MUNICH / BORKEN / DAYTONA – March 14, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Anyone who talks about the US customizing scene mentions Fred Kodlin almost in the same breath. For more than 40 years, he has dedicated himself to customizing motorbikes, from radically modified creations to sophisticated new designs. Since the 1990s he has been incredibly successful with his custom bikes and was able to win various important Daytona shows regularly. He was the very first non-US citizen to be inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame.
For the first time, Fred Kodlin has now set about customizing a BMW together with his son Len – the BMW R 18 B. “The R 18 B HEAVY DUTY was a real father-son project. There was a lot of creative input from Len which also goes to show that the next generation at Kodlin Bikes is already in the starting blocks,” says the boss of Kodlin Bikes in Borken happily.
Massive R 18 B chassis technology adaptations. Modified frame and air suspension.
The biggest challenge in customizing this year’s crowd puller at the Daytona Bike Week in Florida was undoubtedly the frame. “We have completely remanufactured the upper tubes to lower the fly-line and thus the seat height of the R 18 B. We also redid the steering head and the triple clamps so that the caster fits despite the changed steering angle and so that the bike rides well,” explains Fred Kodlin.
The result was the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY, a bike in typical Kodlin style. Viewed from the side, the fly-line drops sharply to the rear from the chopped windshield taken from the Original BMW Motorrad Accessories range and finally runs harmoniously into the side cases made by Kodlin out of glass fibre-reinforced plastic and the low rear end. From the top the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY is characterised by a strong waistline in the seat area and a flowing connection to the side cases.
Finally, the technical chassis highlight is an air suspension system at the front and rear, supported by a compressor placed barely visibly behind the left side case. This allows the R 18 B HEAVY DUTY to be lowered and raised in a fraction of a second. This is both as useful as it is spectacular: To park, lower the chassis, and it rests on hidden support points letting the bike crouch just a few centimetres above the asphalt, waiting for the next ride.
Extensive body modifications including winglets.
The Kodlin team also delved no less deeply into the subject of body construction for a good three months. A completely new…
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