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.

2019 Toyota Yaris Arrives In The UK With New Y20 And GR Sport Models

Toyota’s prolific supermini receives a boost in style and attitude, plus a limited version, for the new model year.

Cupra Ateca Is Very Fast And Well-Rounded, But It Lacks Character

As the first product of the newly founded performance brand it’s very good, yet not that exciting.

Here’s What It Costs To Maintain An Impressive 30-Vehicle Collection

Harry Metcalfe reveals just how expensive it was to own 16 cars and 14 motorcycles last year.

Infiniti Canada Spruces Up Q50 And Q60 Red Sport With I-Line Editions

Both special editions are powered by a 400 HP twin-turbo V6 and are exclusive to Canada, .

Some Jaguar E-Pace SUVs Miss Key Infotainment Software – And There’s No Fix

A batch of 2019 models were delivered without certain features and, unfortunately, they can’t be retrofitted .

First Production 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Sells For $1.1 Million

The really good news is that the proceeds will go to research for curing type 1 diabetes in children.

2020 Volkswagen Golf: This Is It, The All-New 8th Gen Model

As always, Volkswagen went for evolution instead of revolution, but even so the new Golf looks very sharp.

Mazda CX-7 Driver Shoots (!) At Cammer During Road Rage Incident

The driver of the white Mazda crossover was an 85-year old Florida man.

2019 Corvette Special Edition To Be Revealed At Daytona 24-Hour Race

In all likelihood, GM is getting ready to send off the current, seventh-gen ‘Vette with a special model.

Groups Protest GM, Ford At Detroit Show With Prayers And… Inflatable T-Rex?

The protesters object to planned job cuts and plant closures as well as more lax emissions regs.