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Custom BMW R18

SoSo Cycles is always looking for new motorcycle builds to create as marketing tools for the dealership. It recently finished a super sleek BMW R18 with a number of upgrades and aesthetic customizations. Check it out!

Today’s Ride of the Week comes from a growing BMW-focused dealership family in central California. It first opened its doors in San Francisco in 2008 and 10 years later started a second operation 25 miles east of the city in Walnut Creek before finding a bigger home in Concord, California. One year later, it took over South Bend Motorcycles, a BMW and Ducati dealership in Tacoma, Washington, and rebranded the three dealerships as “SoSo” cycles.

Its new moto is, “We suck less,” and while that might seem like an odd statement, Finance Manager Nathan Newburry says it accurately represents the dealership’s mission.

“We always do our best to provide excellent customer service and be accepting of all walks of life and experience in power sports,” he said. “The name is to just kind of poke fun at ourselves. Sometimes dealerships and people in the powersports industry are too serious, we like to be more laid back and approachable for people walking through the door.”

The thee stores now offer BMW, Yamaha, Ducati, Zero, Triumph, and parts and accessories to boot. The team also puts together custom builds from time to time as a marketing tool, some are street legal while others are not. Newburry said that they are often “extreme” examples of what can be done with each individual platform, and most people will likely have scaled-down versions.

One of the recent builds to come out of SoSo Cycles is a fully customized BMW R18 chopper. The team wanted to build more of a “club-style” bike rather than long and low Harley soft-tail-style bikes that BMW often commissions builders to create. In that regard, the BMW R18 from SoSo is much taller and narrower.

The handlebars in particular are unique – an amalgamation of an LA Choppers T-bar and OEM handlebars that were rosette welded together. In front of the handlebars is an Arlen Ness fairing mounted super high to give more of a southern-California look. With the front raised, the tank also needed to be lifted about 4 inches to match, allowing for a small window underneath where the electronics were relocated.

To make the front end even taller and pronounced, the team installed Harley-Davidson Dyna fork tubes that ended up fitting the bike.

“We had the custom seat sit as low as possible for that dramatic look and then we made the strut covers, which are these chrome pieces on the back that follow the lines of the fender. Another cool thing is that we 3-D printed a few pieces, like the reservoir for the rear shock and the delete covers.”

“We moved intake into the airbox area, so we were able to put some real high flow air filters in there. It gets a lot more air now, so we did a catalytic converter delete exhaust, which shaved another 30 lbs. off of it. We modified the stock headers and as the very end we attached Cone Engineering mufflers. So, it’s basically just a straight pipe off of each cylinder now and it sounds really good.”

A stock BMW R18 makes 91 horsepower, and although it hasn’t been on the dyno, Newburry expects the SoSo R18 to make just over 100.

If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, please email MPN Content Director Greg Jones at [email protected].

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