An Iron Fist in a Red Velvet Glove – The Bag Riders LB-Performance BMW E92 335xi



-November 3, 2013-

An Iron Fist in a Red Velvet Glove – The Bag Riders LB-Performance BMW E92 335xi

Mike Burroughs

With SEMA just hours away, the wildest of builds are making their way towards the desert of Las Vegas, Nevada. The halls of the convention center are filled with the year's top cars, ranging from top-fuel drag racers to iconic classics and custom-built hot rods, and the primary goal - standing out - is one that can be far tougher than expected. The nearly $30-billion dollar-per-year industry is epitomized and showcased by the cars displayed in many of the thousands of exhibitor booths, and each is a showpiece worth noting. Yet the team at Bag Riders have set out on a SEMA build of their own, in the form of the most unique Liberty Walk-kitted E92 we've seen thus far, and it is sure to stand out amongst the crowd.

bagriders sema bmw liberty walk

It was six months ago that the first Liberty Walk E92 kit landed stateside, and since then, a very impressive handful of cars have hit the streets of the United States. Each one is known its own quirks and cues, which rarely stray from color and wheel choice. However, where others seem the same, the Bag Riders crew has put together an LB-Performance E92 that breaks new ground.

liberty walk bmw e92 liberty walk bmw rotiform tmb

Bag Riders' build began life as a 335xi - an all-wheel-drive coupe with the well-established twin-turbo inline six under the hood. It's all familiar territory for Will Fisher, the man at the top of the totem pole, as it was his personal 335 that served as a source of inspiration and blueprint for the project. Initial plans were in fact to fit the kit to his own car, but with beautiful fender work only recently completed, he couldn't stomach cannibalizing the chassis. Fittingly, a sister car was sourced, and the team got to work.

lb performance bagged air lift bagriders

After an over-night run to purchase and retrieve the car from New Jersey, the team was met with a mint-condition Montego Blue 335xi with only 26,000 miles on the clock - a perfect candidate to be cut to pieces. It was with help from House Motorsports that the Bag Riders team managed to pull the entire build off at their headquarters in Vermont. "Cyrus of House Motorsport was a HUGE factor in this build, he is an experienced Pikes Peak car builder who has been a big help to Bag Riders since we opened our doors in 2009," says Will. The custom fabrication was delegated to Cyrus, which included the one-off half cage he intends to produce in the near future. The cutting of the arches, however, was left to the BR team, as well as the installation of all the aftermarket add-ons.

lb performance bmw rotiform air lift

The Liberty Walk kit steals the show for the exterior of the car, and it was nearly a year ago that the plan for such a build arose. After approaching Air Lift about a project build for SEMA 2013, Bag Riders moved to discussions with Rotiform about certain possibilities. Will tells me "Brian called me up and let me know that he and Jason had been working with Kato, the owner of Liberty Walk. They told me that they were contemplating getting an e92 M3 to build for SEMA, but they were interested in collaborating with Bag Riders if we wanted to do the build."

bag riders liberty walk bmw

The decision was a no-brainer, and the project was born. However, it's important that the exterior details aren't overshadowed by the impressiveness of the kit alone. A full M3 bumper conversion was done, including skirts and mirrors as well as the wider M3 front fenders. To compliment the rear M bumper, a Challenge M3 carbon diffuser was installed, which hugs the tips of the House Motorsport exhaust perfectly. The 335 hood was extended to meet the M front bumper, and the grills, as well as the exterior trim, were all wrapped in black 3M vinyl. With the exterior modifications complete, the car was wrapped in 3M flat metallic red, which came down to the wire. "My friend Derick Szyda came from Chicago after H2O International to do the 3M wrap, which involved many 3am nights to get it all dialed in. Eating chicken wings with me at about 1 AM became part of our regular routine. With a total of 77 hours into the wrap, it was done to perfection with no details overlooked." The door sills of the E92 were being wrapped as the transport truck arrived to ship the car to the West coast. 

liberty walk widebody flares

Such an aggressive car is incomplete without some bite to match the bark. Under the hood, the factory twin turbos were upgraded to a pair of Vargas Turbo Technologies Stage-2 TD04 turbochargers, complete with a Burger tuning Juice Box and back-end tune. Terry at Burger helped get the tune just right and set the boost appropriately. An AFE intake system keeps the car breathing well, and allows the howl of the turbos to be heard just enough. To bring the car to a screeching halt, the gang installed a Forge Motorsport 380MM big brake kit, serving as an exterior hint to what lies beneath the car's imperious exterior.

status racing seats bmw status racing harness roll cage

Inside, the car has been built to match, with pair of Status Racing Ring GTX seats and Status 5-point harnesses setting the stage. A Turner Motorsport wheel and Bimmerworld shift knob keep the driving experience sport-inspired, and the House Motorsport half-cage, painted Nimbus Grey, along with the car's interior trim, seals the deal. A rear seat delete keeps things purpose-built, and the cage serves as the perfect utilitarian air tank mount.

bagriders viair bmw air installair lift v2 bmw sema

The Nimbus Grey accent color carries back to the outside, coating the absolutely enormous set of Rotiform TMBs. Measuring out to 19x12.5 in the front and 19x13.5 in the rear, the 335 is supported by more than 50" of cumulative wheel width - asinine in every sense. 4.5" and 6.5" lips are tucked front and rear respectively, giving the BR E92 depth on every scale. The tires are stretched, but it doesn't come from a lack of rubber; 285s sit under the front and 305s are squeezed under the rear. Of course, such a setup is only tucked thanks to what is inarguably the most unique part of an already unique build.

liberty walk bmw rotiform bagriders forge motorsport brakes bmw e92

Where Bag Riders' LB-Performance kitted build departs from the norm is the fantastic, albeit unsurprising use of air suspension. After partnering with Air Lift for the idea and logistic, Air Lift Performance pumped out a one-off prototype kit for the project. A pair of 30-click adjustable damping fully-threaded-body air struts were built for the front, and out back, Air Lift produced a unique kit, including custom lower control arms and toe arms. Bag Riders' own Air Lift Autopilot V2 Management pack with 1/4" air lines, as well as dual 480C Viair compressors was used as the brains and braun of the system. As the clock ticked, in a single evening, Taylor at Bag Riders carefully installed the air suspension while Kevin and Will ran the air lines in their hustle to get ready for SEMA.

bag riders liberty walk bmw

With air suspension tucked behind its wheels, the BR E92 lays with its gigantic front splitter just millimeters from the ground. The rear wheels tuck into the arches while the fronts rest just under the fender line, giving this particular LB-Performance car far more aggression than any other. It's hard to look at its counterparts and not feel as though they feel a bit like... monster trucks. The Bag Riders E92 has found the perfect blend of style and aggression, poise and power.

And seemingly as soon as the car arrived on Californian soil, the Rotiform team has wrapped up the wheel build, and in the morning the car is off to the Las Vegas Convention Center. If you're attending SEMA, you won't want to miss this car at the Air Lift Booth.

liberty walk bmw bagriders

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Comments on An Iron Fist in a Red Velvet Glove – The Bag Riders LB-Performance BMW E92 335xi

  • EmilMyrdal

    poor fitment on that bodykit , but pretty cool!

  • http://www.vimeo.com/thomasdiewaldfilms ThomasDiewaldFilms

    OMG i’m in love

  • AmericaMan

    The lack of hood bulge kinda makes this build.

  • petachr

    @EmilMyrdal +1  the lines on the flares transitioning from the fender to the bumper look funny.. and the panel gaps.. but to each their own.  Dig the color on a positive note.

  • Simply P

    I will agree with the two gentlemen below that the fitment on that kit is less than perfect, but I still give it a thumbs up.  Wasn’t my money.  I think it’s evident that this build was probably more rushed than the M3 build.  IDGAF.  It’s still pretty sweet.

  • TaylorMenezes

    @Simply P It came together pretty damn fast, that’s for sure. Everyone involved busted their ass (Cyrus especially!) to get this shipped out on time and we all feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to do something that we’d dreamt of as kids. Sure, some of it’s not exactly to our personal tastes, but we had to make something that was going to leave an impression. At the end of the day it was a great experience for all of us. We did our best and it certainly strengthened our friendship (and tolerance for each other, haha).

  • Simply P

    @TaylorMenezes Pat yourself on the back.  It came out great.  Any imperfections (and they are minor) can be worked out after SEMA.  Congrats.

  • nzos14

    Does anyone actually drive these cars or has the stance movement finally degenerated to being the new NOPI or HIN from the 90s?

  • tee_212

    nzos14 i couldnt agree more man. the track look that dont track gets no respect.  one can say they “respect the work” ya thats easy …just have money and pay someone to do the work.

  • TaylorMenezes

    @nzos14  This car got driven from Rotiform to SEMA. A bit risky to drive it from VT.

  • JulianMitkus

    77 hours on the vinyl wrap? really? maybe you should have called in a skilled wrapper that knows what theyre doing next time…. this wrap would take me 12 hrs tops to complete, thats just ridiculous.

  • TaylorMenezes

    @JulianMitkus Some of the parts were wrapped off the car, some of them on. Details like steering wheel inlays, door handles, etc. are time consuming considering disassembly and reassembly. Some parts had to get re-wrapped. No corners were cut here, the job was done with care and precision. There are a lot of wrap jobs out there that are half-assed. I’m not saying yours are, but we didn’t want this one to be. It was 77 hours of executing a quality wrap job, not a rushed one.

  • mythek88

    @JulianMitkus lol a complete car wrapped in 12hours?? unless you’re workking with 4-5 guys….it must be a really bad job.

  • syedmahmed

    @nzos14 stance is the equivalent of rice more or less. No one will admit it, but sadly its true.

  • TaylorMenezes

    @syedmahmed  @nzos14 
    “stance” is a general term used to describe how a car sits….even trucks.

  • syedmahmed

    @TaylorMenezes  @nzos14 I know…I actually meant to put the term in quotes as you did because the term has been hi jacked

  • syedmahmed

    @TaylorMenezes  @nzos14 and gets thrown around without the majority of people even knowing that “stance” doesn’t just refer to slammed cars

  • JulianMitkus

    @TaylorMenezes  @JulianMitkus still seems like a ridiculous amount of time was spent during the wrapping process, I average 3 cars a week, most are color changes that require extra time to remove handles/trim/lights etc.

  • JulianMitkus

    @TaylorMenezes   still seems like a ridiculous amount of time was spent during the wrapping process, I average 3 cars a week, most are color changes that require extra time to remove handles/trim/lights etc.

  • JulianMitkus

    @mythek88 come on out to utah and see my work then:) just me takes around 12 hrs, with a helper we can get it done in 6.  add an extra hour to remove/replace trim accessories and its done.

  • Atrak

    While the car isn’t perfect I very much like the concept of the body kit with an air ride. Makes me want to air ride my e46

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