BMW R 18 given special makeover by two Italian outfits and showcased at MBE

Italian custom shops American Dream & Garage 221 give the BMW R 18 a radical new look, as revealed at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona.

Custom motorcycle BMW R 18 M American Dream

Two very special and unique BMW R 18 machines were revealed at the Motor Bike Expo show in Verona, which itself was established as an event to cater to the custom & unique motorcycles of the world. 

You’ll also likely have first seen the BMW R 18/2 Concept at the MBE in 2020, so there is already a special link between the Bavarian cruiser and the Italian event. 

Two individual R 18 models were crafted by two Italian custom builders in collaboration with BMW Motorrad Italia, the first being the R 18 M developed by LowRide and made by American Dream. The R 18 Aurora was built by Garage 221 with BMW Motorrad Roma.

BMW R 18 M - American Dream 

Well known as distinguishing the capstone high-performance models of BMW vehicles, the R 19 M project attempts to give the big cruiser a streamlined and sporty appearance, whilst sticking true to the retro lines of the original model. 

Making sure to pay homage to designer Oberdan Bezzi, the team focused on chassis, bodywork and accessories with a new bikini fairing, fender and tail section all crafted to re-imagine what the boxer could be, whilst also chopping the exhaust and finishing the style with M colours.

As quoted on GP One, director of LowRide Giuseppe Roncen described the R18 M project:

“Stability, long wheelbase and readiness of the 1800cc megaboxer instigate lightning-fast starts and deserve, in our opinion, a sport and retro look, but not too much.

"In the design of the R 18 M there are suggestions of the BMW Motorrad tradition and ideas from four wheels: M is synonymous with Motorsport.

“We remain curious to experience its potential. Considerably lightened, the bike should also be manageable for the riding position, more collected and loaded forward, without exasperation.”

BMW R 18 Aurora - Garage 221

Garage 221 went in a different direction, with their drafts drawn up in visions from the first presentation of the R 18 at EICMA 2019. It’s a traditional approach with inspiration syphoned from cruisers of the 70s, and a lot of parts used are from other models from the BMW Motorrad range. 

Visually striking is the batwing fairing, using arrow mounts from a 1982 BMW R 100 and resembling a Harley-Davidson Street Glide unit. The seat is from a 2005 BMW 1200 C, the body colour from a 1983 BMW RT 1000, part of the subframe from a 1991 BMW K75. 

Finished with pinstripes and airbrushed details, the R 18 Aurora dazzles with a cut-down bobber aesthetic, you can see why it’s dubbed the Aurora - it’ll carry a striking character to the tune of the custom Leo Vince exhausts. 

Pier Francesco Marchio of Garage 221: “It was hard work, but the result is truly amazing The textured painting of the cylinder head covers, the injection crankcase, the central crankcase and our oil radiator grille, make everything homogeneous, creating a unique effect with the monoblock and the bevel gear”

Continuing, Pier says the custom deserved “complementary elements and an even more heritage spirit, starting from the soft lines of the tank to the characteristic shapes of the boxer”

If you want more info on the BMW R 18, check our reviews of the R 18 First Edition and the R 18 B

Sources: GPOne, RideApart, BMW

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