BMW understands that self-expression and customization are core tenets of cruiser culture. So, when the Bavarians rolled out the 2021 R 18, they also launched several competitions and commissions to highlight the full extent of the big-bore cruiser’s custom potential.
Those efforts brought us everything from futurism to familiar styles, from the Avant-Garde to the opulent. For cruiser fans that haven’t had their fill of R 18 builds just yet, BMW Italy enlisted 27 dealerships to create new works of art based on the boxer platform.
Gallery: 2022 BMW R 18 Your Choice Winners
The brand tapped IED design manager Giacomo Bertolazzi to lead a panel of jurors tasked with assessing the four best builds of the bunch. Bertolazzi and team picked four of the five winning bikes, with fans determining the final entry.
“First of all, I want to congratulate the real protagonists of the project which are the Dealers who have accepted this challenge of creativity, involving customizers and local craftsmen to tell each one a different story about the customization of the BMW R 18,” noted BMW Motorrad Italy director Salvatore Nicola Nanni.
The jurors awarded the Style award to Aurelia Motorrad’s custom chopper-inspired R 18 Viking while the Personality award went to Naple’s Motoshop 200 for its art deco-styled R 18 Glory. Nivola Style’s R 18 SportTail claimed the Creativity honors thanks to its dual-sport mods, and Baldassarre Moto’s R 18 Apulia ticked all the Link to Tradition boxes.
The fan-favorite R 18 Anarchy, however, is one the most intriguing projects of the competition. M.Car's aptly-named build leans into the club-style Harley-Davidsons popularized by the Sons of Anarchy television show. BMW played within the same sandbox when it released the R 18/2 concept at EICMA 2019, but the brand never released a production model.
M.Car’s club-style take favors blacked-out finishes and paint with red accents. The T-Sport-inspired fairing, tall T-bars, step-up-style seat, fork gaiters, cast wheels, and sissy bar all play into the outlaw aesthetic. We may have drooled our fair share of R 18 builds by this point, but it's refreshing to see a different take on the custom-friendly cruiser.