The renowned custom bike designer Roland Sands launches the BMW R 18 Dragster. The new bike is a stripped down the BMW R 18 built around the impressive 2-cylinder Big Boxer. Roland Sands always starts by sketching his ideas on paper. This allows him to figure out the basics of the shape and what the stance and the geometry of the bike could look like. “In the end, the real magic happens when we bring the sketch to life”, Roland explains.
More than any other motorcycle, the new R 18 offers a highly customizable design. It features an easily removable rear frame and a simple-to-dismantle painted parts set. This gives the customer a high degree of freedom for easily converting the rear end of the new R 18 to suit personal preferences.
In addition you can also change the paint finish to suit your personal taste. “The electronics were definitely the most difficult task we had to deal with as we put in nitrous oxide, stripped out the stock exhaust and changed the intake drastically. It was a bit of an experiment, but we dialed it in!
The final product is impressive and characterized by a high level of craftsmanship, as can be expected from BMW Motorrad. Right from the beginning, I couldn’t wait to get customizing!” Roland points out.
For the the R 18 Dragster, the team around Roland Sands retained the stock neck geometry of the R 18, removed the bike’s rear end and turned it into a drag racer. Moreover, they chose to modify the front and rear fender to fit the modified frame. The whole customizing process took about three and a half months. The bike then headed to the workshop for final assembly and a day at a drag strip.
Aside from the R 18 Dragster custom bike, Roland Sands also created two different design collections of milled aluminium parts for the launch of the R 18 Cruiser: “Machined” and “2-Tone-Black”. The “Machined” and “2-Tone-Black” ranges include front and rear wheels available in different dimensions than the standard sizes.
Related: The BMW R nineT Scrambler – Photo Gallery
In addition, the range of these exclusive milled parts includes speedometer housings, handlebar clamps, risers, handlebar grips, hand levers and mirrors as well as engine housing trim elements, filler caps, intake silencer covers and much more.
For the R 18 Dragster, Roland Sands used the milled parts design collection “2-Tone-Black” to customize levers, wheels, valve covers, breast plate, headlight and gauges. The front end was taken from the BMW R nineT. The seat as well as the exhaust were created from scratch.
The R 18 Dragster custom bike in detail
- The frame has been modified completely removing the rear suspension for drag racing.
- Front and rear fenders have been slightly modified utilizing the stock sheet metal parts in order to keep the classic R 18 silhouette.
- The headlight has been taken from the original R 18 and is highlighted with the headlight bezel from the design collection of milled aluminium parts.
- The standard exhaust has been replaced with a hand fabricated Stainless Steel twin megaphone system utilizing the exhaust tips from the milled aluminium parts.
- The hydraulic front brake and clutch master cylinders are from Roland Sands Design.
- The tank has been taken over from the original R 18.
- The paint finish is a two tone metallic blue with classic white BMW pin-stripes by Roland’s long time painter Chris Wood.
- The fork has been taken from the BMW R nineT.
- The front braking system has been taken from the BMW S 1000 RR superbike.
- The seat has been built from scratch and is a RSD custom seat by Saddlemen.