Image Design Custom's R 18

Image Design Custom is a custom paint and design house located in Surrey, UK. 

Image credit: Amy Shore Photography

Tell us about Image Design Custom and how your customising journey started

At our core, we’re a custom paint and design house located in Surrey, UK. The company was born back in 2007, and our 10-person team makes up the IDC family - many of the crew have been with us since the start.

From conception to delivery and every step in between, we have a meticulous eye for detail, and we love to design, create and paint. We’re always keen for a challenge so grabbed the opportunity to custom build a BMW R18 with all our creative hands combined! Using our extended mechanics team for the build itself, a highly talented and expert motorcycle builder they focused on customisation and composing a bike using a mixture of BMW Option 719 accessories and some custom-made parts to make the bike truly bespoke.

The design was single-handedly tackled by our in-house graphic designer, Sammy. After a few team voting sessions we all agreed the fresh aqua tropical colour scheme was something new to play with.

What was the inspiration behind this R 18 custom build?

The inspiration started from various different team conversations, originally we were looking to focus on classic and iconic German colour themes but decided to go fresh and bold with colour, after-all it’s what we do best. There are some incredible custom R18’s out there currently but we wanted to bring a striking colour palette and build to the scene. Our good friend Roland Sands has designed in collaboration with BMW some beautiful accessories for the R18 and we did initially take inspiration from his R18 ‘drag’ style custom build so the aim was to use the accessories to show what can be done using some off-the-shelf components. Of course we couldn’t leave without adding a few custom touches like the exhaust, front number board and rear fender.

Can you explain the work that goes into the custom paint process
  1. A lot. Firstly, it’s stripping back and sanding any paint, lacquer or other substances off the panel or item being painted.
  2. If filler or repairs are needed to smooth the shape it is applied now and sanded back.
  3. Depending on the complexity of the design, masking off certain areas, laying down pinstripes and base coats are part of the next few steps of the process.
  4. For different designs and colours, the re-masking will continue until the design is complete with all colours added.
  5. Airbrushing and free-hand work will usually happen at this stage.
  6. First coat of clear lacquer. Then sanded back to ensure the parts are sealed, paint edges are sanded smooth for that superior finish.
  7. Second coat of lacquer is applied.
  8. Polish.
  9. Cup of tea and a biscuit.
What was the most complex part of the build?

Agreeing on a design concept and creating a design that flows throughout the bike conceptually before beginning. Having not seen the parts and accessories in the flesh, a lot of the work is done on visualisation. This is where you have faith in the team and vision.

SoulFuel is all about the connection between rider and machine, what features will enhance this feeling on your R 18 Custom?

Riding can be anything you want it to be. It brings freedom, peace, thrill, adventure and connection between you and bike but also the journey. The idea of having a colour that ‘pops’ running throughout the bike is a statement and will offer a feeling like you want to be seen and noticed. The cool dark styling of the black accessories and the bold paint detailing will allow the rider to feel like they are riding something truly custom. The unique sound of the custom exhaust add to the senses to create a bespoke sound for this bike.