Cardinal Motors' Custom 1978 BMW R100/7
A first look at the beautifully rugged DV100 tracker
The twin BMW engine is one of the most iconic pieces of industrial design in motorsports. Now pair that hunk of steel with beautifully built frame, fuel tank and custom everything else, and you've got yourself a proper head turner. The most recent BMW build to catch our eye is the DV 100 from newly launched motorcycle apparel and accessories brand Cardinal Motors, created in collaboration with luxe eyewear label Dom Vetro. Designed and fabricated by Brooklyn-based designer Chad Hodge (designer of the endlessly celebrated Bell Bullitt helmet), the custom 1978 BMW R100/7 only further proves that no matter how many iterations of a vintage BMW bike already exist, there is always room for more.
"The design of the bike references a tracker style, but built for the streets of New York," explains Hodge, founder of Cardinal Motors. "It's confident and slightly aggressive but not intimidating or unapproachable. Above all else, I wanted it to be fun to ride." Achieving this was easier said than done, though, as the donor bike was in really rough shape. The previous owner was a merchant marine who rode the hell out of it and cared little for maintenance. "It was in a bad state—the wiring was a rats nest, the pistons were on backwards and the valves were switched on both sides, among other things," Hodge details, "so a top end rebuild was done, and a long list of other custom stuff." This "other custom stuff" includes a sub frame and seat with 3D printed tail piece, fenders and mounts, and specially engineered exhaust pipes and headers.
To accompany the bike is a set of leather accessories from Cardinal Motors, including an attractive tool roll slash dopp kit and a magnetic tank strap with stash pocket—perfect for everything from sunglasses to cash for toll roads to registration, IDs etc. Though black is the color of choice for Cardinal, both accessories are available for a limited time in a unique burgundy color way exclusive to Dom Vetro, who also released a new sunglasses frame style as part of the collaboration.