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California Special R18


At San Jose BMW we have been modifying, tuning, and racing BMW motorcycles since 1975.

We have been building custom BMW race bikes and production performance parts since the early 70’s. Continuously evolving our skills and techniques to match the latest available technology and design to fabricate this motorcycle entirely in-house. The CSR 18 marks a milestone for the San Jose BMW team.

To see this First Edition R18 Pure go from idea to sketch to CAD rendering to the completed design in has been amazing. This project has been dubbed the California Special R18 or CSR18. The vision for the CSR18 was to blend “Old School Aesthetics” with “New School American Motorcycle Performance”.


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California Special R18 3D Sketch Image 01

California Special R18 3D Sketch Image 02

California Special R18 3D Sketch Image 03

We accomplished the blending of generations by implementing subtle touches of the past, placing the engine at the center of attention. We have modified and tuned the engine by,

  • Porting the cylinder heads to generate 11.3% more airflow.
  • Increasing the length of the intake track to increase torque.
  • Rotating the throttle bodies 90 degrees to give the engine a vintage carborated appearance.
  • Adding an era appropriate custom exhaust designed and fabricated in-house.
  • Removing the airbox and relocating the ECU and Brake System draws the enthusiasts’ attention to the 1800cc Boxer Engine.
California Special R18
California Special R18

When all is said and done, our San Jose BMW design team removed a total of 69 lbs. All the BMW Motorrad OEM systems were retained while incorporating simplicity. The result was a sleeker heritage appropriate appearance. Functionality such as Reverse, ABS Systems, and Ride Modes on the fully loaded R18 Pure were retained by completely rewiring the bike and relocating the ECU, Brakes and Wiring to the custom fabricated carbon seat pan.

Aesthetic blending of Old Era and New Era were accomplished by,

  • Utilizing surface treatments such as powder coating the frame, engine, and transmission.
  • Fabrication of custom forged CSR18 brass badging.
  • Design and fabrication of the custom carbon fenders, seat pan and battery box.
  • Upcycling a BMW Motorrad jacket to upholster the seat.
  • Going from a 19” Diameter front Wheel to a custom 21” front wheel, and a 5“ wide rear rim to a custom 6“ rear width.

From start to completion “Computer Aided Design and Fabrication” were utilized in-house at San Jose BMW. The BMW Mottorad R18 Pure was 3D scanned. Three different renderings of the motorcycle were initially produced. Parts were designed accordingly using CAD software. 3D print prototypes and molds were produced using 3D printers in-house before beginning final fabrication.

2 years of in-house design work resulted in such aesthetic advancements as

  • Our own heritage appropriate headlight lens that incorporates both the high and the low head light beam and turn signals into one headlight lens.
  • The rear brake light and turn signals were also relocated and incorporated into one lighting unit in the rear of the seat pan.
  • A custom handlebar was designed to house all the modern controls and electronics while still giving the bike a heritage looks with the brake and clutch lever.
  • Implementing a highbred cable brake to hydraulic braking system.

As you can see, our team at San Jose BMW was able to blend a “Vintage motorcycle aesthetic look” and “Modern Era BMW Motorrad technological advancement from start to finish entirely in-house. San Jose Motosport has put its heart and soul into this build and continues with a 45-year tradition on custom motorcycle tinkering utilizing the latest and most cutting-edge prototyping and manufacturing techniques to produce this motorcycle.



Front suspension – Hyperpro Fork spring kit with custom valving

Rear shock – Hyperpro rear shock with custom valving

Brakes – stock

Custom front fender.

Custom rear fender with numberplate holder.

Custom made Brass California Seals badges.


Spoked Forged Wheels by Kineo

Front 3,5×21 130/70 R21 Metzeller 888

Rear 6×18 210/40 R18 Metzeller 888

Matt black rim

Gold spoke nipples

Gloss black spokes

Gloss black hubs


Handlebar switches replaced to custom made with function symbols laser engraving.

Special LIN BUS adapters to decode analog signals from buttons to the motorcycle factory network.



Custom airbox with zero flow intake filters.

Custom intake air lines

Front cover with integrated oil cooler.

CNC machined valve covers with brass accents. Integrated highway pegs in valve covers.



Bobber style seat with under seat compartment for relocated motorcycle control units.

Seat upholstery made from original horse leather BMW Motorrad Boxer Rider Jacket.


Some of control units will be relocated at the top of the engine instead removed airbox.


Gas tank: Custom cap and frame cover brass casted.


Todd’s Cycle clamp black mirrors


CNC machined custom pegs, hill and tow gear levers, brake lever.

Brass casted reverse switch.

Grips upholstery from horse leather original BMW Motorrad Boxer Rider Jacket.


This is a very short description of our project. More details and other unique features will be posted later!


Custom parts from this project with simplified design will be available for pre-order very soon. Worldwide shipping available.

California Special R18 Image 01

California Special R18

California Special R18 Image 02

San Jose, CA

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California Special R18 Image 05

California Special R18


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