BMW Motorrad announces R18M and R18 Aurora

Customised BMW R18 models unveiled at Verona Motorcycle expo

The recent Verona Motorcycle expo was the perfect stage for the showcasing of two exclusive motorcycle customisation projects based on the iconic BMW R18.

The R18M was developed by Italian Magazine LowRide and built by customisers American Dreams while the R18 Aurora was created by Garage 221.


The letter M is synonymous with sporty models from the BMW automobile stable and has now adorned two-wheel drive models too. The concept envisaged by the staff of LowRide gave the BMW Cruiser a more streamlined and sportier look, avoiding any exaggerations but at the same time incorporating the retro lines of the BMW R18.

The modifications to the R18M project aimed to give the long wheelbase and 1800cc big boxer a sporty and retro look. Work focussed on chassis, suspension set-up, bodywork and accessories. Lightened and with a different riding position, the R18M promises to be even more fun to ride, mostly thanks to a more compact, forward riding position.

Design sketches were penned by designer Oberdan Bezzi, who managed to create an exciting power cruiser without upsetting the essence of the BMW R18. 

LowRide approached some of the best Italian craftsmen and specialists in the sector to assist with this project. American dreams co-ordinated the project and handled the assembly while Elaboratorio created tail, tip and fibreglass windshield from scratch. Carbon Italy handled the head covers, intake ducts and other carbon fibre details. Shortened exhaust pipes are more compact and allow greater lean angle while giving greater prominence to the splendid uncovered nickel-plated shaft. The saddle was covered in leather, while the paintwork was entrusted to Dox Art Factory. Rizoma provided mirrors, grips and universal indicators for the accessories.

BMW R18 Aurora

When the R18 was first presented at EICMA in 2019, Garage 221 had a desire to create a custom bike based on this platform. They felt that the lines of the new BMW cruisers, which are faithfully traditional, deserved complimentary elements and even a more heritage spirit, starting from the soft lines of the tank to the characteristic shapes of the boxer.

The project focused on the study of the different sections of the bike, keeping in mind the need to connect the new elements in a unique harmony of lines and taking inspiration from the cruisers of the 1970s. Distinctive elements of the BMW R18 Aurora by Garage 221 include wraparound fenders that are adherent to the wheel.

The modifications made to the R18 Aurora stem from Garage 221’s experience in the BMW world as they utilised parts from other BMW models. The saddle was sourced from the BMW 1200C, the Batwing supports were made from the indicator supports of the 1982 BMW R100 and part of the frame of a BMW K75. The front and rear fender supports and license plate holder arms were entirely handmade.

The exhaust pipe was designed in collaboration with Leo Vince, taking particular care of the sound, to make it even more full-bodied and captivating. The R18 Aurora’s oil cooler grille adds a classy natural touch, inspired by the grille of BMW cars from the 1960’s. Finally the textured paintwork of the cylinder head covers, the injection housings, the central crankcase and oil cooler grille create a homogenous look.