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Unveiling the BMW R 18 One Eight “C”: A Paul Yaffe Masterpiece


Renowned custom motorcycle visionary Paul Yaffe has once again pushed the boundaries of design with his latest creation, the BMW R 18 One Eight “C”.

This one-of-a-kind customization of the BMW R 18 Transcontinental is a true testament to Yaffe’s excellence as a designer, seamlessly blending classic hot rod aesthetics with the distinctive essence of BMW.

The Legend of Paul Yaffe:

Since 1991, Paul Yaffe has been a legendary figure in the US customization scene. As the founder of the American Legend Motorcycle Company (later evolving into Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation), he has earned numerous accolades, including awards for the “Most Beautiful Motorcycle in the World” and “Builder of the Year.” His latest masterpiece, the BMW R 18 One Eight “C,” is set to debut at the MBE Show in Verona, Italy.

Preserving BMW Essence with Hot Rod Inspiration:

Before diving into the customization process, Paul Yaffe embarked on a 3,800-mile journey across the US, followed by an additional 2,600 miles to Sturgis and back, familiarizing himself with the BMW R 18 Transcontinental. The goal was clear: create a big-wheeled “bagger” that retained the authenticity of BMW while delivering a unique aesthetic.

bmw r 18 one eight "C"

A 26” x 5.5” front wheel, cut from a solid 400-pound block of aluminum, set the tone for the customization. The frame was lengthened and inclined to accommodate the new front wheel, inspired by the iconic Mercury Lead Sled of the 1950s. Unique components were crafted, including a steel front fender, restructured fairing, and an exclusive set of Yaffe Monkey Bars.

Classic Lead Sled Aesthetics:

Staying true to the classic Lead Sled aesthetic, Yaffe’s team extended the original rear fender, rearranged taillights, and integrated a license plate area in classic hot rod style. The air suspension and side tubes were meticulously designed, with a focus on preserving the distinctive “BMW feel.”

The side tubes retained the classic Boxer engine exhaust pipes, now enhanced with a custom-made high-flow perforated baffle system. A 3-step muffler system and wide-mouth megaphone were introduced for that characteristic hot rod sound.

bmw r 18 one eight "C"

Aesthetics and Finishing Touch:

With a focus on simplicity and attractiveness, the team perfected all body panels, achieving a glass-like finish. A timeless gloss black exterior, complemented by a classic blood red interior, highlights the bike’s sleek new stance. The contemporary style seat and dash console, created by Guys Upholstery, add the finishing touch to this spectacular masterpiece.

In the end, it’s not just a motorcycle; it’s an artful blend of classic hot rod aesthetics and BMW’s timeless essence. Paul Yaffe’s BMW R 18 One Eight “C” is a true marvel that captures attention and leaves a lasting impression.

photos: BMW Motorrad


Marcelo Souza

Author, Editor and Administrator of the MotoNews World website, graduated in Accounting, passionate about motorcycles and technology.

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