The BMW R18 Magnifica is the ultimate throwback cruiser

It uses materials like brass, aluminum, and wood
by Joe Holding | Jun 11, 2022
PHOTO: TopGear.com

Not often these days that we blurt out “Look at that beautiful BMW!” But these are unprecedented times. Which is why TG feels entirely comfortable bringing news of a two-wheeled contraption for once.

This, folks, is the BMW R18 Magnifica. It’s based on the BMW R18 from a couple of years ago, but reimagined by Andrea Radaelli of custom bike-builder Radikal Chopper. Using materials like brass, aluminum, and wood (nope, no carbon fiber here) it harks back to vintage bikes of the 1920s, ’30s and, ’40s, in particular the BMW R37 of almost a century ago.

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According to BMW Motorrad, not a single piece of the R18 Magnifica has been bought or repurposed from something else. Virtually every piece has been designed and hand-made. The only exception are the rims, which were machined from billet (a single, solid bit of metal) to Radikal Chopper’s own specification.

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“The bike has to be my own creation,” explains Radaelli. “I don't feel like dredging up or modifying a concept already set up and done very well by others.”

Explains why it’s so far removed from the original R18. That seat is made from mahogany, with a polished stainless-steel center line for “a jewel-like appearance.”

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And although the dimensions, rims, and tires are all true to the original, the R18 Magnifica is some 100kg lighter overall, tipping the scales at 250-260kg.

Commissioned by Officine Riunite Milanesi, the bike has been revealed in Monaco at the same Top Marques event that’s brought us that Picasso Automotive 660 LMS.

So, not a bad outing for very expensive engineering, huh?

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: TopGear.com
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