Anyone who talks about the US customizing scene mentions Fred Kodlin almost in the same breath. For more than 40 years, he has dedicated himself to customizing motorbikes, and now, for the first time, Kodlin has customized a BMW R 18 B.
Anyone who talks about the US customizing scene mentions Fred Kodlin almost in the same breath. For more than 40 years, he has dedicated himself to customizing motorbikes, from radically modified creations to sophisticated new designs. He was the very first non-US citizen to be inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame; and now, for the first time, Fred Kodlin has set about customizing a BMW R 18 B.
BMW R 18 B: The perfect bike for customizing.
Featured at the 2023 Daytona Bike Week in Florida recently, the customized R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is a spectacular work of functional ‘art’.
Viewed from the side, the fly-line drops sharply to the rear from the chopped windshield taken from the Original BMW Motorrad Accessories range and finally runs harmoniously into the side cases made by Kodlin out of glass fibre-reinforced plastic and the low rear end.
From the top the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is characterised by a strong waistline in the seat area and a flowing connection to the side cases.
Finally, the technical chassis highlight is an air suspension system at the front and rear, supported by a compressor placed barely visibly behind the left side case. This allows the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY to be lowered and raised in a fraction of a second.
A front spoiler including a 3-colour underfloor lighting system and a front mudguard, are also made of sheet metal, with the mudguard fitting snugly around the 21-inch front wheel.
Kodlin also created a corresponding counterpart for the rear wheel from two R 18 B rear mudguards joined together, in which the rear and side indicator lights are integrated in a very discreet manner.
R 18 B boasts loudspeakers by Marshall and has an amplifier fitted inside.
The customizing job is rounded off by a seat made by Kodlin and an instrument cover with covers made of Alcantara and imitation leather, as well as specially made handlebars and a self-created exhaust system.
Elaborate paintwork by tattoo artist Marcel Sinnwell
Marcel Sinnwell has painted other Kodlin showbikes in the past.
For this project, the colour gradients were completely airbrushed with translucent paint. The inspiration for this was the mixing of colour pigments in the paint and especially the way they form streaks in the milky basecoat when first stirred. The result goes along very well with the Daytona Bike Week, where complex and colourful paint schemes are more than just good form.
Additional design touches on the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY are provided by hand-painted pinstripes and an airbrushed pattern on the rear mudguard that combines Kodlin and “100 years of BMW Motorrad”.
The brake callipers, gearshift and foot brake levers and footrests, however, are BMW Motorrad standard components that have been colour-matched.