BMW made us wait nearly 18 years before the R18 was finally unveiled, its first rugged cruiser equipped with an 1802 cc flat-twin engine, the largest boxer engine in BMW.While Munich was busy developing the house bike of the motorcycle division, we learned a few things about it before its release.
We specifically saw test mules on the flight on several occasions a few months before the model’s launch, which indicated that we would have more than one copy built on the R18 platform. In April 2020, BMW introduced the “standard” R18 model. First, release to celebrate the launch. However, as we expected, BMW is not finished and although it is not the full R18 round we are expecting (we are seeing you BMW), it is a different and innovative experience on the bike. Except that it is not a German design. she’s American.
BMW R18 Dragster
If you are interested in remote motorcycle customization, Roland Sands’s name is likely to ring a bell. In 2005, retired motorcycle racer Roland Sands (doh) created Epinem Design and Gear Company, which traded its skins with pen and paper. Over the last fifteen years, the name has become synonymous with stylish designs on both custom bikes and gears.
For their latest innovation, Sands teamed up with BMW to create a new design for the R18, called the Dragster. To give the bike extra biceps, the American designer swapped the handlebars from the R9T with clamps and a fork bait, which also increased the rake angle resulting in a sporty posture. The team completely revised the frame and removed the rear suspension as you don’t need any rear support (and extra weight) to run under the tow bar, specially designed to fit the new tire. Complete with a pair of made fenders.
Brakes come from the S1000RR, while the seat, front hydraulic brake and clutch master cylinder are all designed by Sand. The footpegs are rotated backward and are punched under the rear wheel, allowing the rider to lie on the bike for more aerodynamics. Finally, the “sloppy” muffler design has been replaced by stainless steel amplifiers. Giant boxer was not enough just in case, these new exhaust headers took things to the next level. Watch the video when they put the bike on the tow bar, so it’s worth it.
The result is that this ready-to-drag Blue Monster is ready to handle quarter-miles and shaking walls as if it were to demolish a house.
For the occasion and to highlight the partnership, the Roland Sands team has created two lines of aftermarket parts. While the R18 Dragster is one-off – we won’t see it off production lines – R18 owners will be able to get their bikes milled for the Rolled Sands treatment and 2-tone-black accessories.
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