Bathe your eyes in this BMW R 18 Magnifica | Top Gear
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Thursday 2nd February

Bathe your eyes in this BMW R 18 Magnifica

Time to treat your retinas to some gorgeous engineering

Published: 09 Jun 2022

Not often these days that we blurt out ‘Cor! Look at that beautiful BMW'. But these are unprecedented times. Which is why TG feels entirely comfortable bringing news of a two-wheeled contraption for once.

This, folks, is the BMW R 18 Magnifica: based on the BMW R 18 from a couple of years ago, but reimagined by Andrea Radaelli of custom bike-builder Radikal Chopper.

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Using materials like brass, aluminium and wood (nope, no carbon fibre here) it harks back to vintage bikes of the 1920s, 30s and 40s, in particular the BMW R37 of almost a century ago.

According to BMW Motorrad, not a single piece of the R 18 Magnifica has been bought or repurposed from something else: virtually every piece has been designed and hand-made. The only exception are the rims, which were machined from billet (a single, solid bit of metal) to Radikal Chopper’s own specification.

“The bike has to be my own creation,” explains Radaelli. “I don't feel like dredging up or modifying a concept already set up and done very well by others.”

Explains why it’s so far removed from the original R 18. That seat is made from mahogany, with a polished stainless steel centre line for ‘a jewel-like appearance’.

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And although the dimensions, rims and tyres are all true to the original, the R 18 Magnifica is some 100kg lighter overall, tipping the scales at 250-260kg.

Commissioned by Officine Riunite Milanesi, the bike has been revealed today in Monaco at the same Top Marques event that’s brought us that Picasso Automotive 660 LMS.

So not a bad day for very expensive engineering, huh?

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