BMW R 18 Looks Even Tougher Following a Workout at Poland’s Top Aftermarket Gym


We think the R 18 is enchanting straight out of the box, but Unikat’s spartan is even better.

Unikat Motorworks is the kind of enterprise that loves to keep everyone on their toes. About a month ago, we had a look at how these Polish craftsmen transformed a factory-spec Triumph Thruxton 1200 into a custom masterpiece you’ll certainly cherish. Today, the autoevolution pages are honored with the presence of yet another precious wonder bred on Unikat’s premises.

In its previous life, the bike you’re seeing here was a standard R 18 from BMW Motorrad’s range. This bad boy is put in motion thanks to an air- and oil-cooled boxer-twin leviathan, with eight valves and an astronomical displacement of 1,802cc. At around 4,750 rpm, the Bavarian monstrosity is fully capable of generating up to 91 wicked horses, while a brutal torque output of no less than 116 pound-feet (158 Nm) will be spawned at 3,000 spins.

When the donor rolled into Grzegorz Korczak’s Wroclaw-based workshop, his team began by replacing R 18’s original wheels with a pair of aftermarket alternatives, which measure 21 inches up front and 18 inches at the rear. Their rims are firmly embraced by top-shelf ME 888 tires from Metzeler’s catalog.

Furthermore, the stock fenders have been discarded to make way for Unikat’s one-off items, as were the handlebars and foot pegs. The cockpit is adorned with an assortment of Motogadget goodies, including underslung glassless mirrors and m-Blaze bar-end turn signals. With these modules in place, the Poles proceeded to remove the standard seat in favor of a cross-stitched solo saddle that manages to look seriously classy.

If you ask me, R 18’s chunky mufflers were its ugliest characteristic, so I’ll applaud Poland’s moto experts for attending to this by installing their very own bespoke exhaust. The finishing touches come in the forms of CNC-machined Unikat badges and a fresh license plate holder with integrated LEDs. All things considered, we’d say this predator is certainly a lot sexier than a stock R 18.