Plug and play: A radikal BMW R18 custom kit with paint to match

BMW R18 custom kit by Motoism and Ironwood
It’s been three years since the BMW R18 hit the scene, and the massive boxer cruiser still hasn’t quite found its feet. It comes in five different variants, but we’re honestly not sure which one we’d pick, nor what we’d do with it once we had it. But the BMW R18 hits the mark in one notable way; it has huge potential for customization.

BMW pitched the R18 as a highly customizable bike from day one—and even though there’s some modern elec-trickery to get around, the bike has good bones. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that the R18’s 1,802 cc boxer motor and classically-styled frame are works of mechanical art. Remove a few bits and slap on a few others, and it can quickly turn into a much sharper machine.

BMW R18 custom kit by Motoism and Ironwood
That’s the idea behind this uber-slick BMW R18. Created by the Munich workshop MOTOISM, in collaboration with Arjan van den Boom of Ironwood Motorcycles fame, it wears a brand new bolt-on custom kit with a handful of swanky off-the-shelf parts. Nothing’s been hacked, welded or rewired here, but the results are still radikal.

Each part in the kit was either 3D-printed, made from carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP), or laser-cut from stainless steel. Since the project covered myriad techniques, Arjan and MOTOISM founder Ben Ott roped in additional help. The team included Jakob Jarusek, the former head of design at the boutique car tuning shop Mansory, and graphic designer Andy Werner.

BMW R18 custom kit by Motoism and Ironwood
The party starts up front, where a 3D-printed fender sits on custom mounting hardware. Just above it, a 3D-printed headlight surround houses the BMW R18’s OEM LED headlight. The third major piece sits lower down; a generous CFRP belly pan.

The overall aesthetic is sculpted and layered, giving the R18 a modern urban vibe. We’re picking up performance car details too, like the louvered ‘intakes’ on the belly pan, and the way it’s molded around the R18 engine’s front cover.

BMW R18 custom kit by Motoism and Ironwood
Out back, the crew replaced the R18’s bobbed seat and generous rear fender with a sportier tail unit. It’s constructed from a blend of 3D-printed and CFRP pieces and capped off with a faux leather seat, with a cutout that shows off the rear shock. A small BMW roundel adorns the back of it, embedded in a center ridge that mimics the one on the fuel tank.

Finishing off the kit are a pair of CRFP ‘spacers,’ that reposition the stock tank badges a few millimeters away from the tank. It sounds silly when you say it, but within the context of the whole build, the effect is perfect.

BMW R18 custom kit by Motoism and Ironwood
With the kit developed, the team started piecing together the rest of the R18’s parts list. And it sure is a lust-worthy set of items.

Rotobox carbon fiber wheels sit at both ends, wrapped in Metzeler Sportec tires. An Öhlins shock sits tucked under the new seat, offering a little more rear-end compliance. ABM supplied the handlebars, risers, footpegs, and clutch and brake levers.

BMW R18 custom kit by Motoism and Ironwood
The machined fuel cap is from BMW’s aftermarket catalog for the R18, while the LED turn signals are MOTOISM parts. The R18’s overbearing fishtail silencers are gone, replaced by a Jekill & Hyde system that includes an electronically-controlled loudness limiter. The full exhaust system has been Cerakoted in black, including the heat shields.

The guys also refinished the fork covers, valve covers, air intakes, and intake shields in black, creating a dark base to help the R18’s vivid livery pop. Keen eyes will notice BMW’s traditional motorsport colors worked into the design too.

BMW R18 custom kit by Motoism and Ironwood
Three years on, we’re still not sure how we feel about the BMW R18. But we do know that we’d be a lot more keen on it if it looked this good from the factory.

MOTOISM | Facebook | Instagram | Arjan van den Boom | Images by Paul van Mondfrans Lindén

BMW R18 custom kit by Motoism and Ironwood

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