Mandrill Garage is a builder from Beijing, China who makes some of the more notable builds out in the wild world of custom bikes. One of the brand’s latest creations uses a BMW R18, but with custom parts that were 3D printed using metal and plastic.
The builder has been at it ever since. We’ve covered a few other builds in prior articles such as a CBX1000 that they “put on a diet” so to speak. Another build came in the form of another BMW, but this time it was of a true vintage model, the R80. At the time, we said it was a showstopper, but this could steal the thunder away from the builds we’ve covered that came out of Mandrill’s shop.
BMW’s R18 is a showstopper in its own right. For starters, it’s huge. The cruiser weighs a lot and it comes with a massive boxer twin with its displacement proudly put on display on a plaque. While there is a load of OEM pieces that look custom, such as the art-deco-looking tailpipes, Mandrill didn’t go straight for a blowtorch and welder for all of its parts, instead, they went straight to a computer.
Dubbed the Dark Phoenix, the R18 features 3D-printed parts from metal and plastic. The bike was built on screen, and each part was crafted and created to fit the BMW one-to-one.
The front of the R18 is custom printed, The fender’s quite interesting as it is just half a fender printed from plastic and screwed onto the bracket that was printed using a laser layering process. Even the position light on the front fender was made via the printer, as was the tail light housing at the back. What’s more impressive is that Mandrill also uses metal in their 3D printing process.
Gallery: Mandrill Garage: BMW R18
However, there are still parts that are manufactured the old-fashioned way, with hand-made metal fenders cut and shaped from raw aluminum. Perhaps the middle section of the bike deserves the most praise as Mandrill put a redesigned tank along with a custom rear seat and tail section.
No matter how different it looks, however, it still retains all the OEM attachment points, chassis, and engine of the R18. Mandrill built around the bike and didn’t cut any corners (literally) in order to create its build.
Given how 3D printing technology has advanced, there could be more builds like this on the way, with a heavy emphasis on the new-age fabrication method. Mandril doesn’t just do cruisers, however, their imagination tends to run wild such is the case with cyberpunk-themed builds on modern bikes, and other interesting machinations.