2008 BMS Choppers Nehmesis | Motorcycle Review
The gene pool of custom motorcycle design bedazzles us. Builders are going beyond the bling to create works of art that range from minimalist to the Byzantine. In the case of Florida-based Sam Nehme, he has mixed equal parts H.R. Giger and Gianni Versace to serve up a two-wheeled cocktail that intoxicates on the first sip: Nehmesis is his most potent concoction yet.
Riding along with him in the cab of his leather and tech-festooned Mercedes-powered Sport Chassis Freightliner that serves as his daily driver, it is clear Sam Nehme thinks big and delivers accordingly. As principal of Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Motorsports, Nehme has built one of the strongest motorcycle dealerships in the Southeast. This acumen nourishes BMS Choppers, the platform for his creative sorties, and helps knit intimate relationships with Yamaha/Star and BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products). His customs have demolished the competition, both metric and V-twin, in shows across the United States. Yet one detects no egocentricity; rather, the energy of an artist who wants to take his work to its ultimate manifestation. "With Nehmesis, I saw myself as making the Frankenstein monster of motorcycles," he laughs. (Click image to enlarge)
Even at rest, Nehmesis is moving. Nearly 11-feet of Star-powered shamelessness wrapped around a 1700 cubic centimeter heart, she stretches out like a model ready for another strut on the catwalk. "I wanted to be different," Nehme states simply. "And do all that it was possible to do in one bike; to push myself further than ever—as if this was my last build." While BMS has its own staff of fabricators working in-house with a fully equipped manufacturing facility, Nehme took the genesis of the new build personally. He poured himself into six months of 18-hour days. "Sometimes, when I’d be grinding and welding at 3 a.m., I’d think, the worst thing that can happen after I finish this is that I’ll wonder, ‘OK, what’s next?’"
Achieving uninterrupted visual flow with Nehmesis’ distinctive swoop was a core objective, and this was accomplished through flawless technical execution. Its eyes twin PIAA headlamps, the motorcycle watches us, a coiled cobra about to strike. The pod for the gas tank houses both gas tank and electronics for optimal space utilization. Eliminating the clutch lever with a fly-by-wire left-grip automatic shift system. Nehmesis features molded integrated LED brake and running lights in the bodywork. LEDs also run along the sides of both fenders so the wheels glow when riding at night.
With a full air suspension, the kickstand has been shed and the bike can sit on its frame, ride slammed or be raised to its normal four-inch rolling height. The rear fender also travels when the bike is raised.
The chain drive incorporates foot-operated integrated braking that runs off the engine output shaft. Dispensing with a front fork assembly, Nehmesis uses single sided swing-arms front and rear. Like everything else on the bike, Nehme admits these are over-engineered, using twin air-cylinder shocks.
Examining components machined from solid billet, the fit and finish are as obsessive as the aesthetic. From the Ego Trip-machined wheels to the molded claw that envelops the air cleaner, gold accents emphasize Nehmesis’ regal status. "Everyone was using chrome," he says, "but no one has really done gold before."Nehmesis invites discussion, not least for its phantasmagorical paintwork and bas-relief sculpting. "I’ve never been a ‘skull-and-bones’ builder. I wanted something inspired by the Alien theme, and the bike does have that same quality—sexy, and at the same time, a little scary." One instantly imagines Giger’s creature aboard with Sigourney Weaver riding pillion. The airbrush work by JamZ creates landscapes within each hand-cut shape of the bodywork, culminating in a molded front fender that bears the head of a creature that seems to reside within, fangs bared, ready to devour the road.
Nehmesis is not a bike for beginners. "Like most choppers, it does redefine your riding style," Nehme comments. The velvet gold-studded saddle evokes the throne of a Persian pasha or a Russian Tsar. Nehme makes no apologies for the comparison. Asked about the comfort-to-style ratio, he smiles. "Why do women wear high heels?" Knowing his clients’ tastes, he adds, "This is a bike for someone who wants to look good rather than look fast."
Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, "Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see." Whatever emotions Nehmesis elicits, there is little doubt Sam Nehme hits the bull’s-eye.
ENGINE: Yamaha Road Star 1700
POWER: 100 peak hp
WEIGHT: 688 lbs
FRAME: BMS custom steel
Front: BMS custom single-sided front fork with air ride
Rear: Tricky air suspension
WHEELS: Ego-Tripp one-off 3D custom design
Front: Vee Rubber 90/90 x21
Rear: Vee Rubber Monster 360
BRAKES: BMS custom internal brake system