Austrian bike builder, Bernhard Naumann, customizes BMW R18 into retro tourer

Ever since its introduction as a concept bike back in May last year, the BMW R18 motorcycle has been intended to be a blank piece of canvass, ready for customization by bike builders, as well as the R18 owners themselves. As proof, a few weeks ago, we showed you an R18 turned into a drag bike. Today, BMW Motorrad presents the “Blechmann” – a customized R18 by renowned Austrian bike builder, Bernhard Naumann. It's intended to be a retro-futuristic faired tourer.

BMW presents: the Blechmann R 18 image

Unlike other designers that sketch out their designs first, for the Belchmann R 18, Naumann initially “put the cart before the horse” in order to be able to correctly assess the proportions for the front fairing. “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,” said Naumann. 

BMW presents: the Blechmann R 18 image

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 original steering tube was used as the basis for the stub handlebar. The fuel tank has also been extensively modified for two main reasons:  making it narrower gives a bit of a sporty feel and it would expose the engine even more. Second, it features knee cut-outs, which further support the athletic line. 

Next, Blechmann customized the headlights. As with his last BMW custom bike “Giggerl” (a customized BMW R nineT), the headlights were given a subtle kidney-shaped design this time, as a nod to BMW cars' kidney grille. 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, it took the team 450 hours to complete the Blechmann rework of the BMW R 18.

R 18 PH release date

BMW presents: the Blechmann R 18 image

As 2020 progresses, BMW Motorrad and cruiser bike fans alike are getting excited to get their hands on the R 18. “When will it land here in the Philippines?” many are asking. Gil Balderas, BMW Motorrad Director for SMC Asia Car Distributors, has revealed to that the team is looking at releasing the R 18 by November or December this year. “We're hoping we can launch it by November or December latest.”

Like no other BMW motorcycle before it, the R 18 stands entirely in the tradition of historical BMW motorcycles – both technically and with regard to its design. It is based on illustrious models such as the BMW R 5 and shifts the focus back to the motorcycle essentials. This was reason enough for Bernhard Naumann to change as little as possible on the frame and the technology and to use only the original mounting points for the creation of the Blechmann R 18.