Excessive-flyer: An aircraft-style BMW R18 by VTR Customs


Custom BMW R18 by VTR
Because the {custom} arm of an official BMW motorbike dealership, VTR Customs is well-versed within the artwork of modifying BMWs. However that doesn’t imply that the Swiss outfit has it straightforward. Their builds aren’t at all times gentle—and once they’re wild, they’re actually wild.

That’s primarily as a result of VTR boss, Dani Weidmann, isn’t one to draw back from a problem. So when a consumer requested him to customise a BMW R18 within the type of a Thirties airplane, he mentioned ja.

Custom BMW R18 by VTR
The fee got here from an present VTR buyer (that they had personalized his R nineT beforehand), who was enamored with the German-made Junkers Ju 52. The challenge was dubbed ‘Iron Annie,’ after a well-known Ju 52 that was restored and owned by the American writer, Martin Caidin.

It’s not the primary time that VTR have constructed a {custom} BMW with an aeronautical theme. Their aluminum-wrapped, fire-spitting BMW R1200R lit up the European Sultans of Dash race collection a couple of years in the past. However Iron Annie needed to do extra than simply go quick in a straight line; she needed to be fully avenue authorized too.

Custom BMW R18 by VTR
VTR began with a inventory BMW R18, which they stripped all the way down to rid it of all of its chrome. The engine was refinished in black with custom-made ‘Iron Annie’ badging, and even the fork stanchions have been handled to a black diamond-like carbon coating.

The forks have been shortened too, with a brand new Wilbers shock fitted out again. VTR needed to tweak the R18’s stance to make the massive boxer really feel extra compact, so that they swapped out the wheels for an even bigger set. Measuring 21” up entrance and 18” on the again, they have been {custom} constructed for the challenge by Kineo.

Custom BMW R18 by VTR
All of that was comparatively easy in comparison with VTR’s subsequent process; sculpting the R18’s new aircraft-style aluminum bodywork. The gasoline tank appears to be like like pretty conventional fare from a distance—however the bodywork will get progressively extra detailed because it tapers off.

A lot of aluminum panels flank the bike, joined by dome head fasteners that appear like rivets from afar. Particulars embrace mesh-lined vent inserts, and facet scoops to accommodate the air intakes. The entire association tapers to the rear, with a slender tail piece that mimic a airplane’s tail fin.

Custom BMW R18 by VTR
The nearer you look, the extra fascinating little additions you’ll discover. See that indentation on the left facet with what appears to be like like a airplane’s door deal with? That’s really the lever that engages the R18’s electrical reverse gear.

“One of many large challenges was the duplicate cooling fins within the space of the rear silencers,” says Dani. “Shaping these elements into parallel and delightful radii, and on the identical time nonetheless fastening them harmoniously, took quite a few makes an attempt.”

Custom BMW R18 by VTR
Transferring to the entrance, VTR fabricated a small nacelle to deal with a Highsider LED headlight, ending it off with a small cockpit-like window as an alternative of a standard windscreen. A stubby entrance fender sits slightly below it, with a hand-crafted stomach spoiler mounted additional down.

The R18’s cruiser bars have been swapped out for ABM clip-ons, fitted with Magura HC3 brake and clutch controls. Clip-ons seem to be a bizarre alternative for a motorbike of this dimension and stance, however there’s technique to VTR’s insanity; the thought was to tighten up the R18’s profile as a lot as attainable. Moreover, it’s unlikely that its proprietor will go touring with it.

Custom BMW R18 by VTR
The speedo was relocated to a housing on the entrance of the gasoline tank, and customised with a brand new arm by the watchmaker Zeitzone Zürich. Additional again is a hand-crafted leather-based saddle, upholstered by frequent VTR Customs collaborator, Yves Knobel.

Accompanying VTR’s {custom} work is a handful of top-shelf elements from different {custom} workshops. WalzWerk equipped the exhaust silencers, whereas Berham Customs took care of the quantity plate holder. Avon Cobra tires, and switch alerts and taillights from Kellermann, spherical out the elements spec.

Custom BMW R18 by VTR
For the R18’s last livery, VTR dug into the annals of Junkers historical past. With assist from Freuler AG, they painted the bike in the identical colours because the Ju 52 the Lufthansa flew within the mid-30s. It appears to be like nice—however it may have turned out very in another way.

“What nearly pained us a bit once we noticed all of the handmade, brilliant aluminum sheets shimmering and shining, was that they must be painted,” says Dani. “Nevertheless, we’re extraordinarily glad with the end result—as a result of Iron Annie differs much more clearly from our well-known ‘Spitfire’.”

Custom BMW R18 by VTR
Aeronautically-themed bikes can so simply turn into rolling clichés. However VTR Customs has confirmed, as soon as once more, that they know learn how to execute this type with supreme magnificence.

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Custom BMW R18 by VTR