Fred Kodlin, a well-known name in the US customizing scene, has collaborated with his son Len for the first time to customize a BMW R 18 B. The result of their father-son project is the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY, a bike that is a typical Kodlin creation.
The biggest challenge in customizing the R 18 B was remanufacturing the frame to lower the fly-line and seat height. The Kodlin team also created a completely new sheet metal tank that is longer than the original and features indentations on the sides.
In addition, the bike also features a front spoiler with a 3-colour underfloor lighting system, a front mudguard made of sheet metal, and side cases made of glass fibre-reinforced plastic. The technical chassis highlight is an air suspension system that can be lowered and raised in a fraction of a second.
Moreover, the attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the customization, from the winglets above the cylinders that underline the design of the bike, to the side covers that form a smooth transition to the side cases, to the seat made by Kodlin and the instrument cover with covers made of Alcantara and imitation leather.
The bike also features a self-created exhaust system, specially made handlebars, and R 18 B loudspeakers by Marshall and an amplifier fitted inside the side cases.
Finally, the paint job on the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is also a work of art. Marcel Sinnwell airbrushed the colour gradients with translucent paint, inspired by the mixing of colour pigments in the paint and the way they form streaks in the milky basecoat when first stirred. The result is a complex and colourful paint scheme that fits in perfectly with the Daytona bike week.
The R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is a true masterpiece that showcases the creativity and craftsmanship of Fred Kodlin and his team. It’s no wonder that Kodlin has won various important Daytona shows regularly and was the first non-US citizen to be inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame.
With this project, Kodlin has proved that the next generation at Kodlin Bikes is already in the starting blocks, with Len providing a lot of creative input. The BMW R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is undoubtedly one of the most unique and impressive custom bikes of the year, and a true testament to the Kodlin legacy.
photos: BMW Motorrad