BMW's crazy S1000R streetbike serves as the starting point for the latest in a string of Californian celebrity custom motorcycles. Following the release of Keanu Reeves' KRGT-1, meet Orlando Bloom's "4CYL." Designed in conjunction with Deus Ex Machina's Michael "Woolie" Woolaway, it's a retro-tracker take on a super high-tech nakedbike, but does this one hit the mark?
Californian custom streetbikes are definitely developing a style of their own, inspired perhaps by flat track racers of the 70s but also fuelled by a hipster insistence on hand-craftsmanship, bare metal and retro elements. The latest movie star to showcase his own custom ride is Orlando Bloom, of Lord of the Rings fame. Working with Michael "Woolie" Woolaway, head of the Deus Ex Machina custom shop in Venice, California, the pair has come up with a custom based on Bloom's BMW S1000R.
Bloom's "4CYL" machine strips all the copious plastic off BMW's psychopathic naked superbike, and in the process highlights one of the reasons why today's super-naked class bikes tend to be covered up. Frames that are built for ultimate handling rigidity and 4-cylinder engines that are designed to be hidden behind plastic just don't look that good.
Style is of course subjective, but in my uneducated opinion this nice exhaust, pretty leather monoseat, nicely detailed tank and cruiser-style front headlight struggle to save the 4CYL. It comes off feeling unfinished, like an expensive, high class rat bike. The Cali-retro elements don't seem to fit with the bike's futuristic character to my eye, but the silhouette is certainly an improvement on the original.
It's doubtless still a hoot to ride. Bloom came into Woolie's shop talking about what a twitchy and intense ride the S1000R is, and we can confirm that it's one of the maddest and greatest bikes we've ever ridden. But outstanding function doesn't always dictate beautiful form, and even Woolie's well-schooled hand doesn't seem to be able to rescue this one from looking a bit awkward.
If you want to see the same engine and frame turned into something truly bizarre, check out Steve Culp's custom S1000RR for a laugh. In the meanwhile, below is a short video about the 4CYL and how it came to be built.