BMW Reveals Paul Yaffe’s Custom R 18 One Eight ‘C’

BMW Reveals Paul Yaffe’s Custom R 18 One Eight ‘C’

Paul Yaffe is something of a legend in the motorcycle customization world. Over a career spanning more than 30 years, he has designed and built dozens of incredible custom bikes.

His latest creation was revealed at the 2024 MBE Motor Bike Expo in Verona, Italy. Yaffe’s latest customized masterpiece is titled the BMW R 18 One Eight “C.”

The bike, which uses a BMW R 18 Transcontinental as its base, blends a motorcycle with hot rod automobile aesthetics. Yet, Yaffe isn’t one to customize a bike he’s not familiar with, and the R 18 One Eight “C’s” story begins with lengthy rides.

Yaffe said that he rode the Transcontinental all around the U.S. during the familiarization period, racking up 3,800 miles. In addition, he took the bike to Sturgis, which added another 2,600 miles to the odo.

After the rides, Yaffe had his vision and he was ready to begin work. His goal was to keep as many original BMW parts on the bike as possible, so as to not alter the Transcontinental’s character.

The Customization Process

The process began with the creation of a custom 26-inch front wheel, which was shod with a handmade tire. To get the humongous new wheel to fit on the bike, Yaffe extended the frame and altered the rake. He also had to craft specially-made triple trees to fix the trail measurements and maintain handling.

For the bike’s looks, the 1950s Mercury Lead Sled car served as Yaffe’s source of inspiration. He cut up the Transcontinental’s original fairing and restructured it on the bike, in addition to scratch-building a new fender.

This process, however, left an unsightly gap between the fairing and the fuel tank. So, Yaffe and his team covered it up with strategically built and placed chin spoiler. They also screwed on an exclusive set of monkey bars.

“The team wanted to retain the saddlebag lids, latches, and speakers so a new set of ‘skins’ was created to give the bags a completely new and unique stretched profile while retaining the excellent engineering and functionality that BMW had created for them,” Yaffe said in a statement.

With the new saddlebags, the team extended the rear fender and rearranged the taillights. They also stretched the original side panels to maintain their original shape and help the viewer’s eyes move naturally to the tear-shaped saddlebags.

The motorcycle also received air suspension, a crucial part of the Lead Sled look. For this system to work, Yaffe had to design and build an effective but visually unintrusive air tank, compressor, and distribution system.

Finally, the bike received new side-aligned exhaust pipes. The pipes retain the BMW boxer heads, but they’ve received a custom three-step muffler system to enhance the bike’s roar.

In the color department, Yaffe didn’t want any flashy graphics or colors. To emphasize the bike’s suave profile, he gave it a gloss black finish with just a couple of striking red accents.

Ultimately, Yaffe has created a gorgeous custom machine that carefully balances performance with elegance. “The trick is not to overdo it!” he summarized.