RSD x BMW R18 Dragster II : In Progress

When we built the original R18 Dragster, the concept was to build a full blown Pro Stock chassis. But as we were launching the Roland Sands x BMW Mottorrad parts line along with the custom bike, we ended up steering towards a more streetable machine that utilized stock and modified parts along with the collaborative parts collection. In the name of simplification, we did away with the wrinkle-wall Mickey Thompson Pro Stock drag slick tire and front end which fulfilled our goals but took a bit of race flare and style away from the concept. Don’t get it wrong, the original Dragster was a hoot on the racetrack and is legit drag bike, but there’s a little extra attitude when running the Pro Stock kit. Enter Dragster #2 a BMW R18 Dragster x Concept 90 mash up with full bore Pro Stock racing steelo.

The decision to go with a narrow tire on Dragster #1 wasn’t purely stylistic, it was also a necessity while running the stock drive shaft location, as there was not enough width for the tire and room for the driveshaft. For Dragster #2 we decided to go unconventional and turned the original shaft drive unit into a jack shaft, relocating the drive to mount in front of the rear tire – thereby converting from shaft drive to chain drive, which also got us the ability to modify final drive gear ratios! Double bonus and, besides, it looks trick as hell. This gave us the space to utilize the Prostock drag tire and Grothus Drag Bikes beadlock rear wheel as well as Grothus adjustable rear axle plates and wheelie bar mounts. The frame is brand new from the back of the gas tank rearward as we’ve removed the swingarm completely and replaced it with a braced rigid for the track. Stock fender has been widened and chopped keeping the R18 aesthetic while wrapping the massive 26.0x8.5-15” rear slick.

A few similarities do exist between dragster #1 and #2. The intake runners and relocation of the throttle bodies are similar as well as the RSD x BMW engine covers in contrast finish, but it pretty much ends there. The gas tank has been fully modified to carry fuel in only half the tank allowing for the mounting of the Nitrous Express nitrous oxide bottle in the right side of the tank. While keeping the stock profile of the R18 fuel tank.

The front end is all new as we’ve utilized a full Grothus front fork, triples with built in bar mounts, Brembo brakes with Grothus discs and a Grothus front wheel with a tiny Pro Stock drag race spec 18” slick. We’ve used the stock headlight with an RSD x BWM bezel and kept the stock instruments with an RSD x BMW gauge mount. The stock steering damper required just a slight modification to work with the Grothus Fork. We also eliminated the need for a foot brake utilizing a Race Torx thumb brake on the bars. Pingel electric shifter will be bar mounted as well. This means all we need out back are foot pegs! No shift lever or brake pedal required. Got to love the simplicity of a drag bike.