Quite special: the conversion of the BMW R 18 to the R 18 Magnifica

MOBILITY/MOTORCYCLE: R 18 Magnifica – an extreme interpretation of the R 18

Munich/Monaco. As part of the Top Marques Show in Monaco, Officine Riunite Milanesi and customiser Radikal Chopper presented the R 18 Magnifica created with the support of BMW Motorrad Italia on 8 June 2022 – another unique customisation project based on the R 18.

R 18 Magnifica – an extreme interpretation of the R 18.
The R 18 Magnifica represents an extreme interpretation of the
„The R 18 Magnifica is an extreme interpretation of the „big boxer“ cruiser, where luxury, craftsmanship and the finest materials come together in a unique and fascinating way. The development of this project, commissioned by Officine Riunite Milanesi, was entrusted to the well-known customiser Andrea Radaelli of Radikal Chopper – handcrafted from noble materials such as brass, aluminium as well as wood and formally wrapped in an extraordinary design.



The idea to build a custom bike based on the BMW R 18 came from Raffaello Polchi, owner of Officine Riunite Milanesi and an avid motorbike enthusiast. Andrea Radaelli of Radikal Chopper is responsible for the realisation. Radaelli is a well-known name in the industry and already winner of the MBE Award 2020 with his Ad Maiora – a special edition based on the BMW R 1100 S.

The approach to manufacturing Radikal Chopper motorbikes is indeed radical, which is also reflected in the design of the R 18 Magnifica. Andrea Radaelli on his approach: „The motorbike has to be my own creation. I have no interest in modifying a concept already created by others and very well done.“ Radaelli drew inspiration for the design of the BMW R 18 Magnifica from vintage motorbikes of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, and the BMW R 37 in particular. „These are objects that have an incredible charm that many modern motorbikes today cannot exude,“ Radaelli continues.

The use of a material like wood for certain details like the handlebar grips is strongly reminiscent of motorbikes of yesteryear and, of course, the steering wheels of historic BMW cars. Wood also corresponds to Radaelli’s desire to give the motorbike something living and fits harmoniously into the design of the R 18 Magnifica. It lends it a noble appearance that looks retro and modern at the same time.

Handcrafted from noble materials.
In his work, Radaelli does not use CAD drawings or renderings as a starting point. At most, there is a sketch of the motorbike – everything else is left to Radaelli’s imagination and creativity. Thus, the R 18 was initially considered as a starting point without all the elements necessary for the series motorbike and then rethought taking into account the proportions between the front and rear sections – with the aim of achieving a harmonious visual logic


Nothing about the R 18 Magnifica is bought, but almost everything is conceived and built by hand. The exception is the rims, which are milled from the solid according to Radikal Chopper’s design specifications. The innovative brake discs and calipers were also developed especially for this project. The rear and seat are suspended in one piece and convey the idea of floating in the air. The rear is made of mahogany with a polished stainless steel centre section, giving the bike a jewel-like appearance. The fork, although visually reminiscent of vintage motorbikes, has a completely modern interior.

The electrical system, however, remains unchanged. It still offers all the functions of the R 18. The dimensions and tyres have also remained true to the original and ensure impeccable functionality. However, the retro aesthetics conceal a motorbike that is about 100 kg lighter.

Link to the video presentation of the R 18 Magnifica:

The vehicles shown may have been modified and fitted with accessories from third-party suppliers and/or self-built parts that are neither manufactured, distributed nor tested by BMW. BMW assumes no liability for the modifications (including the installation, characteristics and use of the accessories shown). CAUTION: Modification of production vehicles (including the installation and use of third-party and proprietary parts) may impair the driving characteristics! Driving our vehicles in modified condition is at your own risk.

All photos of the modification:



virtualdesignmagazine Michael Hiller

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