BMW Motorrad is introducing today a stunning custom bike: BMW R18 B Heavy Duty. Fred Kodlin is a well-known figure in the U.S. customizing scene and has been customizing motorbikes for over 40 years, ranging from modified designs to new creations. He has been successful in the custom bike industry since the 1990s, winning various important Daytona shows regularly. Additionally, he was the first non-US citizen to be inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame.
Extensive Custom Work
This time, Kodlin and his son Len have collaborated to customize a BMW R 18 B. For the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY, the duo modified the frame and air suspension to adapt to the massive R 18 B chassis technology, which was a challenge in customizing this year’s crowd puller at the Daytona Bike Week in Florida. The result is a bike that is typical of Kodlin’s style, with a chopped windshield from the Original BMW Motorrad Accessories range, side cases made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic, and a low rear end. The R 18 B HEAVY DUTY also features an air suspension system at the front and rear, which can be lowered and raised in a fraction of a second, making it useful and spectacular for parking.
For three months, the Kodlin team worked extensively on the body construction of the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY. They created a longer, flowing sheet metal tank with indentations on the sides, which required modifying the connection of the tank and rear frame. The original mobile phone charging compartment remained in place. Additionally, they crafted a front spoiler and front mudguard out of sheet metal, with the mudguard fitting around the 21-inch front wheel.
For the rear wheel, Kodlin joined together two R 18 B rear mudguards and integrated the rear and side indicator lights in a discreet manner. The side covers were also custom-made and feature R 18 B loudspeakers by Marshall and an amplifier inside. The attention to detail is evident in the aluminium milled hinge panels of the cases, the winglets above the cylinders, and the seat made by Kodlin. The instrument cover has covers made of Alcantara and imitation leather, and the handlebars and exhaust system are specially created for the bike. These modifications give the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY a unique and unmistakable appearance, especially when viewed from the front.
Painted by Marcel Sinnwell
Marcel Sinnwell has painted previous Kodlin showbikes, but now only takes on special projects. One such project is the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY, for which he used airbrushing techniques to create color gradients with translucent paint. The inspiration for this came from the way color pigments mix and form streaks in the basecoat. This design fits perfectly with the Daytona bike week, where elaborate and colourful paint jobs are highly valued. To further enhance the bike’s appearance, hand-painted pinstripes and an airbrushed pattern were added to the rear mudguard, combining Kodlin and “100 years of BMW Motorrad”. While some components, such as the brake calipers, gearshift and foot brake levers and footrests, are standard BMW Motorrad parts, they have been color-matched to the overall design of the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY.
As disclaimer, BMW says that bike “shown may be modified and fitted with third-party accessories and/or proprietary parts that are not manufactured, distributed or tested by BMW.” To see more photos of the BMW R18 B Heavy Duty, click the photo gallery below: