It’s official, BMW Motorrad has entered the cruiser market with their latest offering, the all-new BMW R 18. Embedded deep with the brand’s heritage and traditions, the BMW R 18 embodies the true spirit of the brand, both old and new. A classic timeless design paired with their new and powerful boxer engine? What’s not to love?
Let’s look at the engine first. The R 18 is presented with BMW’s latest tow-cylinder boxer engine dubbed the “Big Boxer”. In fact, it’s the most powerful one yet with its 1,802cc which produces a hefty 91hp at 4,750rpm and over 150Nm of maximum torque as low as 2,000rpm-4,000rpm.
Housed right in the middle of a double-loop steel tube frame, it’s an homage to the tradition of the brand, but with superior quality and great detail to attention from visible welded joints, forged parts, and bolted swingarm and rear axle transmission.
Looking into the design factor, the R 18 has a lot of design cues from the legendary BMW R 5. From the frame choice to its pear-shaped tank, it’s an homage to the golden era of iconic BMW Motorrad bikes and it simply oozes coolness. The First Edition model with come with this classic black finish with pinstripes plus chrome touches here and there because it’s a classy move.
That chassis of the new R 18 is further enhanced with 49mm telescopic forks with fork sleeves paired with a rear central suspension strut with “travel-dependent damping and adjustable spring preload ensure superior wheel control and attractive suspension comfort.” Suspension travel is 120mm up front and 90mm rear. No electronics to mess with the experience, baby (except for the LED front headlights & adaptive cornering lights).
As for brakes, they went with the double discs upfront (plus four-piston fixed callipers) and a single disc handling the rear which looks really well with the bike’s exposed driveshaft and wire-spoke wheels. All of these specs are in line with BMW Motorrad’s philosophy of always offering ‘harmonious ergonomics for optimum vehicle control.’
The mid-mounted footpegs offer a laid-back riding position for riders to enjoy comfortable cruises while maintaining an active riding position. In other words, the BMW R 18 offers both relaxed and active riding, all in one wholesome yet classic package.
There are some electronics assistances to help keep riders in check, such as selectable riding modes (Rain, Roll & Rock), Automatic Stability Control (ASC), engine drag torque control (MSR), to name a few. It’ll also come with several extra options such as reverse assist and Hill Start Control.
BMW Motorrad will also be offering tonnes of customizable parts for the new R 18 with several collaborations with high-profile companies like Roland Sands, Mustang seats, Vance & Hines exhaust, more. No announcement on the price just yet, but considering it’s a 1,800cc BMW bike, it won’t be that cheap.