BMW drops new Roland Sands-bespoke R18 dragster
The stripped-down model has the power to burn some serious rubber.
To give its R18 motorcycle a dragster upgrade, BMW Motorrad enlisted the expertise of acclaimed bike builder Roland Sands – the face behind the BMW Concept 7, Concept 101 and R nineT Whale Shark Builds, among others.
The new design retained the original’s two-cylinder boxer engine, but Sands gave his creativity free reign when it comes to the exterior.
All unnecessary elements were dispatched in order to streamline the retro-looking model, while the easily removable rear frame and simple-to-dismantle painted parts set gives the owner a high degree of freedom to customise based on personal preferences.
To complement the overall drag racing aesthetic, the front and rear fenders have been slightly modified utilising the stock sheet metal parts, the standard exhaust has been replaced with a hand-built stainless steel twin megaphone system, the headlight has been highlighted with a milled aluminium bezel and the RSD custom seat has been built from scratch by Saddlemen.
Sands says his personal story served as a source of inspiration for his work on the bike: “With an engine that’s so visibly the centerpiece, I immediately thought of muscle cars. My family has always been into going fast and my dad was a drag racer, so I thought it made sense to strip the bike down to the essentials and shape it to go fast on a straight track.”
The hydraulic front brake and clutch master cylinders are from Roland Sands Design, and the paint finish is a two-tone metallic blue with classic white BMW pinstripes by Sands’ long-time painter Chris Wood.
The designer is best known for combining styles and creating new genres in the process. “Combining a racing aesthetic and function with a custom style – this is what we are probably best known for. We like to make stock machines perform better,” commented Sands.
All image supplied by BMW Group