I’m looking forward to the comments on this one!
Our readers who commented on a Dutch company’s reimagining of a venerable R 80 RT were, shall we say, critical.
BMW have a different view on exotic, utterly impractical custom builds.
They’re developing a new Boxer engine that appears to have a strong retro element to it.
Rather than take it to a bike show for its first public viewing, BMW handed one over to Japanese custom build shop Custom Works ZON.
In the tight world of custom builders, CW-ZON have a stellar reputation, regularly garnering awards and being invited to shows like the “Mama Tried Show” in Milwaukee, “The Hand Built Motorcycle Show” in Austin and the “Brooklyn Invitational.”
ZON founders Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda built an exotic machine around the Boxer prototype and displayed it for the first time at the Mooneyes Show in Yokohama, where it won promptly won “Best Show Motorcycle.”
But for us, the interesting bit is the motor itself. ZON put a plate on the bike labeling it R 18. Whether or not that comes from BMW, we don’t know.
The huge valve covers are what draw the eye first, of course. But of equal interest are the chrome-plated pushrod ducts right above the engine. Those appear to be a callback to the Boxer engines BMW last made in the 1960s.
The engine will have a larger capacity than those earlier Boxers, of course. And it will reportedly still be air and oil cooled.
Other than that, here’s what we know about the new lump: Nothing.
BMW are tight-lipped about specs or what kind of machine they’ll put it in. Given the flood of retro bikes in the market right now, they may even be creating an entirely new design.
When will we know more? Reportedly, sometime next year. BMW will only say “at a later point in time.”
Until that happens, here’s a video of the custom build to occupy your time.