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BMW Motorrad announces R 18 Customizing Championship

For years, the BMW R 18 has been inspiring motorcycle fans all over the world to create fascinating customizing creations. The upcoming BMW Motorrad Customizing Championship intends to give due recognition to outstanding creativity and artistic craft relating to the BMW R 18. This exciting competition is an initiative of the BMW Motorrad global dealer network, with 150 dealers from 18 countries having already confirmed participation. They will bring together motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world to showcase creativity and skill in customizing BMW R 18 motorcycles.

Four models of the BMW Motorrad R 18 series can be used by customizers – the R 18, R 18 Classic, R 18 B, and R 18 Transcontinental. Striking a perfect balance between form and function, the BMW R 18 is a true masterpiece of engineering and design. All the R 18 family members offer a very conversion-friendly architecture for easy customizing and optimal individualization: this was the focus when the basic design of the R 18 series was originally conceived.

“We are thrilled to launch the first-ever BMW Motorrad Customizing Championship,” said Stephan Reiff, Head of Customer, Brand, and Sales for BMW Motorrad. “This competition is a celebration of the passion and creativity of the BMW Motorrad dealer network and motorcycle enthusiasts, and we can’t wait to see what new members of the R 18 family the participants will come up with.” The winners of the BMW Motorrad Customizing Championship 2023 will receive a range of exciting prizes, including the opportunity to showcase their custom motorcycles at major motorcycle events around the world.

The Customizing Championship is a way for dealers and enthusiasts to show creativity in a freestyle format. Participants will have the opportunity to customize their motorcycles using their own unique designs and ideas, as well as the extensive range of high-quality parts and accessories offered by BMW Motorrad. The two best custom motorcycles from each participating country will be selected at the National Contests, which will be eligible to participate in the international semi-finals. In this semi-final, six motorcycles will finally be selected by the jury of experts and one by means of a public vote for the grand world final. This will take place on the occasion of the opening of BMW Motorrad Welt in Berlin on September 29, 2023.

BMW Motorrad dealers from the following countries are confirmed for the Customizing Championship 2023: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the USA.

Registration for the Customizing Championship has already closed; the National Championships started in May and ended on July 16. The International Semi-Final runs from July 31 to August 14, 2023, with the World Finals in Berlin on September 29, 2023.

The competition will be judged by a panel of experts, including renowned customizers highly regarded within the motorcycle community such as Thor Drake, Michael Lichter and Roland Sands. The jury members are as follows:

  • Thor Drake is a motorcycle builder and entrepreneur. He is the founder of See See Motorcycles, a custom motorcycle shop and coffeehouse based in Portland, Oregon. Drake was born in Montana in 1977 and grew up with a passion for motorcycles, eventually turning his hobby into a career.
  • Michael Lichter is a photographer and curator best known for his work in the motorcycle industry. He was born in 1951 in Boulder, Colorado, and began his career as a photographer in the 1970s. Lichter has since become one of the best-known and respected photographers in the motorcycle community.
  • Roland Sands is a motorcycle racer and designer. He was born in Long Beach, California, in 1974 and grew up in the motorcycle industry, with his father being a champion racer and aftermarket parts manufacturer. Sands began his own racing career in the 1990s, competing in events such as the AMA 250GP and the MotoGP World Championship.
  • J. Shia is an internationally recognized and award-winning motorcycle builder and designer. She is the founder of Madhouse Motors, a custom motorcycle shop based in Boston, Massachusetts. Shia was born in California in 1977 and grew up with a passion for motorcycles, eventually turning her hobby into a career.
  • Giuseppe Roncen, editor and author of Italy’s car culture and motorcycle magazine Lowride. He was born in 1964. His passion for motorcycles began in Italy, where he made his first custom bike after working as in the filming industry. Since 1994 he has been working as a journalist, writing about café racers, cruisers and many more motorcycle topics.
  • Yuichi Yoshizawa is a well-known custom builder from Japan, known for creating bikes in multiple styles. He is one of the owners of Custom Works ZON, a famous workshop that has won many international awards and created “Departed” among others.

For more information about the BMW Motorrad Customizing Championship 2023, including rules and registration details, please visit the official website.