Paul Yaffe of Bagger Nation has recently revealed his latest creation: the BMW R 18 One Eight “C” built on a BMW R 18 Transcontinental. This custom incorporates hot-rod appeal while remaining as authentically BMW as possible and joins Yaffe’s extensive list of customized bikes.
Yaffe is well-known to the custom motorcycle world. His bikes show up across the globe at various bike shows, rallies, and events, and he’s been awarded recognitions such as three “World’s Most Beautiful Motorcycle” awards from the Oakland Roadster Show and two “Builder of Year” and three “Trendsetter of the Year” awards from Easyriders Magazine. He was also inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame in 2015.
To get accustomed with the BMW R 18 Transcontinental, Yaffe rode more than 6,000 miles on one before getting started with the project. The BMW R 18 Transcontinental was introduced for 2022 as a luxury touring version of the company’s R 18 cruiser platform. It features the same 1,802cc “Big Boxer” opposed Twin as other R 18 iterations. The Transcontinental comes with a handlebar-mounted fairing, a passenger seat, locking hard saddlebags, and a top trunk with integrated passenger backrest – everything needed for racking up miles on cross-country trips.
Yaffe’s goal with this custom was to create a big-wheel bagger that retained as many original BMW parts as possible. The eye-catching 26 x 5.5-inch front wheel was commissioned and cut from solid aluminum, and the 180mm front tire is handmade. To accommodate the large front wheel, the frame was stretched and raked.
The R 18’s batwing-style fairing was cut into several pieces and restructured, and the steel front fender was made from scratch. The bike also features a chin spoiler that conceals the radiator and closes the gap between the fairing and the fuel tank. Also included is a set of Yaffe Monkey Bars.
In keeping with Yaffe’s goal to keep as many BMW components on the bike as possible, his team retained the saddlebag lids, latches, and speakers but included a new set of “skins” that create a stretched look. The team also extended the original rear fender by crafting a second R 18 fender.
Yaffe kept the original R 18 taillights and fitted them into handmade filler panels. He also included a spot for a license plate in the fender and stretched the side covers to cover more area and flow toward the saddlebags.
The R 18 One Eight “C” features air suspension with a Yaffe-designed air tank and distribution system. A frame under the saddlebags accommodates components of the air suspension. The team’s goal with the side pipes was to “preserve the distinct BMW feel” of the build. They kept the classic Boxer head pipes, removed the catalytic converters from the head pipes, and installed a perforated high-flow baffle system. They also included a three-step muffler system and a wide-open megaphone for a classic hot-rod sound.
The focus on the bike’s cosmetics was centered on elegance and simplicity. “We went to work perfecting all the fabricated body panels and smoothing everything to a glass-like finish,” said the Bagger Nation team. Painter Hector Martinez applied the gloss black paint for a timeless look, and Guys Upholstery created the oxblood red saddle and the dash console. Martinez matched the front calipers’ color to the saddle.
The BMW R 18 One Eight “C” will debut at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona, Italy, the weekend of January 19-21, 2024.