What does the phrase “project bike” mean to you? For some, it means a motorcycle you can ride on, that’s in less-than-rideable condition. You’ll need to wrench on it a bit in order to take it for a ride, but once you put in that work, it’s yours. For others it’s a basket case or an abandoned bike in the corner of an old barn that’s so far gone most people wouldn’t even buy it for scrap. 

Those are very literal interpretations of the phrase, though. Some people like to work on other types of project bikes—such as astoundingly intricate minified models, or even amazing sculptures made out of cardboard. In fact, just such a life-sized cardboard motorcycle model has been making the rounds lately, from a guy in Brazil who built what’s clearly the most lightweight BMW R 1200 GS around.  

He goes by the name of Henry, and his handle across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter is @robertahornet if you want to keep up with his cardboard-sculpting exploits. That’s right, friends—the BMW R 1200 GS is neither his first nor his last cardboard build.  


Using a combination of PVC pipe, cardboard, and screws, Henry quickly discovered that he really enjoyed creating motorcycles (and cars, too) out of that most readily-available of mediums. He started out with a Honda Hornet, which he said was extremely involved since it was his first time trying any of this out. The R 1200 GS came afterward, and despite the difference in size and intricacy, it went a lot faster since he was able to utilize all his new experiential knowledge from the Hornet. 

Look around you right now, at the detritus from months and months of combined social distancing and online shopping. If you’ve got a bunch of empty boxes sitting around, and you’re at all artistically inclined, this is totally something you could attempt in your spare time. Unlike a lot of new hobbies, you probably already have most of the tools laying around the house that you’ll need if you want to give it a try. Look, ma, it’s environmentally-friendly and it won’t break the bank! If you like to ride real motorcycles as well, and some of those boxes in your home are from bike parts, you know what you’ll have? BikeCEPTION!  

Anyway, Henry’s videos are all in Portuguese, but you can always turn on YouTube’s auto-translate captions and get a rough idea of what’s going on, if you don’t speak the language. He has a full playlist of R 1200 GS cardboard build videos here, if you’re interested. Henry also chronicles both full-sized and miniature cardboard builds across his social media channels, in many different aspects.  

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