Pier City Cycles
Renowned for customising the R nineT, Pier City Custom has taken on the ‘Big Boxer’ as their latest challenge – implementing a modern twist to BMW’s heritage. Rory tells us their story and more on the R 18 custom build.
Pier City Custom was born when we, Stu & Rory, were working in the BMW Motorrad retailer network when the BMW R nineT was released. We both fell in love with the R nineT because it combined BMW engineering with sportsbike handling, and gave Stu an opportunity to renew a customisation journey that he had started in his previous role at a local dealership.
After our time at the BMW retailer was over, we carried on working on our passion for designing and building bespoke bikes around the R nineT base by starting our company, Pier City Cycles, based near Brighton on the south coast of the UK. We've now been customising modern BMW motorcycles for around five years and are itching to get tucked into our new R 18 project.
We quickly found that the R 18 lends itself to a stripped back bobber style, so it was an easy decision to work out the profile of the build. We noticed that most other builders had gone down the classic Heritage looks with some cool slick classic designs and we decided that we wanted to head down a slightly different route in order to tie the bike into a similar design as the other builds in the Pier City Custom stable. As such, we decided to go in a 'Neo' with the build and bring it into the 21st century with a more modern twist on the lighting and colour scheme than some other custom R 18 bikes doing the rounds.
We're really pleased with the attention to detail and the full black-out finish that we achieved as, from day one, we tried to strip and refinish a host of parts that we had not yet seen on other builds. Regarding the bespoke fabricated parts on the bike, we're extremely happy with the rear mudguard with hidden mounts. We had seen most other builds had been braced using struts and, in keeping with the Neo / modern twist, we wanted to make sure ours was mounted to look as if it is floating over the tyre - it took a lot of time, care and attention but we think it looks perfect.
The most complex part was getting the bespoke exhaust lined up correctly. We wanted to offer up a full custom system, and getting it all to line up to be tacked up on the bike was a challenge but well worth the extra effort. We also wanted to make sure that we cut the silencers off before they reached too far across the rear tyre so that we could show off the Option 719 rear wheel.
The riding position on our R 18 is low and forward facing which creates a feeling like you're at one with the motorcycle. You feel every rock and roll of the 1,800cc boxer engine under load and the fresh Dunlop rubber gives great feedback on the open road. We love it!
The vehicles shown may be equipped with accessories from third party suppliers and/or components that are neither manufactured nor distributed or tested by BMW. The BMW Group accepts no liability for the installation, characteristics and use of these components. ATTENTION: the installation of third-party accessories may also impair the riding characteristics! Riding modified vehicles and/or with the installation of the foreign parts shown here is at your own risk.