BMW R 18

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora

at the Verona Motor Bike Expo

imagePhoto: BMW Motorrad

Exclusive custom bikes from two famous Italian customizers, supported by BMW Motorrad Italy and the Italian BMW Motorrad dealer network.

On the occasion of the Verona Motor Bike Expo from 13 to 16 January 2022, two exclusive custom bike projects based on the iconic BMW R 18 will be presented.

They are the result of the cooperation between BMW Motorrad Italy and its BMW Motorrad dealer network with two renowned customizer sizes around the world. The R 18 M is a project developed by the editorial team of the Italian magazine LowRide and implemented by American Dreams. The R 18 Aurora, on the other hand, was developed by Garage 221 on behalf of BMW Motorrad Roma.

BMW R 18 M.
M is the letter that distinguishes the sports versions of BMW automobiles and today also includes motorcycles. The source of inspiration for the editorial team of LowRide for the R 18 M project: The BMW Motorrad Cruiser should appear more streamlined and sporty, refrain from exaggerations and, above all, continue to refer to the classic lines of the BMW R 18.

"Stability, long wheelbase and acceleration of the 1800cc Big Boxer make for lightning starts and, in our opinion, deserve a sporty retro look. In the design of the R 18 M, we find inspiration from the BMW Motorrad tradition and borrowings from automobiles: M stands for motorsport," says Giuseppe Roncen, Director of LowRide and an expert in the field of special conversions, describing the BMW R 18 M project.

The focus of the work was on chassis, chassis tuning, body and accessories. The mechanics and electronics, however, remained unchanged at the level of the R 18. Lighter and with a modified seating position, the BMW R 18 M promises even more driving pleasure: "We are looking forward to experiencing this potential. The motorcycle should be even easier to steer, not least because of its more compact and forward-facing riding posture, but without exaggerating."

Built by many hands – from designers to experienced craftsmen.
The R 18 M project, made possible by BMW Italy, was born from the emotions that this motorcycle can convey: a cruiser for a lot of riding pleasure, powerful and lively, with a big heart and infinite torque. LowRide has involved some of the best Italian craft businesses and companies specialized in this field. The implementation of the sketches was entrusted to the designer Oberdan Bezzi, who had already been a partner of LowRide in the past. He has managed to turn it into an exciting power cruiser without sacrificing the essence of the BMW R 18.

American Dreams took over the assembly and coordinated the work. Elaboratorio, specialized in prototyping and modeling, created new components from scratch such as rear, front and the fiberglass windscreen. Carbon Italy took care of the cylinder head covers, intake ports and other carbon fiber details. The short exhaust pipe, which provides a more compact line and allows for greater inclinations, bears the signature of ER Exhaust Revolution. The short exhaust pipes also highlight the magnificent open-running cardan shaft drive – an atmospheric detail that deserves to be emphasized. L. R. Leder covered the seat with leather, while the livery was transferred to the Dox Art Factory. In keeping with the character of the bike, Rizoma supplied accessories such as mirrors, handlebar grips and turn signals.

BMW R 18 Aurora.
Garage 221's idea and desire to create a custom bike based on the BMW R 18 originated some time ago at the presentation of the motorcycle at EICMA 2019. According to Pier Francesco Marchio of Garage 221, the innovative yet traditional lines of the new BMW Cruiser deserve "complementary elements and an even more emphasized heritage spirit, from the soft lines of the tank to the characteristic shapes of the boxer."

The project initially focused on the study of the different assemblies of the motorcycle, taking into account the need to combine the new elements in a unique harmony of lines. Inspired by the cruisers of the 1970s, which have always captivated Pier Francesco with their impressive aesthetic flow. Striking elements of the BMW R 18 Aurora created by Garage 221 are the circumferential "Batwing" fenders, which adhere to the wheel like bat wings, in order to emphasise the central area of the bike.

Customizing with the BMW tradition as the focus.
The modifications that ultimately led to the R 18 Aurora stem from Garage 221's experience with the BMW Motorrad world and so all the elements used come from other BMW Motorrad models. For example, the seat was taken from a BMW R 1200 C from 2005, while the "Batwing" brackets were made from the turn signal holders of a BMW R 100 from 1982 and part of the rear frame of a BMW K 75 from 1991. For the painting of the body parts, the colour code of a BMW R 100 RT from 1983 was used and the graphics were adapted in colour tones and intensity. The front and rear fender stays, seat posts and license plate holders are completely handmade.

The exhaust system was made in collaboration with Leo Vince with particular attention to sound to make it even more voluminous and captivating. Its design has been specially developed to give the middle section of the R 18 a very personal and muscular line.

The oil radiator grille of the R 18 Aurora, inspired by the radiator grilles of BMW automobiles of the 1960s, gives it a noble, natural touch. "It was a lot of hard work," says Pier Francesco, "but the result is really stunning. The textured painting of the cylinder head covers, the injection housing, the crankcase and our oil radiator grille make everything look homogeneous and, together with the cylinder block and the cardan shaft drive, create a unique effect."