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The "IRON ANNIE" BMW R 18 is a customized motorcycle inspired by the legendary Junkers Ju 52 aircraft from the 1930s. This article discusses the customizing process, which started with a BMW R 18 First Edition as the base model. The motorcycle's engine was removed and painted black, and all chrome parts received a black coating. The cockpit trim was made narrow and flat to emphasize the streamlined shape, and the fork stanchions were coated in Diamond-like Carbon (DLC). The customizing process also involved the installation of Magura racing-style HC3 pumps and a handcrafted speedometer made by watchmaker Zeitzone Zurich. The customizing process aimed to incorporate aviation-style elements from aircraft construction, including the dial of the speedometer integrated into the tank, which resembles old cockpit instruments, and access panels with quick-release fasteners. The customizers also borrowed from the Ju 52's characteristic corrugated aluminium planking, and the seat was designed to look like a riding saddle. The motorcycle's paintwork featured the "IRON ANNIE" colour scheme in grey and black.

The customization process was challenging, especially the replica cooling fins in the area of the rear silencers, which took several attempts to shape into parallel and beautiful radii and fasten harmoniously. The fuel tank, tail, side panels, and cockpit were hand-formed from aluminium sheets, and lens-head rivets provided reminiscences of traditional metal aircraft construction. The aluminium sheets were painted, resulting in a unique model that differs from the well-known SPITFIRE also designed in aviation style. The R 18 "IRON ANNIE" is a unique model that is sure to turn heads in its new home on Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The customizing process was done by BMW partner VTR Motorrad AG & VTR Customs in Schmerikon, Switzerland, for a customer who had previously had an individual R nineT built entirely according to his ideas at VTR Customs. The R 18 "IRON ANNIE" is an excellent example of the possibilities of customizing motorcycles to reflect the owner's personality and style.

Take a look at the YouTube video from BMW Motorrad that was created when the BMW R18 was launched two years back, as you can see it's a great bike in stock form, but it's also a brilliant platform for full custom builds too: The new BMW R 18 - Soul is all that matters | BMW Motorrad

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