The post-War R51/3 is one of the all-time classic motorcycles, and instantly recognizable as a BMW-complete with early boxer engine and ‘plunger’ rear suspension. But despite their venerable age, R51s can still be picked up at auction for less than US$20,000. Over 18,000 R51/3s were built, and a fair few of those are slowly decaying away in sheds and garages around the world. Even in places you wouldn’t expect to find one, such as Jakarta, Indonesia.
That’s the hometown of Thrive, undisputedly one of the world’s top custom shops and the team behind this very elegant build called ‘T-051.’ The client behind this commission has been a BMW aficionado since childhood. After meeting the Thrive guys and reminiscing over airheads from his past, he returned to the workshop with the engine and frame of a 1951 R51/3.
Too many parts were missing for the R51 to be returned to its original showroom state. So the owner simply said, “I bet you guys know where to start. Make a great story for me to remember.”
Thrive’s media relations guy Putra Agung was surprised. “That’s not what we expected, but we took up the sentimental challenge. We came up with a restomod approach, updating some parts while maintaining the overall classic look.”
‘T-051’ was born, and proves that Thrive are at the top of the premier league. They don’t follow trends or take shortcuts: each new build has an original vision behind it, matched to exquisite detail work.