BMW Continues To Position R18 As Modders Wet Dream

Updated: Aug 23


While we still have no word on when BMW’s latest attempt at the cruiser segment will land on our shores, the company is wasting no time when it comes to building hype for the new R18.

In their second collaboration, BMW Motorrad teamed up with Austrian custom magician Bernhard Naumann, AKA Blechmann to give the Big Boxer a new and distinct look.


Surprisingly, unlike the designer of BMW’s other official custom R18, Roland Sands, Blechmann’s customising style is to dive in head first and wing it rather than fastidiously plan out the build. “My work begins by removing parts of the original version until a white canvas remains. As the construction progresses, the design develops. I call this 'rapid-prototyping-Blechmann-style' "



It’s a process that certainly makes his workshop unique considering the high level of fit and finish that comes out the other end.


Mostly, Blechmann works alone, but I f necessary, he gets support from hand-picked professionals which appears to be the case with the R18 build.


"You can't do anything in this world on your own. I am more than glad to have a reliable personnel infrastructure,” he says.


"I draw my design directly on the object using the final material. This allows me to directly respond to the requirements and to keep an eye on the proportions at all times", explains the designer.


For the Blechmann R18 as the bike is known, he initially "put the cart before the horse" in order to be able to correctly assess the proportions for the front fairing.

The sporty looking single-seater behemoth is based on the original supporting structure of the rear fender, seat and pillion. The rear light is from Kellermann.

Perhaps most noticeable after the fairing is that the fuel tank has been extensively modified as well. For one thing, it is narrower and exposes the engine even more. On the other hand, it features knee cut-outs, which further support the sporty design of the overall bike.


Blechmann even managed to retain the original steering tube as the basis for the stub handlebar setup.


Next, Blechmann customized the headlights. As with his last BMW custom bike "Giggerl", a conversion of the BMW R nineT, the headlights were to have a subtle kidney-shaped design this time.


Analogous to the classic boxer engine, Blechmann placed a filament lamp prominently in the center. Here, too, the steering angle and the forward-tilted headlamp determine the basic layout of the custom bike.


Bernhard Neumann perfected his personalization efforts with discreet black paint and classic white BMW Motorrad pin-stripes.


In total, the team around Blechmann worked 450 hours on his version of the BMW R18.


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