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Now you may have already seen Alderson’s R80 in the pages of BMW magazine’s Summer 2016 issue. We strongly suggest taking a look at that article for more info on the bike, the build, and Mr. Neira. I admit, I have glanced at the pictures however, in an attempt to make sure this article is completely original, I have not read the text of the article. I am sure it covers some of the same ground but this write up was taken straight from an interview I had with Alderson during Eurobike Raleigh 2016.

[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A year ago Alderson Neira never thought it would have turned out this way.

A year ago Alderson Neira was just a guy on his 2007 Yamaha R6, that decided to check out a local motorcycle rally called EUROBIKE 2015.

The bike that inspired.

The bike that inspired.

A year ago Alderson Neira saw a vintage BMW R75/5 amongst all the other beautiful bikes at EUROBIKE 2015 and somehow was bitten by the bug. Attracted by the simplicity and elegance of the machine, along with the historical weight a vintage bike carries, he started looking for a new bike.

He found one online that looked promising but couldn’t quite pull the trigger on it. That is until he found out the owner was Jon Ross (a mechanic at GARCIA MOTO in Raleigh, NC). . That, and the owner’s promise to provide mechanical assistance should trouble arise, was all that was needed to make Alderson the proud owner of a 1987 R80.

Like any new motorcycle owner, Alderson had a few tweaks here and there to make the bike his own. Well, one thing led to another and to another and suggestions started to fly back and forth about what could be done. The next thing you know, Alderson was jumping into a custom build with both feet!

His idea was to highlight the simplicity and clean lines of the BMW while bringing his knowledge of modern material processing to the project as well. You see Alderson Neira happens to be Dr. Alderson Neira, as in a Ph.D in Material Science, who writes crazy smart papers with titles like “Thermal Modeling and Simulation of Electron Beam Melting for Rapid Prototyping on Ti6Al4V Alloys” and “My secret plans to rule the world by creating an army of Carbon Fiber drones”.  Ok, maybe I made that last one up and Alderson isn’t quite a mad scientist, but in fact a super nice guy, but he is really really smart when it comes to cutting edge manipulation and manufacture of specialized materials. Working in the Aerospace industry will tend to require that kind of know-how.

While most of the bike is just a regular bike build, with an exquisite attention to detail I must point out, the super scientist stuff is pretty interesting.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column]

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[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Like a lot of builders these days, Alderson implemented 3D printing to fabricate specialized parts for the bike. The rear seat cowl and tail light assembly were designed in a 3D CAD software program and prototyped through 3D printing. Modifactions were refined in the software and given proof of concept through the printing process. Using an ABS polymer he was able to ensure the parts met the standard of exacting fit and form that are evident all over this bike.

Another thing you should notice that was 3D printed is the logo on the top of the BING carburetors. Anyone can get a 3D printer at the local computer store that prints out plastic parts, but everyone doesn’t have access to the crazy cool “light cast technology” used in the Aerospace industry. That is exactly what Alderson used to personalize these discs. Knowing he needed something that would withstand the effects of the atmosphere, environmental corrosion, and high temperatures, and after much research and thought, he decided on Aluminum Alloy 6061.

Speaking of carburetors, we all love the natural patina found on vintage carbs. Did you know that it is the best protection possible for the metal of the carb? That patina is an electrically stable oxide that won’t let corrosion into the carb. As Alderson put it, “Even though humans are like mice…where everything shiny is good to us….in this case that isn’t true.”

Another super-scientist twist was how Alderson approached the exposed air filters. With pod-type air filters that are fully exposed, you run the risk of water being sucked into the carb. This is not a good thing. There were some off the shelf solutions like a fine copper mesh that would repel water but the aesthetics weren’t right for Alderson. He finally found a process that chemically alters the fibers of the paper filters. This process literally takes place on a molecular level inside the paper and will not clog the filter but will make it water resistant without altering the classic look.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column]

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[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This was the point Alderson was trying to make. That you could employ cutting edge materials and techniques without sacrificing, and in fact enhancing, the simple and timeless beauty of the machines we love so much. “Old motorcycles,” he said; “even if you restore them, you need to restore them 5 years later. I am looking for new technology and new materials that will last longer.”

 

Mad Scientist Alderson may be plotting to take over the world one motorcycle at a time, but he was quick and adamant to stress that this project was the cumulative effort of all the people he sought out on the internet for parts, advice, ideas and general help. He used the internet to communicate with people in Germany, Switzerland, China, Australia, Serbia, and more. He insists he can’t take credit for the build without mentioning all the people who knowingly or not helped shape his vision. Not to mention the people and vendors who helped him in real life with the manufacturing and build. He may have executed the process but many people shaped the raw vision.

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[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]And what a vision it is. No one can deny that Alderson Neira knocked his first build out of the park, but no one is more surprised than he is. In his own words, “I came last year, had no idea about this. Then I started reading magazines and wishing I had something like that. And now a year later, I am at the same show, in the same magazine I was reading….it’s amazing.”

About 30 minutes later he was smiling a mile wide, holding up two trophies.
Best Cafe Racer and Best in Show.

Looking for your own pet project? Check out the project bikes for sale at Bob’s BMW.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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