BMW lifted the covers on its latest heritage model, the R 18 cruiser in April, 2020. The Bavarians developed the platform with customization in mind, and presented an accessories catalog to back it up. To display the R 18’s versatility, BMW France announced a customization contest featuring some of the countries most renowned Motorrad dealerships and builders.
Participating teams had to utilize at least three BMW Option 719 parts while refraining from altering the frame, electronics, and engine. Projects also couldn’t exceed €45,000 ($53,007 USD), making them more attainable for current and future R 18 owners. By July, 2021, the BMW Motorrad France community started voting on the 18 big-bore cruiser builds. With entries coming from as far as Lille and Nîmes, deciding a winner wasn’t an easy feat, but only one R 18 prevailed.
Gallery: R18 Royal Racer: 2021 BMW R18
Collecting nearly 30 percent of the vote, Moto Store Aix’s BMW R 18 Royal Racer was a cut above the rest. The Aix-en-Provence dealer collaborated with Aubagne custom shop Atelier Pianelli on the project and the team drew inspiration from BMW's legendary R 50. The custom floating saddle, reverse-pivot levers, wraparound rear mudguard, front fender plate, and pinstriping tie into the brand’s boxer lineage. Satin finish cylinder head covers, a yellow headlight lens, and bar end mirrors complete the retrofitted R 18.
Coming in second place, Nice Premium Motors’ French Riviera Bobber marries vintage style with modern tech. White-wall tires, a swingarm-mounted rear fender, and black finishes match the bobber aesthetic while a TFT dash, streamlined controls, and under-seat taillight modernize the build.
Completing the podium, Mougin dealer Bayern Avenue presents the BMW R 18 /// M, a performance-oriented take on the heavyweight cruiser. A short exhaust and equally short tail unit deliver a sporty silhouette while Roland Sands Design components, blacked-out paint job, and BMW M badges complete the transformation.