The BMW R 18 is made for one thing: cruising. Sure, the 1,802cc boxer lays down 90 horsepower and 117 lb-ft of torque, but you’ll need every bit of kinetic energy to get the 761-pound bobber to move down the boulevard. If slow and low isn’t your pace, though, custom shops XTR Pepo and MX911 fashioned a custom R 18 that satisfies any need for speed.
Such an endeavor is no task for one mortal man. As such, MX911’s Diego Mena and XTR’s Pepo Rosell combined forces to transform the R 18 into a bonafide speed machine. Of course, the signature boxer and double-cradle steel frame anchor the build but Mena and Rosell did away with nearly everything else.
Gallery: Blitzkrieg: BMW R 18 Racer
That means a custom-built YSS shock suspends the rear while an R NineT fork lightens the front end. The team then equipped each leg with more robust internals to handle the R 18’s heft, but a 17-inch front wheel donated from an S 1000 RR imbues the build with a dose of superbike grace. That new front end also allows the duo to outfit the road racer with Brembo calipers. A Nissin master cylinder ensures that every lever pull translates all the way down to the 320mm discs.
With the chassis in order, Rosell and Mena turned to the bodywork, molding the front fairing and tail section from a combination of fiberglass and carbon fiber. The tank, on the other hand, required more ingenuity. In order to fit a Moto Guzzi V7 fuel cell onto the custom project, the builders welded the unit’s top portion to the bottom of an R 18 tank. The Frankensteinian approach may sound monstrous but the result is a thing of beauty.
A Polizei-inspired paint job only amplifies the café racer aesthetic. And, of course, a hand-made, custom 2-into-1 exhaust with Spark XTR muffler further elevates the build and the decibels. Yes, BMW made the R 18 for cruising, but you won’t find XTR Pepo and MX911’s rendition in the slow lane.
Sources: Motorrad, Bike Bound, Pipeburn