£21,000 GBP | Sold
| Wiltshire, United Kingdom
2440 × 920 × 1150 mm
Introduced digitally due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the BMW R18 was officially launched in September 2020. Harking back to the 1930s BMW R5, the R18 was aimed at breaking into the heavy cruiser segment of the market, dominated by Harley Davidson, Triumph and the Japanese manufacturers. Development began in 2015, with BMW designing a bike that leant itself to conversions and custom modifications. A trait that BMW Motorrad Channel Islands took advantage of.
Greg Mansell – son of 1992 Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell – alongside Steve Burt, decided to design and produce a limited edition version of the BMW R18 to commemorate his father’s Formula 1 career and 31 Grand Prix victories. The results were this one-of-a-kind ‘Il Leon Edition’ – the nickname given to Mansell by Ferrari’s Tifosi fans. Each ‘Il Leon Edition’ is built and customised to order.
Delving further into BMW’s nod to the pre-war R5, this ‘Il Leon Edition’ features a beautifully modified exterior. The rear fender was shortened by two thirds, a dual seat fitted, and the fuel tank modified to better follow the lines of the bike. Custom handlebars crafted from 25mm thick stainless steel not only changed the riding stance of this bike to be more aggressive and comfortable, but also compliment the heritage theme. By changing the handle bars, and lowering their height, the dash has been relocated and side mounted to improve visibility, yet the bike maintains all of its modern amenities.
The striking use of BMW M-Sport Pearlescent White on the front mud-guard, tank and rear fender are contrasted by a black frame, and the Utile wood highlights further informs onlookers that this is no standard BMW R18. The exhaust was wrapped, with the wheels de-spoked and painted bronze to match the heritage BMW badge and compliment the Utile wood used across the bike. The pièce de resistance is the entirely custom sequential hand shift and foot clutch, allowing for a more sporty and aggressive ride. Boosting stopping power are the uprated Beringer brake lever, callipers and twin discs. In a nod to Mansell’s Formula 1 World Championship, custom side covers were made from aluminium and painted black. Each featuring the iconic ‘Red 5’ which was colour matched from one of Mansell’s Williams Formula 1 cars. The odometer reads xxx miles at the time of cataloguing.
The result of such skilful work has produced this stunning customised version of BMW’s R18 motorbike. A perfect blend of modern cruiser power, torque and handling, coupled with heritage styling and unique custom modifications. For those looking to own BMWs 1,802 cc heavy-weight cruiser, this ‘Il Leon Edition’ provides the perfect opportunity to acquire a truly one-off example.