BMW has been a favorite in the custom motorcycle scene for decades. With timeless designs and lines that display balance and symmetry, BMW motorcycles—particularly the R line of bikes, carry with them a rich heritage. Capitalizing on this heritage, BMW launched the massively popular R nineT in 2014, to cater specifically to the hipster market currently being occupied by the slew of retro-modern motorcycles such as the Ducati Scrambler, Triumph Thruxton, and more recently, the Honda CB650R and Yamaha XSR 700.
Designed as a retro-inspired street bike, the BMW R nineT boasts classic lines and an exposed 1,170 cc boxer twin. Despite the bike’s already dashing looks, the R nineT continues to find its way in the custom motorcycle scene. One of the more striking renditions of the BMW R nineT comes from a British motorcycle customizing shop called Auto Fabrica. Dubbed the “Type 18,” this custom R nineT draws inspiration from BMW’s heritage in aviation, blending aerodynamic fins with sharp angles and flowing lines.
Starting life as an R nineT Scrambler, the Type 18 was extensively modified to achieve its current aesthetic. Firstly, wheels from the R nineT racer were swapped in place of the dual sport setup, providing a sportier 17-inch front and rear setup. The suspension was swapped out with the inverted front forks of the R nineT roadster—shortened and refinished in black anodize. The riser handlebar was swapped out for a set of sporty clip-ons. The fenders, brackets, and other accents were 3D printed to fit. Completing the bike’s aesthetic, the fuel tank, seat, and tail sections are a monocoque assembly hand built from aluminum. A lustrous coat of black sapphire paint mated with matte gray accents adorns the bike, giving it a thoroughly sophisticated and futuristic look.
Underneath the elaborate craftsmanship lies a remapped 1,170cc boxer twin running a modified intake system with two air filters. The full stainless steel exhaust system was handmade and signed by the folks at Auto Fabrica and accentuates two smooth curves—a welcome deviation in the midst of sharp, angular lines.