News/ Industry/ BMW Bespoke R18 B Heavy Duty

BMW Bespoke R18 B Heavy Duty

Fred Kodlin, a German customizer who recently collaborated with BMW to produce a unique custom bike based on the BMW R18 B, was the Sturgis Hall of Fame's first non-American member. The bike was the culmination of months of effort that included a substantial amount of metallurgy and a dizzying number of adjustments. The end result is what Kodlin refers to as the R 18 B Heavy Duty.

"We fully rebuilt the top tubes to decrease the fly-line and hence the seat height of the R 18 B," Kodlin explained. "We also redid the steering head and triple clamps so that the caster fits and the bike rides smoothly despite the changed steering angle."

The bike has a cut windscreen and a fly line that drops steeply to the rear, which is typical of the customizer's style. The body lines meet custom-made side casings around the back wheel, forming nearly a waistline for the bike when viewed from above.

The casings are not only beautiful, but also useful, since the right-side unit conceals a compressor for the air suspension unit. This takes less than a second to lift and lower the bike. While it is stunning on its own, it is also useful while parking since the bike drops onto a concealed kickstand, giving the impression that it is just standing there on its own.

Kodlin and his team spent three months working only on the sheet metal, designing a new gas tank and mudguard to wrap around the 21-inch front wheel, while the front spoiler has a three-color underlighting system.

Meanwhile, Marcel Sinnwell did the painting. He's more of a tattoo artist than a car painter, and he only uses the airbrush for exceptional jobs. The pinstriping celebrates BMW Motorrad's 100th anniversary, while the tie-dye parts were inspired by watching paints mix. Moreover, Kodlin worked with his son Len on the design of this special motorbike.

"It was a true father-son effort," he stated of the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY. "There was a lot of creative input from Len, which also shows that the next generation at Kodlin Bikes is already underway."

TopGear Magazine July 2024