BMW R 18 reimagined in two mind-boggling custom builds

BMW Motorrad’s R 18 cruiser has been under the scalpel of Roland Sands and Blechmann, spawning some truly individual custom bikes
The Blechmann R 18, as desgined by Bernhard Naumann
The Blechmann R 18, as desgined by Bernhard NaumannBMW Motorrad

BMW recently unveiled two new custom builds this month, created by reputed houses, with the R 18 being the donor bike in both cases, leading to the R 18 Dragster and Blechmann R 18, respectively.

On August 8, BMW Motorrad took the covers off the R 18 Dragster, built by renowned custom builder Roland Sands. Roland’s inspiration for the build was the 1802cc boxer engine which, according to him, resembles the spirit of muscle cars. Roland’s plan for the BMW R 18 was to strip it down to the essentials, and make it go faster on the drag strip.

He starts with a sketch of his ideas, and then proceeds to bring the sketch to life. He commended the R 18 for being an easily dismantlable bike, perfect for a custom job.

The R 18 Dragster by Roland Sands
The R 18 Dragster by Roland SandsBMW Motorrad

The team changed the bike’s rear-end, while retaining the steering geometry from the stock bike. The motorcycle’s front and rear fender were modified to fit the build’s design language. The bike was then finished with custom dual stainless-steel pipes and a two-tone metallic blue paint scheme.

Other changes made to the R 18 include a new rear suspension, along with hydraulic levers and master cylinders for the anchors, with the front rotors and pads taken from the S1000RR.

The custom hydraulic braking setup on the R18 Dragster
The custom hydraulic braking setup on the R18 DragsterBMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad also debuted the Blechmann R 18 on August 21. Blechmann is a renowned Austrian custom house, run by Bernhard Naumann. Bernhard utilized a ‘cart before horse’ concept to assemble the front fairing of the motorcycle.

The new headlamps incorporate BMW’s signature kidney grille design in a subtle way. The single-seat design is based on the original. The original handlebar was replaced with a stubbed ‘bar. The assembly was finished in a subtle black paint job, with signature white pin stripes across the body.

The bike features narrower panels as compared to the stock R 18 and knee recesses to increase its athletic prowess. Most of the structural parts were left as is, to retain the essence of the R 18.

The Blechmann R18 has a flowing design, accentuated by the simple paint scheme.
The Blechmann R18 has a flowing design, accentuated by the simple paint scheme.BMW Motorrad

While these customs aren’t coming to India anytime soon, BMW Motorrad has already brought the stock R 18 to Indian shores, and it is currently on display in the company’s Delhi showroom. We expect it to be launch in the coming months, at an estimated price of Rs 22 lakh onward. The R 18 gets an 1802cc motor, producing 90bhp at 4,750rpm and a blistering 155Nm of torque at 3,000rpm. The engine is linked up to a six-speed gearbox, enabling a top speed of 178kmph.

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