Brandon Mungai

Tucked away in a garage in Costa Mesa, Brandon C. Mungai spends his free hours laboring on his passion for motorcycles. Specifically, Brandon does factory spec restorations and cafe racer inspired customization on BMW airheads. When I say he "does" what I really mean is that he finds an airhead and then proceeds to turn it back to a bike even the german engineers of the '70's would be clinking their willibechers in approval at.  

I had been planning to visit Brandon for a while now. I wanted to see his work firsthand. The bike he just finished is a 1983 BMW R100 in a delicious Laguna Seca Blue paint work. I made it down to see him just in time. He was prepping the R100 for the new owner and it looked as though it had just rolled off the factory line.

Brandon did an amazing job piecing this bike together. Everything on it says "period" and "factory" which I feasted my eyes on for the next few hours. Now, BMW never made a model just like this but maybe they should have. It is one sexy bike, and it sounded crispy. The kind of sound that would make you howl in unison as you twist the throttle.  

It all started for Brandon when he bought a 1973 R75/5 in 2011. The bike broke down on the 405 freeway and he tried to fix it himself without success. He decided to send the bike to a shop to have it restored. He basically got scammed and pulled the bike out two months later. All the mechanic had done was cut the spokes out. This was the turning point. He started to rebuild the bike himself from scratch with the help of a mentor. The R75 is where it all began for him and he wanted it to be perfect.  

Sometime in the summer of 2012 Brandon restarted Bavarian Cafe's website to document the R100 Laguna Seca Blue build.  It was also during this time that Brandon had a very unfortunate crash on his beautiful R75 that almost ended it all for him and his loved ones. The BMW was trashed and he was looking at a long road to recovery. I asked if he thought about quitting after the crash. He said he thought about his wife and daughter but he said he couldn't quit and his family knew it. 

In March 2013, he finished the R100 LSB. "I stalled on finishing the bike because I was still shaken up by the crash. But I had to take the bike on a first test ride and as soon as I got on the gas it all came back to me. That rush of being on a bike again!"

That was a year after his crash. 

What is your dream build? "It would still be a BMW. The bike is a WWII R75 Sidecar. The first R75 the Germans built."  

"This is all just for fun!" he says with a smile. "I don't have any goals for this. I love what I do now and I want to continue doing it." His meticulous and no compromise attitude towards a build has gained him supporters from all around the world. I sure hope to see more from his garage in the years to come. I think this story is just beginning. 

Keep an eye out for Brandon's next R90S cafe racer build. This time he will be collaborating with Japanese customizer Ritmo Sereno


Check him out here :: Bavarian Cafe