BMW And Japan’s Custom Works Zon Collaborate On R18 Bike With Mystery Boxer Engine

BMW has found an interesting and very attractive way to tease its newest motorcycle engine.

The company handed over a completely new boxer power plant to Japanese motorcycle customizing specialist Custom Works Zon and let them build a bike around it. Not much is known about the engine other than the fact that it features a push-rod design. The external geometry and chrome-plated protection ducts recall BMW Motorrad boxer engines made until the late 1960s.

However, the new engine features modern air and oil cooling systems, as well as a bigger displacement than BMW’s classic bikes. Given that the concept is called R18, the engine might be a 1.8-liter unit.

According to BMW, “further details about the engine and its possible future use will be communicated at a later point in time.” While nothing is confirmed, a boxer engine would suit a BMW cruiser perfectly. Rumors about a rival for the Ducati Diavel have been circulating for quite a while, and they have been fueled by the fact that BMW Motorrad builds all types of motorcycles except a cruiser.

The custom bike combines classic styling, modern production techniques, and painstaking craftsmanship. The very low silhouette of the R18 harkens back to Ernst Henne’s record-breaking machines of the late 1920s and 1930s.

Equally striking is the size of the wheels — 21 inches at the front and 26 inches at the rear. Both are milled of aluminum and shod with relatively narrow tires. Also made of solid aluminum is the girder fork, while the rear swinging arm is built of steel pipe and attached to the tubular space frame via a concealed suspension.

The big boxer engine is suspended in the frame structure reinforced with grid tubes. Finally, the fuel tank, seat unit, and front trim are handcrafted from sheet metal.

The custom bike won the “Best of Show Motorcycle” award earlier this month at the 2018 Hot Rod Custom Show in Yokohama, Japan.

more photos...
  • ace_9

    I don’t know almost anything about bikes, but even I can spot the exhaust gases going directly to rider’s shoes. One can only imagine how many other design fails are there… But the bike overall looks like an uncomfortable and impractical contraption anyway, so I guess, it will not be used too much.

  • Ilbirs

    A possibility: this powerplant being a crate engine.

  • Six_Tymes

    it’s a work of art, and amazingly so.

Volvo Admits It Underestimated Demand For Plug-In Hybrids

Volvo wants 25 per cent of the vehicles sold by 2021 to be plug-in hybrids.

Facelifted 2020 Audi A5 Cabriolet Getting Ready To Drop Its Top, Camo

The first sighting of the facelifted Audi A5 Cabriolet reveals similar styling updates to the A5 Sportback.

Project Bloodhound Relaunched With New Livery, Tests To Begin As Soon As Possible

The 1000mph land speed record project is resuming operations.

Land Rover Finally Wins Case Against Chinese Evoque Clone

A Chinese court ordered the immediate stop of production and sales of the Landwind X7 in favor of Land Rover.

Daimler Seeking To Increase Its Stake In Chinese Partner BAIC

It is not yet clear if Daimler wants to gain full control of BAIC Motor.

JLR Now Boasts UK’s Largest Smart Charging Facility For EVs

Jaguar Land Rover installed 166 smart charging outlets for EVs at its Gaydon engineering center.

Skoda’s Future EV Lineup Will Include Small Budget Model

Skoda will build three electric vehicles based on VW’s MEB platform in the next four years.

Hyundai Marks Tucson N Line Launch With “Drive A Statement” Art Car

This one-off Hyundai Tucson N Line features motorsport-inspired art work from Andreas Preis.

China’s Kia K3 Sedan Gets Maserati-Style Grille, PHEV Version

The all-new Kia K3 sedan will debut at the Auto China 2019 show in Shanghai and will go on sale in June .

GM To Announce $300 Million Investment To Build EVs, AVs At Detroit Plant

The Orion Township plant will build a next-generation Chevrolet EV and Cruise autonomous vehicles.