BMW Motorrad unveils R18 One Eight C

BMW Motorrad's latest masterpiece, the R18 One Eight C offers a timeless design with modern engineering

BMW Motorrad has unveiled the R 18 One Eight C, a stunning custom motorcycle executed by customising icon Paul Yaffe.

Yaffe has raised the bar once again with the revelation of his latest masterpiece, a one-of-a-kind customisation of the BMW R 18 B. Combining classic hot rod aesthetics with a distinctive BMW essence, has resulted in a motorcycle that is testament to Yaffe’s excellence as a designer.

Starting with the establishment of American Legend Motorcycle Company, which later evolved into Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation, Yaffe has earned accolades such as three “World’s Most beautiful Motorcycle” awards from the Oakland Roadster Show, two “Builder of the Year” and three “Trendsetter of the Year” awards from Easyriders Magazine, as well as becoming an inductee into the Sturgis Hall of Fame in 2015.

Preserving the BMW Essence and taking inspiration from hot rods

Before the customisation commenced, Yaffe spent time getting to know the BMW R 18 B by riding 3800 miles across the USA and an additional 2600 miles to Sturgis and back.

The customisation process centred around Yaffe wanting to create a big wheel bagger like no one had ever seen. Crucial to the project was the retention of as many original BMW components as possible while transforming the motorcycle into a creation that is differentiated from his existing product line.

A 26”x 5.5” front wheel was machined from a 180kg block of aluminium which now holds a 180mm wide front tyre. The frame was stretched and raked to accommodate the new front wheel and special triple trees engineered to correct the trail measurement and optimise handling.

Embracing the look of an iconic 50’s Mercury Lead Sled, the team crafted several one-of-a-kind components and modified existing R 18 elements. The steel front fender was made from scratch and the original R 18 fairing was cut into several pieces and restructured in order to correct headlight position and flow into the new front wheel. Addressing the gap between the fairing and the fuel tank is a unique chin spoiler that also strategically conceals the radiator. An exclusive set of Yaffe Monkey Bars was crafted to compliment the overall design.

The saddlebag lids, latches and speakers were retained, so a new set of skins was created to give the bags a completely new and unique stretched profile.

Yaffe rearranged the original R 18 Taillights into the handmade filler panels and worked an area for the license plate into the fender in a classic hot rod style. The original R 18 side covers were also stretched to retain their shape and cover more area to help the eye flow into the bags.

Staying true to the classic Lead Sled aesthetic, Yaffe prioritised the air suspension and side pipes. A sophisticated air tank and distribution system as well as a dedicated frame beneath each side of the saddle bags was designed to accommodate essential components, including the necessary air storage tanks, a sizable air compressor and all the controls, valving and solenoids necessary for the effective support and operation of the system.

The classic Boxer headers were retained, and the catalytic convertors have made way for a bespoke perforated high-flow baffle system and a precision-crafted three-step muffler system for reversion while the final touch was a wide-open megaphone, delivering that quintessential classic hot rod sound.

The finishing touches

Yaffe aimed to retain the classic hot rod feel without any distracting graphics, highlighting the motorcycle’s elegant new stance and profile with an emphasis on simplicity and allure. The fabricated body panels were perfected, and everything smoothed to a glass like finish. A timeless deep gloss black finish was applied along with classic ochs blood leather for contrast.


This particular BMW R 18 One Eight C is a custom motorcycle that is one of a kind and is therefore not for sale.