Legendary custom motorcycle designer Paul Yaffe has revealed his latest creation, a one-of-a-kind customization of the BMW R 18 Transcontinental. The bike, which will debut at the MBE Show in Verona, Italy, is a stunning blend of classic hot rod aesthetics and the distinctive style of BMW. Yaffe, known for his award-winning designs and innovative approach, spent months studying the R 18 Transcontinental before beginning the customization process. He wanted to create a big wheel bagger that was unlike anything anyone had ever seen, while still remaining true to the spirit of BMW.

Classic Meets Modern: Blending Hot Rod Aesthetics with BMW Essence

One of the most striking features of the bike is the massive 26-inch front wheel, cut from a solid block of aluminum. The frame was stretched and raked to accommodate the wheel, and custom triple trees were engineered to ensure optimal handling. The bodywork of the bike is equally impressive. Yaffe and his team crafted several one-of-a-kind components, such as the steel front fender and the chin spoiler. They also modified existing R 18 elements, such as the fairing, to flow seamlessly with the new design.

Paul Yaffe’s custom BMW R-18 near Florence, Arizona, USA. Tuesday, December 26, 2023. Photography ©2023 Michael Lichter.

Staying true to the classic hot rod look, Yaffe incorporated air suspension and side pipes into the build. The air suspension system is hidden beneath the saddlebags, while the side pipes feature a bespoke perforated baffle system that delivers a classic hot rod sound. The cosmetics of the bike are equally stunning. Yaffe opted for a timeless deep gloss black finish, with contrasting ochs blood red accents on the interior. The final touch is a contemporary-style saddle and dash console.

26-Inch Wheel, Stretched Frame, and More: Inside the Build

Paul Yaffe’s custom BMW R-18 near Florence, Arizona, USA. Wednesday, December 27, 2023. Photography ©2023 Michael Lichter.

“We’re incredibly proud of this bike,” said Yaffe. “It’s a true masterpiece that represents the best of both worlds: classic hot rod style and modern BMW performance.” Yaffe’s custom BMW R 18 Transcontinental is sure to turn heads at the MBE Show. It’s a testament to his skill and vision, and it’s sure to inspire a new generation of custom motorcycle builders.

Key features of the custom BMW R 18 Transcontinental:

  • 26-inch front wheel cut from a solid block of aluminum
  • Stretched and raked frame
  • Custom triple trees
  • Steel front fender
  • Modified fairing with chin spoiler
  • Stretched saddlebags
  • Handmade filler panels with integrated taillights
  • Stretched side covers
  • Air suspension system
  • Side pipes with bespoke perforated baffle system
  • Deep gloss black finish with ochs blood red accents
  • Contemporary-style saddle and dash console