This Tin Man bares its heart.
We’ve seen our share of custom builds by Austrian outfit Vagabund Moto. From a stripped-down Moto Guzzi V7 café racer to a utilitarian Honda NX650, the custom shop’s distinct style is hard to miss. However, with such a consistent minimalist aesthetic, it isn’t easy to set each build apart. So, for the shop’s15th project, Vagabund founders Paul Brauchart and Philipp Rabl enlisted the help of master craftsman Bernard “Blechmann” Naumann.
Starting with a 2016 BMW R nineT, the team pounded out a single-piece gas tank cover and tail section. The monocoque bodywork isn’t just an ornamental feature, though. At the touch of a button, it lifts to reveal a storage compartment under the seat. Given the nesting doll design, Vagabund also had to fabricate an aluminum housing for the gas tank, electronics, and custom subframe. Thanks to the dual-layer bodywork and a loose translation of Nauman’s nickname, the Austrian troop named the project the “Tin Man”.
Gallery: Tin Man: 2016 BMW R nineT
Under the skin, the team mounted a Motogadget dash that is visible through the bodywork’s acrylic window. When the rider pops the trunk, the hydraulic shocks not only lift the outer shell but also repositions the Motogadget display for visibility. While the metal hull steals most of the attention, a blinker-integrated front fender and headlight nacelle complement the monocoque bodywork.
Vagabund doesn’t ignore performance with the Tin Man either. A Rotobox carbon fiber wheelset wrapped in sticky Pirelli Diablo Corsa SP tires certainly improves the Beemer’s handling while Rizoma provides the build’s clip-ons, foot controls, and plate hanger. While the team equipped the project with a custom ceramic-coated exhaust system, the stock catalytic converter keeps the R nineT road-legal.
Lastly, the custom shop turned to Grundmann to paint the outer layer a Mercedes Selenite Grey Magno color. However, the underside only receives a clear coat to emphasize the craftsmanship. Yes, the Tin Man retains Vagabund’s minimalist aesthetic, but it takes the style to new heights.