BMW Unveils Newest R 18 Customized in Soulfuel Collection


BMW and Shinya Kimura group up for the third R 18 {custom} construct within the model’s Soulful sequence. (BMW Motorrad/)

Even earlier than its jaw-dropping manufacturing debut on an unsuspecting US cruiser market in 2020, BMW’s R 18 cruiser had already impressed a various array of customs from across the globe, starting from Customized Works Zon’s skeletal “Departed” in 2018, to the featherweight Revival “Birdcage” bike that wowed everyone in 2019.

Since then, BMW has tapped into the R 18′s custom-ready cruiser bones with the Soulful sequence—a collaboration between BMW Motorrad and chosen customizers.

The sequence has already spawned two formally sanctioned R 18 customs, and now comes the third, a neo steampunk imaginative and prescient of the Large Boxer from customizing savant Shinya Kimura, referred to as “The Wal.”

Associated: Shinya Kimura: The Mechanic And The Artist

If you squint, you can see why it’s called “The Wal” (whale in German). Handmade grille under the asymmetric bug-eye headlights directs airflow to the engine.

When you squint, you possibly can see why it’s referred to as “The Wal” (whale in German). The handmade grille beneath the uneven bug-eye headlights directs airflow to the engine. (BMW Motorrad/)

It would assist to elucidate the identity; “wal” in German interprets as a whale. So, why whale? As Kimura explains it, “Due to its mighty engine, the bike is wild and has nearly inexhaustible energy on the one hand, but it’s utterly good-natured on the opposite. Similar to a whale…”


Kimura, the father of the “zero models” customizing, says he constructed this practice fully for himself, with model and ergonomics to match. (BMW Motorrad/)

However, that doesn’t give a practically sufficient credit score to the bike’s fantastical exterior, usually nearly fully from scratch by Kimura himself.

Up entrance, a {custom} semi-shell fairing homes two asymmetrically organized headlights—or with a bit of creativeness, crooked eyes that may simply make Kimura’s R 18 appear to be a whale, particularly once you additionally take within the curved handmade grille beneath that serves because of the creature’s mouth.

The color scheme and the coarsely textured, hammerlike paintwork additionally match the theme of The Wal, which Kimura sees as an “animal” of a motorbike. After Roland Sands’ and Dirk Oehlerking’s earlier R 18 Soulful builds, Kimura’s creation looks like it’s from one other, rather more fanciful planet.

Associated: 2021 BMW R 18 First Trip Evaluate

Kimura kept the engine and suspension stock, but fashioned a longer and larger fuel tank—complete with knee cutouts—to move the seating position back.

Kimura stored the engine and suspension inventory, however usually an extended and bigger gas tank—full with knee cutouts—to maneuver the seating place again. (BMW Motorrad/)

The visuals are one factor, however, for this undertaking, Kimura says, “…I utilized your entire vary of my actions as a customizer,” together with the reshaped bigger gas tank, hand-shaped facet covers, and reworked handlebars.

He fabricated a custom tail section, incorporating the flowing, redesigned seat that’s been positioned additional again. And that custom fairing truly makes use of a manufacturing unit R nineT protect on the high.

Kimura’s regular hand-on construct course was nicely served on this case, primarily as a result of, he says, “I constructed the R 18 fully for myself.

Once I rode the manufacturing R 18, I believed it’d go well with my construct and driving preferences higher if I designed it to be a bit of extra front-facing with a fairing.”

Elements were hammered for surface texture appearance, then received a special bronze powder finish.

Components had been hammered for floor texture look, then acquired a particular bronze powder end. (BMW Motorrad/)

That additionally meant making ergonomic tweaks to get the bike to suit him higher.

“I moved the footrests again about two inches to have extra flexibility for positioning the legs. At the identical time, I lowered the handlebars and adjusted the seat to my liking. All of it added as much as the very pure posture that I like,” Kimura continues.

However, regardless of wanting a ground-up reboot, The Wal does maintain a good quantity of the R 18′s inventory bits intact, together with the body, wheels, and tires, in addition to the suspension and brakes; Kimura says he didn’t really feel the necessity to change them after he had ridden the bike.

Associated: A Voluptuous BMW R 18 Customized From Kingston Customized

Kimura revised the handlebars to be 8 inches narrower and 6 inches lower to fit him better; footrests were moved back 2 inches.

Kimura revised the handlebars to be 8 inches narrower and 6 inches decrease to suit him higher; footrests had been moved again 2 inches. (BMW Motorrad/)

“I used to be in a position to change the model and seating place to my liking without destroying the wonderful unique performance of the R 18. However, drastically altering the seating place and including my very own model and style was a giant problem in my interpretation of the BMW Heritage.”

Nonetheless, you view this wildly unconventional tackle of Germany’s large cruiser, it’s undoubtedly extra than simply one other brick in der Wal. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

The seat was redesigned to create a natural flow from the dish up to the rear hump and finally the round taillight. Stock exhaust gets dipped in black.

The seat was redesigned to create a pure circulation from the dish as much as the rear hump and eventually the spherical taillight. Inventory exhaust will get dipped in black. (BMW Motorrad/)


The customized semi-shell fairing was designed to supply consolation and safety at excessive velocity; clear protect is a manufacturing unit R nineT half. (BMW Motorrad/)


Sport-touring with the R 18’s foundation, Kimura-style.

Sport-touring with the R 18’s basis, Kimura-style. (BMW Motorrad/)


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