see what works. Everyone knows that shock placement is just not the way to do it.

    Bobbers fusion or not should be simple. A BMW Bobber or chopper should be about simplicity, but still be mechanically sound and keep an inherent BMW quality. It should not look like some other kind of bike with a added airhead engine.

    For instance here’s one I’m building in my shop right now.

    With the exception of the Suzuki forks, some added steel, an old Harley seat, and the R1200GS monoshock it’s strictly made from the original R65’s parts. You could say it’s a fusion, maybe a little ratty, but though it’s unique it still has some of the original BMW feel..

  31. 31 Ripvango May 14th, 2012 at 10:43 am

    All I’m saying is that as someone who actually plays with, and builds these things… That it is possible to build a chopper or bobber based on a BMW airhead frame that not only looks halfway decent, but is strong, functional, and keeps a inherent BMW quality.

  32. 32 billybobber Jun 8th, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I actually really like this bike…in a world of copies (every manufacture is copying each other) this is unique. Price is very reasonable at $10k considering custom bikes nowadays. I agree with ripvango – BMW’s are a great platform for a chopper / bobber. As for the ‘arrogant’ designer…good job!

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Cyril Huze