BMW R 18 Distinguished Brute Makes Extensive Use of Carbon Fiber Goodies

The torquey BMW R 18 was pretty well-received upon its debut as a 2021 model, and its popularity has only grown further ever since. It’s proving to be a great platform for customization, too, and perhaps the best available option in the cruiser segment if you don’t want to go down the Indian or Harley route. Many builders have already tried their hand at modifying Motorrad’s boxer-twin cruiser to varying degrees of success.
BMW R 18 Distinguished Brute 9 photos
Photo: Leon Bosman
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This article’s photo gallery showcases one of the coolest R 18 customs we’ve seen thus far, and it calls itself The Distinguished Brute. It packs a ton of premium aftermarket hardware, rides great for its size, and looks like a million bucks from every angle! Most exemplars of this kind are either built in Europe or the States, but The Distinguished Brute was actually put together down in South Africa.

It comes from Stoos Customs of Cape Town, a shop whose main specialty is based around American V-twins. Alex Stoos and his team won’t shy away from doing things differently from time to time, though, so they took the opportunity to customize an R 18 as soon as it presented itself. Their design philosophy of “brutal simplicity” is in full effect here, giving the Beemer a much more elegant, almost minimalistic presence.

At first, the bike’s owner only sought to give it some new grips, but he was so stoked by Stoos’ previous work that he decided to dive in head-first and commission a complete build. His confidence was clearly rewarded big time, because he now owns what may just be the raddest R 18 in all of South Africa. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at how this stunning one-off distinguishes itself from stock – pun absolutely intended.

For starters, there’s an abundance of carbon fiber at work here, mainly present in the footwear department. You will now find a five-spoke carbon wheel from BST at the front and a lenticular unit made of the same material at the back. More CFRP goodness can be found on the engine, in the form of swanky valve covers and matching air intake tubes.

BMW R 18 Distinguished Brute
Photo: Leon Bosman
Arlen Ness provided a premium set of drilled and jagged brake rotors for improved stopping power, with the added benefit of looking the part. One of the things people generally don’t like about the R 18 is the exhaust system with its humungous fishtail mufflers, so we’re glad to see that Stoos mended this aspect. They did so with some fresh stainless-steel pipework, which ends in dual Cerakote-coated silencers right below the foot pegs.

The Beemer was already starting to look pretty sweet with the new exhaust and carbon fiber wheels, but Alex and his team were just getting warmed up. They went to town in the motorcycle’s cockpit area, as well, installing a wide low-rise handlebar outfitted with plain grips and an underslung mirror at each end. We also find a pair of bar-end turn signals, most likely hailing from the Motogadget catalog.

Aiming to minimize clutter as much as possible in the cockpit, Stoos kept the R 18’s stock gauge but had it moved to a more suitable location. The instrumentation is now recessed into the fuel tank right behind the filler cap, and you’ll see billet BMW roundels replacing the colored units on the flanks.

BMW R 18 Distinguished Brute
Photo: Leon Bosman
Whereas the gas tank and side covers are still stock, the same can't be said for the fenders. These bad boys are custom parts that give the bike a much leaner silhouette with bobber vibes, which are further enforced by the replacement solo saddle. The seat pan was shaped and padded in-house, then wrapped in black leather by the local upholstery experts at Dead Crow.

Allegedly, The Distinguished Brute also features discreet mounting hardware for a pillion seat, just in case Stoos’ customer decides to ride two-up. Finishing off the bespoke paraphernalia at the rear is a swingarm-mounted license plate holder, located on the right-hand side of the wheel. With 91 hp and 116 pound-feet (157 Nm) of torque at its disposal, the 1,802cc boxer didn't exactly need any performance upgrades.

Thus, the handmade exhaust is the only powertrain-related mod performed here, and the suspension also remains unchanged at both ends. For the final touches, Stoos added CNC-machined foot pegs and a bright LED headlamp, but you’ll have a hard time finding the rear lighting modules unless you look up close.

That’s because they were neatly integrated into the upper swingarm tubing – a cool little touch showcasing the workshop’s attention to detail. Lastly, there’s the machine’s muted, yet undeniably handsome color scheme, which makes use of a dark grey hue on the fuel tank and black everywhere else. For a bit of much-needed contrast, items like the driveshaft, exhaust headers, and engine have all been left unpainted.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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