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Cut above the rest Bike Torque: Custom is always right for BMW

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Style and substance: BMW’s new Blechmann R18

Style and substance: BMW’s new Blechmann R18

BMW's new Blechmann R1

BMW's new Blechmann R1

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Style and substance: BMW’s new Blechmann R18

BMW Motorrad unveiled the new R18 back in April, the brand's first series production bike for the cruiser segment. Like no other BMW bike before, it's based on illustrious models such as the BMW R5 and shifts the focus back to the motorcycle essentials.

Now Bernhard Naumann, a renowned Austrian custom bike builder, has changed as little as possible on the frame and the technology, using only the original mounting points for the creation of the Blechmann R18.

And as you can see by the pictures, the result is a thing of beauty.

Naumann never uses sketches in advance, instead drawing on 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", the designer explains.

For the Blechmann R18, he initially "put the cart before the horse" in order to be able to correctly assess the proportions for the front fairing.

The sporty 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: it is narrower, making it sportier, and exposes the engine even more. But the bike also features knee cut-outs, which further support the athletic line. The original steering tube was used as the basis for the stub handlebar.

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BMW's new Blechmann R1

BMW's new Blechmann R1

BMW's new Blechmann R1

Blechmann then 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. As with all of BMW's classic boxer engine, Blechmann placed a filament lamp prominently in the centre. Here, too, the steering angle and the forward-tilted headlamp determine the layout of the custom bike.

Naumann perfected his personalisation 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 R18.

Mostly, Blechmann works alone on his craftsmanship and designs. If necessary, he gets support from hand-picked professionals.

"You can't do anything in this world on your own. I am more than glad to have a reliable personnel infrastructure," he said.

Irish Independent