The BMW R18 Heavy Duty is a head-turning, flat-twin-powered custom bike

The BMW R18 Heavy Duty is a head-turning, flat-twin-powered custom bike

Released in 2020, the BMW R18 was hailed as a blank canvas by companies that specialize in modifying motorcycles. Created by Fred Kodlin with the German firm’s blessings, the latest R18 offshoot heads up with an air suspension system and a tattoo-inspired paint job.

Codlin started with a touring-focused R18 B model and with the help of his son, Len, turned it into a heavily-customized bike called the R18 B Heavy Duty. Almost every visible part has been modified: the father-and-son duo added parts like a chopped windshield from the BMW Motorrad accessories range, extended side cases made of fiberglass, and a rear fender that covers almost the entire wheelbase . The fuel tank is custom-made, and it’s longer than the stock part to complement the flowing lines. A splitter was added behind the front wheel.

German tattoo artist Marcel Sinnwell is responsible for the paint job. The colorful patterns are air-brushed, and the stripes are hand-painted.

Beyond the design, one of the most significant modifications made to this motorcycle is the addition of an air suspension system powered by a compressor hidden behind the left side case. This allows the ride height to be raised and lowered at the push of a button. In its down position, the Heavy Duty sits very close to the ground and stays put thanks to a pair of hidden support points integrated into the frame.

Codlin didn’t make any mechanical modifications to the R18 B, which means power comes from a 1.8-liter air-cooled flat-twin called the Big Boxer in BMW-speak and tuned to develop 91 horsepower and 116 pound-feet of torque Is. It exhaled through a custom-made exhaust system, and featured a number of visual modifications including metallic black paint on parts of the intake system, belt covers and valve covers.

“Bolt [are] All made of stainless steel, with a nice Torx head. This is not the case with other bikes. The original bike and especially the engine has been very, very cleanly finished. All the electrical cables are already well hidden, so we didn’t have to do anything to the engine,” he explained. This attention to detail partly explains why the R18 family of motorcycles is remarkably popular on the custom scene. Is.

We don’t know if Kodlin will keep the R18 B Heavy Duty in the lineup or if this type of cruiser needs a new home.

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