Bike of the Year was quite a rush this year. I really enjoyed turning it into a tournament style competition. It was exciting to see what bikes got the community’s motors running. Some of the customs were pretty out there, like Shaw Speed & Customs ‘Miss Universe’, or H Garage’s Goldwing. Then we had some super clean builds like One Down Four Up’s two-stroke Yamaha, and the Virago from Hageman Motorcycles. In the end, classic style prevailed with Cytech’s white framed BMW you see below. While the white frame adds a unique twist, this little R50 Beemer is simply timeless; and that seems to be a consistent quality of the bikes rolling out of the African workshop, run by Donovan Muller. After his BMW won Bike of they Year, I got in touch with Donovan to learn a little more about his shop.
Brief of your Company/Business:
Cycle Technology cc t/a CYTECH and Tours for Africa was established in 1975 by my Late Father Raymond Muller. The Company was appointed as a BMW Dealership.
From around 1975/6–1998 specialized in the sale of New and Pre–owned BMW Motorcycles, New and Used Spare/Parts and Repair and Maintenance outlets in the Motorcycle Industry. In late 1970’s invested in and opened the first-ever specialized Paint and Panel Facilities for BMW Motorcycles, which was officially approved by BMW SA. This facility was highly respected and carried out all BMW SA Motorcycle and at a later stage Motor Vehicle Paint and Panel warranty work at the time.
In the mid 1980’s initiated our Touring Division Tours for Africa, which was approved by BMW and purchased the first-ever Hire Fleet of 20 BMW K100 Motorcycles for hire-out purposes In 1993 organized and pioneered the first ever 50-Day 24,000 km BMW Motorcycle Tour from Johannesburg (South Africa) to Hamburg (Germany) through West Africa with 40 BMW Riders and specialized personnel manning armour plated logistical/back- up/recovery vehicles. The group was hosted by BMW AG and were taken for a Tour of the BMW Motorcycle factory where several of the participants bought new BMW Motorcycles and shipped them back to South Africa.
Due to the Touring on the Motorcycles, it provided a perfect platform for testing and developing the Motorcycles, as well as Equipment/Accessories, which we then offered preparation of the Adventure Motorcycles for Expeditions into Africa.
I joined the Company after finishing school 18 years ago and started as an Apprentice in the Workshop and evolved to who I am today. In 2003 I travelled from Cape Town [South Africa] to Cairo [Egypt] and back to Cape Town on a Honda Africa Twin, on one of our organized Cape to Cairo Expeditions with Clients and have undertaken numerous adventures into Africa.
Sadly my Father Raymond Muller passed away in 2012 and we have had to put our Touring Division on hold and focus on our Workshop/Accessories/Restorations and Custom Bike Builds, as we are a family business with a lot of passion for what we do.
Could you give us an idea of what be like to participate in one of your tours of Africa?
Africa is a tough place to travel in. On our Expeditions we catered for professional Clients, who had limited time to be away from their careers. The travelling conditions were very challenging at times and some days travelled 1,000 kilometres plus. For a lot of our Clients and Crew Members our limits were pushed to the maximum, as well as trying to stay level minded and healthy at all times. The rewards were always greater than the difficulties and created a lot of lifetime memories, as well as self-discovery. I would highly recommend anyone to do it.
I would be interested to hear how you got into the customizing motorcycle business. Is it something the company has always done, or is t a newer venture for you?
Customizing Motorcycles has always been done by CYTECH due to the need to improve your Motorcycle. In the early 1980’s there was a Company called Luftmeister who developed a huge amount of Aftermarket Accessories for the BMW Market, Dual Purpose Motorcycle only started in the 1980’s with the development of the R80GS. I think it is pre-programmed into any Rider for the need to improve or upgrade their Motorcycle. Our first Custom Classic BMW was featured in 2013 by Bikexif, which is a R90/6 called Hustler.
Thinking about the Custom Motorcycle end of things, do you work exclusively with BMW’s?
We specialize in BMW Motorcycles, as we are passionate about them and also are one of the few Companies in South Africa who cater for the Classic BMW’s, as well as having a large amount of Used Parts and a Private Collection of about 50 Classic BMW’s.
The article on Pipeburn, refers to your R50 as a bike of your dreams. Could you elaborate on what that means?
“Bike of my Dreams” meaning that every night before I would fall asleep, I would see this Black and White Motorcycle in my mind almost calling me to be built, I am so grateful that I listened to my instinct. The Motorcycles get built from a vision with no planning or drawing before I start the build. A comment on the Motorcycle was the exact description of the Bike “besides the seat the bike could have come straight out of the BMW Factory”. You walk around and pick out the Parts you need from different models and mold them into this beauty.
What would you say was the most challenging part of building the R50?
The most challenging part was convincing everyone before the end result that a Motorcycle with a White Frame was going to look cool.
Has the bike been Sold, will it be going up for sale, or do you plan on keeping it for yourself?
We still own the Motorcycle and it is standing on our Showroom floor as a display bike. Problem with Custom bikes I build is that it almost becomes a part of you, some sort of a reflection of who you are.
We will let it go to the right Buyer and home, as soon as we have a new Custom to replace it on our Showroom floor.
Would you like to tell us about any future projects that are in the works? Any other dream bikes that will be made a reality?
Custom bikes for the future are on their way! We have a few Clients with some crazy ideas, which make it even more rewarding.
Too many bikes to be built and never enough time! With so many Customs bikes being built the challenge is to be ahead of the game.
In the Custom Bike world I have leant that there are no rules to building bikes. There is no manual to say you must do this and don’t do this, it is all guide lines that you piece together to complete a masterpiece of a combination of ideas and machinery. “The beauty of the Custom World is the Evolution”.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to Donovan for working with us. Be sure to check out Cytech’s Instagram, and be on the look out for their new website in the future. If you like learning a little bit more about some of these awesome builders, check out some of the past VOICES Interviews.
I’ll leave you with a few more of Cytech’s beautiful BMWs: