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Meet The Man Behind Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’s Custom Bike



Action movie fans everywhere were delighted when Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation finally hit cinema screens worldwide. Keen filmgoers will no doubt have noticed a selection of BMW S 1000 RRs in the movie, but there’s a one-off special that has been created as a homage to the legendary action series, and we’d like to introduce Håkan Lindberg – the specialist custombike painter who created it.

Håkan is one of the lucky few who always knew what he wanted to do in life, and that’s to paint cars and motorcycles. Around the Stockholm area where the 51-year-old lives and works, there are literally thousands of drivers and quite a number of riders who have benefitted from his expertise. By day, he’s a paint manager in a Mercedes repair shop and has been working there for 23 years. In his spare time though, he likes to get creative by designing, building and of course, painting some seriously cool motorcycles.


“I’ve painted bikes since I was 16-years-old,” says Håkan. “There were no schools for this kind of thing in Sweden, so I’m completely self-taught when it comes to custom painting.”
Perhaps it’s those long winters and endless months of snow that drive many young Swedes off their bikes and into the workshops, where they can let their imagination run wild. BMW fans will of course be familiar with the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ R nineT built by Unique Custom Cycles which became a trophy winner at the Custom Bike Show in Norrtälje. That was Hakan’s beautiful blue paintwork on the show-stopping 9T. And when this DoubleR project surfaced, fellow Swede Ola Stenegärd – who just happens to be head of vehicle design at BMW Motorrad – came calling.
“I’ve helped BMW out with a few ‘missions’ in the past,” jokes Håkan. “I’m into customising and painting in a big way – I love hot rods, choppers and cafe racers, and have built a lot of English classic cafe racers, as well as quite a few choppers.”

So, would providing the special painted finish on a pure sports bike such as the S 1000 RR be a challenge too far for Håkan? Not likely, because this is a guy who can turn his hands to anything. Take a look at his personal collection of bikes and cars and it’s clear that variety is the spice of his life. Currently, Håkan’s collection includes four Harleys, a ’49 Norton 500T, a ’32 Ford 3 Window coupe, a ’37 Ford Business coupe – oh, and a couple of hotrods. The only pressure, therefore, on this softly-spoken Swede, was that the entire painting process was being documented for a BMW Motorrad short film.


“For this particular BMW I received a finished paint job design, which is rare,” he says. “The design for the look of this bike came from Piers Spencer Phillips in Austria, so although it was already decided that the bike would be black and red, I got to determine exactly what types of red and black it would be. The other challenges were the time in which we had to do it, in combination that it would be filmed, but the results went beyond even our expectations.”

Håkan usually has a basic idea of how the paint should look but of course this can always change depending on how well colours ‘marry’ to each other. He often paints using Candy colours and flake but with this RR, there were many different panels and surfaces to consider, and of course plenty of panels to remove from the bike prior to starting. There were also ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ and ‘RR’ decals to include too. Håkan tries to use water-based paints as much as possible, but some custom colours don’t exist in water-based format, so he has to use paints with solvents. In this case, the MI showbike is painted with Standox products that he swears by.


Technically, and without giving away any trade secrets, the painting process to get the professional finish on this special RR started with fine sanding using 800 grit paper in preparation for the priming and undercoating. Then there’s more sanding between each layer of undercoat, again with 800 papers. Then it’s time to apply the base colour, which is a custom light silver red metallic. As for the gradient shadings, these are made in black metallic. Then around five to seven coats of candy apple red are applied over everything, before three coats of clear coat finish are applied. When that’s all dry, it’s time to sharpen things up, this time with fine 1200 paper, before the custom holographic stickers can be applied. Then after another three layers of clear coat it’s time for some polishing work…

“I’m very thankful that I got this opportunity to paint this S 1000 RR for BMW,” concludes Håkan. “It’s hard to know how many hours this job took because the bike arrived complete and needed the parts taking off for the filming. If I was just painting the loose parts, then there would be about 30-40 hours work involved, but this project was more complicated. I hope that people like the results though.”

See a ‘making of’ film of Håkan preparing the S 1000 RR for painting

Emma Stone obsessive and Denzel Washington advocate, James is a lover of all things cinema. Donnie Darko is his favourite film and he firmly believes DC will rule supreme over Marvel.

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