Three custom BMW R18s from Canadian builders

Photo: BMW

BMW Motorrad continues its R18 customization program, this time expanding into Canada. The result? A chopper, a cafe racer and a dragster, with all three one-offs going on tour this summer.

Boxer as art

The project starts with the massive new R18 cruiser from BMW. Even before its introduction, BMW was handing these bikes out to custom builders and getting them to come up with their own spin on the platform. Some of the results so far have been pretty wild—check out this Art Deco makeover from Kingston Customs last year, complete with retro dustbin fairing! More recently, a handful of Italian companies collaborated to put together this R18-based muscle bike, which hit the scene in January.

Again, the whole point of these projects is to promote the R18-series machines (see Dustin’s review here), and showcase BMW’s flat twin engine as an alternative to V-twins.

The Canadian take

BMW picked Jay Donovan from Victoria, British Columbia as well as the crews at Konquer Motorcycles from Kelowna, British Columbia and Augment Motorworks in Toronto, Ontario to come up with a Canadian angle to the R18 customization question, with all bikes being operational and street-legal. You can see the results here; Donovan built the R18 Future Cafe, Augment made the R18 Tattooed Chopper and Konquer made the dragster-style Diamond Custom. Here’s the write-up from BMW’s press release describing each bike:

Jay Donovan’s Future Cafe. Photo: BMW

Jay Donovan – R 18 Future Café The R 18 Future Café is a study in metal fabrication by artisan motorcycle builder Jay Donovan. Donovan’s design began with a desire to reroute the exhaust up and over the cylinder head and straight back, ending under the seat. A fully redesigned tank and upper section in bare, polished aluminum and chopped front and rear fenders in contrasting black make for a long and sleek look.

Augment Motorworks – R 18 Tattooed Chopper Nick Acosta from Augment Motorworks has applied the classic American chopper style to the big German boxer, which he has nicknamed “El Boxeador.” Fine, tattoo-themed paintwork paired with a sissy bar, hand-carved headlight mount, mini ape hanger handlebars, cocktail shaker exhaust and a custom seat transform the bike into an instant classic with light-hearted touches.

Konquer Motorcycles – R 18 Diamond Custom Rob Thiessen and his team at Konquer Motorcycles have taken the R 18 and created a factory custom dragster. Bronze Metallic paintwork and pinstriping, modified front and rear fenders, custom seat and a diamond motif throughout, create a low-and-long, factory custom look. In addition, gold-painted BMW roundels and an electronically adjustable exhaust help tie the new look together.

See them for yourself

If you want to check out these bikes for yourself, BMW is taking them around Canadian dealerships this summer on a tour; contact your local dealership if you want to know when they’ll be in your area.


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