The new BMW Motorrad R18 Magnifica Chopper is a work of art


This year’s Top Marques event in Monaco is where BMW unveiled a new custom chopper motorcycle. Built as a unique project in partnership with Radikal Chopper, the R 18 Magnifica is an almost entirely handcrafted mix of old and new themes. Its designer, Andrea Radaelli, was on hand to break down his vision for this awesome bike.

Part of the appeal of the Top Marques Monaco event is all the extreme luxury goods at your fingertips. The R 18 Magnifica is a great example of this as it mixes mahogany wood, brass and aluminum, with a custom frame and machined aluminum wheels.

Radaelli wanted to emulate the classic motorcycles of BMW’s past. And he looked to bikes from the 1920s, 30s and 40s to inform this final design. He says that motorcycles from the era when BMW launched the classic R 37 “have an incredible charm that even today many modern motorcycles cannot replicate”.

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One of the few non-handcrafted surfaces are the billet aluminum wheels, but even they feel like they’re hand-carved. Brake rotors and calipers are also totally custom components created specifically for this build.

Despite the awesome old-school cool look, the running gear is almost completely stock R 18, meaning it runs like a new bike. During the build process, the motorcycle lost approximately 220 pounds (100 kg). That’s almost a third of the total weight of the stock bike. This one tips the scales at just over 551 pounds (250 kg).

This is not the first time that the trio Radaelli, Radikal Chopper and BMW Motorrad have come together. In 2020 they teamed up to build a similar retro-modern chopper motorcycle called the Ad Maiora. This bike won the Motor Bike Expo MBE award as the best custom bike at the show. We feel that the Magnifica will not have too much difficulty in repeating this success.

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