Revival Cycles Henne BMW Landspeeder 3

Motorcycles lend themselves to customisation more easily than most vehicles. The basic premise of a frame, engine, wheels and bodywork just begs for the owner, or a fabrication shop, to create special one-off bikes that can at times seem to be more art than bike.

The Henne Revival BMW Landspeeder is one of those achingly gorgeous works of art, while being also somewhat functional, and meant to be ridden. Taking its inspiration from the land speed record bikes of the 20s, custom shop Revival Cycles, from Austin, Texas, turns out a series of projects that represent its take on what makes a motorcycle beautiful, of which the BMW Landspeeder is the latest.

Starting with the form of the BMW R63 from about 1929, Revival has crafted the bike into a replica of Ernst Jakob Henne’s land speed record BMW. Henne began chasing the motorcycle land speed record with a series of supercharged bikes from BMW Motorrad, starting in 1929 at 216.6 km/h with a supercharged 750 cc BMW and culminating in November 1937 with a speed of 279.5 km/h on a fully-faired 500 cc supercharged bike, a record which stood for 14 years.

Revival’s BMW Landspeeder began life as a custom-built frame, meticulously welded in-house by specialists. The forged links in the leading-link front fork is as simple and effective as engineering design can make, with a sense of purpose many modern bikes can’t match.

The Landspeeder owes its existance to an anonymous client who wanted a set of four bikes to display at the Handbuilt Motorcycle show in Austin this April, in conjunction with the US MotoGP. According to reports, this will be the bike’s only public appearance.

Fret not, as Revival isn’t in the habit of making garage queens. It is intended that a second Landspeeder be built, following the template of the first, but this time with the inclusion of a supercharger.