Once a law-enforcing bike in the service of the Swiss police, here's a machine that's seen the appeal of a slightly different life. Swiss-based VTR Customs have robbed this BMW R 80 RT of its quiet existence and transformed it into a drag racer.
The R 80 RT is one of three ex-police bikes that the specialist bike customisers acquired. The 'Polizei' livery on the otherwise stripped tank is the only clue as to its former existence and even that isn't authentic, since the bike was in the service of the Italian-speaking Swiss police, hence its name: "Polizia Uno" or "P1".
VTR have installed a formidable Rotrex supercharger, and added the drag-racing essential of nitrous oxide fuelling to give the P1 maximum acceleration on the strip. The customisers' Swiss sense of humour has driven them to add a baby's dummy, for those moments when the acceleration becomes too much.
A spiralled back wheel is embellished with the word "psycho", which speaks for itself.
The Munich manufacturer made the BMW R 80 RT, in various forms, from 1982 to 1995. The basic machine was a staid-looking favourite of relatively conservative European bikers keen on its reliability, and performance that lacked the potentially ferocious kick of the big-engined R 100 RT.
This modified drag bike has an extraordinary kick all of its own, one that slings any notion of "staid" and "conservative" to one side, and its rider down the strip. Approach with due caution.
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