An impressive custom motorcycle from BMW Motorrad with the signature of the iconic Paul Yaffe.
The visionary of custom motorcycles Paul Yaffe raised the bar once again with the unveiling of his latest masterpiece, a one-of-a-kind custom edition of BMW R 18 Transcontinental. Combining classic hot rod aesthetics with the signature BMW essence, this project is a testament to Yaffe's design excellence.
A legend of hers custom stage in the USA
Since 1991, the custom motorcycle world has known Paul Yaffe as one of them leading creators of motorized masterpieces. This is because Paul is more than a manufacturer or fabricator: he is truly a designer. Starting with its foundation American Legend Motorcycle Company, which later evolved into Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation, has won accolades including three “World's Most Beautiful Motorcycle” awards at the Oakland Roadster Show, two “Builder of the Year” awards and three “Trendsetter of the Year” awards from Easyriders magazine, while becoming inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame in 2015. His custom motorcycles have been featured in more than 300 magazine articles worldwide, as well as on the Discovery Channel, History Channel and other television shows. Its products, distributed through a network of partners in six countries, continue to inspire a generation of customizers.
Now, Paul Yaffe unveils his latest masterpiece – a unique custom version of the BMW R 18 Transcontinental.
Keeping its essence BMW and the inspiration of one Hot Rod
Before starting, Paul took the time to get to know the BMW R18 Transcontinental by riding it 3,800 US miles Furthermore 2,600 miles to Sturgis and back.
As soon as the customizing process began, Paul knew what he wanted to create a bagger with big wheels which had never existed before. The challenge was to retain as many original BMW parts as possible. Paul wanted his custom build to remain an original BMW without being made from or resembling any of the pieces in his existing collection.
Ordered a front wheel 26″ x 5,5″ cut from a 400-pound piece of aluminum, which mounts a custom 180mm wide tire. The frame had to be widened to accommodate the new front wheel and special triple clamps had to be made to correct the trail and optimize agility.
Inspired by the look of an iconic Mercury Lead Sled of the 50s, the team created several unique components and modified existing elements of R 18. The steel front fender built from scratch, the original fairing of the R 18 was cut into various pieces and rebuilt to accommodate the headlight position and airflow to the new front wheel, while to find a solution for the gap created between fairing and fuel tank a unique spoiler was developed, which hides the radiator. In addition, one exclusive set of Yaffe Monkey Bars built to complement the overall design.
The team wanted to keep the suitcase covers, insurances and speakers, so a new series of leather covers was created that gave the panniers a completely new and unique elongated profile, while maintaining the excellent engineering and functionality that BMW had created for them.
Paul's team extended the original rear wing making a second R 18 rear wing, which matched the profile of the new panniers.
As construction began to take shape, Yaffe rearranged the original rear lights of the R 18 on the handmade panels and craft one license plate area on fender in classic hot rod style. Also, lengthened the original R 18 side covers to maintain their original shape and to cover a larger surface so that the eye 'flows' towards the suitcases.
Classic Lead Sled appearance
Staying true to the classic Lead Sled aesthetic, Yaffe prioritized two critical elements: the air suspension and the exhaust side pipes.
Paul and his team designed one advanced tank air as well as a system for its distribution, combined with a special frame under each side of the suitcases to house essential components including the necessary air tanks, a large air compressor and all controls, valves and piping necessary to effectively support and operate the system.
By focusing on the design of the side tubes, the construction team aimed to maintain the characteristic BMW feel which makes this build stand out. The preservation of classic boxer engine exhaust pipes Her BMW Motorrad was non-negotiable in Paul's vision. The catalytic converters were replaced by a custom high-flow perforated baffle system. This innovation not only replaced the system that limits and manages exhaust emissions, but maintained the required back pressure that optimizes performance. With the aim of improving the listening experience, an extremely precise machining was introduced three-stage silencer system which is completed by a large funnel-loudspeaker which emits the characteristic hot rod sound.
It's all a matter of aesthetics
Revisiting the aesthetic, Paul aimed for a hot rod design without distracting graphic elements, highlighting the elegance and profile of the motorcycle, with an emphasis on simplicity and charm.
“We started our project by perfecting all the body panels to create a finish reminiscent of a crystal surface. After settling on a timeless deep black gloss color, the team turned their attention to perfecting the rest of the bike. Paul commissioned specialist painter Hector Martinez to apply the gloss black shade. Seeking to create contrast, Paul chose a classic red for the interior with a blood hue. Finding the perfect balance is an art. The secret is to avoid overdoing it. Guys Upholstery used modern upholstery on the saddle and dash, and Hector customized the front calipers in the same color. We think the result is impressive,” the creators of the R 18 One Eight “C” emphatically state.