Best of MBE: 911MX Factory x XTR Pepo’s R 18 BMW…
When the BMW Motorrad launched the R 18 in 2020, we can’t say we were all that enthused. Yes, it’s powered by the largest BMW boxer engine ever created, a newly-developed air/oil-cooled 1802cc flat-twin that makes 90 horsepower and 117 lb-ft of torque… Yes, it draws design inspiration from the 1936-37 BMW R5… But it weighs a whopping 761 pounds, and is meant to tap the market for heavyweight cruisers dominated by Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Triumph’s Rocket III.
But now our friend Pepo Rosell of XTR Pepo has gotten hold of an R 18, and the result is nothing short of mind-melting. The donor bike is all but unrecognizable, and the resulting Polizei-painted machine has one foot in the endurance racing days of yesteryear and the other in a science-fiction future, where police riders rocket about on big-bore speed sleds like this one.
Actually, this radical R 18 is a joint project between XTR Pepo and 911MX Factory, a new Spanish brand founded by Diego Mena, a former workshop manager for Porsche Spain who’s long dreamed of having his own custom motorcycle brand.
Now he’s partnering with master builders like Pepo Rosell to make it a reality, and the R 18 is the brand’s letter of introduction to the world.
“If your dream motorcycle does not exist, we’ll make it happen.” -911MX Factory
The team chose MBE 2023 in Verona, Italy to unveil the build, which took three months to build. There, it took top honors as Best of Motor Bike Expo 2023.
This R 18 features a Moto Guzzi V7 tank, R nineT forks with 17″ F800 wheel, Brembo brakes, custom subframe and saddle, hand-crafted fiberglass and carbon fiber bodywork, and much, much more. The builders have nicknamed it Grüner Blitz (Green Lightning) in honor of the sprint-racer influence.
If you didn’t recognize what the base model was, that’s just how Pepo and Diego wanted it:
“Both customizing artists and their brands have joined forces to carry out a unique project: customizing an R18 to the point that many people have not been able to recognize what the original motorcycle model was. A real compliment to us!”
Below, we get the full story on the build from the folks at 911MX Factory.
BMW R 18 Custom: In the Builder’s Words…
At 911MX FACTORY we are dedicated to the design of custom motorcycles based on the concept of creating unique machines thought and designed for a single person: JUST ONE, JUST YOU. We work with all types of brands and styles of motorcycles. Our projects of motorcycle customizing include Restoration, Preparation, Personalization, and Homologation. We carry out international sales and orders with shipments all over the world.
If your dream motorcycle does not exist, we’ll make it happen. Diego Mena, founder of 911 MX, explains that this claim represents the differential value of this brand, and was inspired by Ferdinand Porsche when he pronounced 40 years ago a similar sentence related to cars.
Diego Mena has worked for Porsche Spain as a workshop manager, among other positions and responsibilities, for more than a decade. Recently, he decided to make the dream of having his own motorcycle customization brand come true, and for this he has decided to have some of the best customizers in his team such as Pepo Rosell (XTR brand) and others.
As a letter of introduction to the world, 911 MX has chosen the MBE 2023 stage in Verona. For this special occasion, both customizing artists and their brands have joined forces to carry out a unique project: customizing an R18 to the point that many people have not been able to recognize what the original motorcycle model was. A real compliment to us!
“Our objective with this work and others that are already on the way, is that our brand will soon become an official BMW preparer in Spain…” -Diego Mena
We also have a new boutique store, 911MX Shop, located in Madrid (Spain) where is possible to find an exclusive selection of motorcycles at very competitive prices.
Build Sheet: BMW R18 Custom
- Moto: BMW R18
- Year: 2022
- Construction: 911 MX Factory x XTR Pepo
- Time to Build: 3 Months
- Tank: Moto Guzzi V7
- Exhaust: Handcrafted manifold with Spark XTR silencer
- Frame: Fabrication of side strut bars, rear footpeg brackets, removal of stock subframe snd subframe fabrication
- Shift Actuation: Shift linkage construction and lever repositioning
- Front Axle: BMW R NineT 2015 fork with revalving and new springs, 17-inch BMW F800R wheel, axle made to measure
- Front Brake: 320mm discs, Brembo radial pump and calipers, custom-made braided hoses
- Rear Brake: Nissin Pump, original BMW R18 brake caliper and custom-made braided hoses
- Rear Suspension: Custom-made YSS shock
- Tires: Continental
- Bodywork: Handcrafted fiberglass, modified F800R front fender, carbon fiber rear fender
- Painting and Design: 911 MX Factory & XTR Pepo
- Seat: Custom-made by 911 MX Factory & XTR Pepo