The Blechmann R 18
This first R 18 cruisers out of the BMW are expected to land in Australia soon and the first shipment of bikes will all land at $31,690. These First Edition bikes will sport signature double pin striping paint and chrome. The R 18 takes its cues and historic inspiration from the BMW R 5.
Ahead of the machines hitting showrooms BMW has partnered with various custom bike builders around the world and set them to work on their own interpretations of the opportunities that BMW’s new Big Boxer presents.
The latest of these customs comes from Bernhard Naumann, a renowned customiser from Austria, who also goes by the name of Blechmann, thus here we have The Blechmann R 18.
Bernhard Naumann changed as little as possible on the frame and the technology and used only the original fixing points in creating the Blechmann R 18. No chop job then.
When starting off with a new creation, Bernhard Naumann never uses sketches in advance. He gathers his inspiration while working on the bike itself. “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 Belchmann R 18, he initially “put the cart before the horse” in order to be able to correctly assess the proportions for the front fairing. The aggressive looking single-seater is based on the original supporting structure of the rear fender, seat and pillion.
The rear light is from Kellermann. The fuel tank has been extensively modified: For one thing, it is narrower making it sportier and exposes the engine even more. On the other hand, it features knee cut-outs, which further support the athletic line. The original steering tube was used as the basis for the stub handlebar.
Next, Blechmann customised 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 R 18.