BMW R 18 El Boxeador Is a Tattoo-Inspired Custom Chopper I Can’t Get Enough Of

BMW R 18 El Boxeador 13 photos
Photo: Mark Luciani
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Under the leadership of one Nick Acosta, the folks at Augment Motorworks gradually made a name for themselves in the Canadian custom bike community in recent years. What started as a one-man side hustle is now a fully-fledged, full-time workshop employing a team of experienced craftsmen. Besides customization, they also handle repairs, regular maintenance, and restoration projects to keep the cashflow going.
We’re here to talk about their spectacular one-offs, though, more precisely a stylish chopper that goes by the name of El Boxeador. Now, this build is quite special for two reasons: not only was it the first BMW project in Augment’s portfolio, but it was also one of the earliest R 18 choppers to ever break cover as far as the internet is concerned. And honestly, I think it remains the coolest such entity to this day!

The commission came from BMW Motorrad directly, so Nick and his team got the opportunity to work with a brand-new donor. Namely, they were given a 2021 R 18 First Edition and told to get as creative as they could, but the motorcycle’s 1,802cc boxer-twin engine remains internally unchanged. With a power output numbering 91 ponies and 116 pound-feet (157 Nm) of low-end torque, this bad boy offers oodles of grunt straight out of the box.

Augment also kept the original brakes and suspension, focusing their full attention on the cosmetic side of things. For starters, all the factory bodywork aside from the fuel tank and side covers has been ditched, and even the remaining parts look wildly different than they did before. This comes as a result of the intricate livery which we’ll get to a bit later on.

Toronto's bike-modding connoisseurs also removed the standard wheels, replacing them with something a lot more suitable for the chopper theme. It was actually BMW (in collaboration with Roland Sands Design) that came to Augment’s aid here, providing a pair of chromed alloy hoops from their proprietary aftermarket range.

BMW R 18 El Boxeador
Photo: Mark Luciani
These measure 21 inches at the front and 18 inches at the opposite end – notably larger than the 19- and 16-inch diameters of the former items. In terms of rubber, the shop went with ME 888 Marathon Ultra tires from Metzeler, which are well-suited for the likes of cruisers or tourers. Motorrad’s catalog was also the source of new valve covers, and these were vapor-blasted to achieve an immaculate matte texture before being installed.

The stock air intake system was deleted in favor of a tailor-made aluminum unit, featuring open velocity stacks for the photoshoot. One can easily swap these with pod filters for practicality’s sake, so as to prevent road debris from getting inside the throttle bodies. Although the OEM exhaust headers were retained, they now run into cocktail shaker silencers via custom connector pipes.

A fair chunk of the electronics were relocated beneath the gas tank, then it came time for the Augment squad to address the broader cosmetic mods. They fashioned a chopper-style seat pan out of aluminum, subsequently handing it over to Raven6 Customs for the upholstery. A two-piece, densely padded saddle was fabricated from scratch and covered in high-quality leather, which flaunts a mesmerizing black-and-white pattern up top.

BMW R 18 El Boxeador
Photo: Mark Luciani
You’ll see a bespoke rear fender a little further back, accompanied (and also supported) by a chrome-plated sissy bar that’s been manufactured in-house. Neatly welded onto the tubing are round LED taillights sourced from Prism Supply Co. The R 18’s updated rear-end equipment is a charm, for sure, but we’re more intrigued by what Augment Motorworks did at twelve o’clock.

FNA Custom Cycles supplied those small, yet bright LED headlamps, while Nick’s specialists shaped a groovy filigree support for them using a solid block of aluminum. Gone is the bike’s original handlebar, making room for chromed ape-hangers equipped with the standard controls, aftermarket fluid reservoir caps, and Motogadget bar-end turn signals. The ergonomic package is finished off with fresh CNC-machined foot pegs.

Last but not least, there’s El Boxeador’s striking paintwork, which was executed by Amanda of Black Widow Custom. She came up with a tattoo-inspired livery employing countless symbols you can associate with BMW or motorcycling in general. For instance, I noticed a spark plug and the all-so-important ATGATT acronym painted on the rear fender, as well as boxer gloves on the side covers and a toaster on the fuel tank.

The latter is a particularly nice touch, nodding to the “toaster” tank you’ll find on the classic R75/5 from the seventies. Applied in a mixture of black and off-white, the Beemer’s snazzy color scheme is a work of art in and of itself. Some might say it’s a little goofy, but it ensures El Boxeador will have no problem standing out in a sea of R 18s. With the paint job complete, the Bavarian chopper was at last in its final form and ready to turn heads.
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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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