The New BMW R 18: Supreme Cruiser with Historical Roots


With the new R 18, BMW Motorrad now enters the cruiser segment. Like no other BMW motorcycle before it, this model stands entirely in the tradition of historical BMW motorcycles – both technically and in terms of design style. It borrows from famous models such as the BMW R 5 both technologically and visually, shifting the focus back onto the motorcycle essentials: purist, no-frills technology and the boxer engine as the epicenter of riding pleasure. Simply put, the R 18 combines classic design with clear-cut, yet contemporary technology, to create a fascinating overall concept – offering a riding experience that is as cultivated as it is emotional.
The most powerful BMW boxer engine of all time with abundant torque.
The centerpiece of the new BMW R 18 is a newly-developed 2-cylinder boxer engine – the “Big Boxer”. Both its impressive appearance and its technology reflect a continuation of the traditional air-cooled boxer engines that have offered an inspiring riding experience for more than seven decades since BMW Motorrad began production in 1923. The most powerful 2- cylinder boxer engine ever used in motorcycle series production has a displacement of 1802 cc. The peak power output is 91 hp at 4,750 rpm and 116 lbs-ft at 3,000 rpm. Torque is abundant with over 110 lbs-ft of torque available from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, combined with a full, resonant sound.
Double-loop steel tube frame and rear swing arm with enclosed axle drive in rigid-frame look.
The centerpiece of the suspension in the new R 18 is a double-loop steel tube frame. Its design perpetuates the longstanding BMW Motorrad tradition of this frame type. Outstanding manufacturing quality and meticulous attention to detail is also evident in unapparent features such as the welded joints between the steel tubes and the cast or forged parts. Like the legendary BMW R 5, the rear swing arm – surrounds the rear axle transmission in authentic style by means of bolted connections.
Telescopic fork with fork sleeves, cantilever suspension strut, wire-spoked wheels and disc brakes.
The suspension elements of the new BMW R 18 deliberately dispense with electronic adjustment options. Instead, a telescopic fork and a directly mounted central suspension strut with travel-dependent damping and adjustable spring preload ensure superior wheel control and attractive suspension comfort. As in the legendary BMW R 5, the tubes of the telescopic fork are encased in fork sleeves. The fork tube diameter is 49 mm, while the suspension travel is 120 mm (4.7 inches) at the front and 90 mm (3.5 inches) at the rear. The new BMW R 18 braking system features twin discs in front and a single disc brake at the rear in conjunction with four-piston fixed calipers. Meanwhile, the wire-spoked wheels ensure a supremely stylish appearance.
Harmonious ergonomics for optimum vehicle control.
In keeping with the BMW Motorrad philosophy, the new BMW R 18 features a laid-back positioning of the footrests – so-called “mid-mounted footpegs”. This classic position behind the cylinders is not only typical of BMW, it also enables a relaxed and active riding position for optimum vehicle control.
The new R 18: iconic retro style masterfully showcased, featuring modern technology and authentic materials.
The new R 18 is the modern interpretation of a cruiser that perpetuates the BMW Motorrad tradition, echoing iconic retro style while transposing it masterfully to the present day. From the overall impression down to the smallest detail, the purist design lives on as established by classics such as the BMW R 5. It is no coincidence that the hallmark proportions with sloping lines and a clean design style, combined with functional and style-defining elements such as the double loop frame, open-running driveshaft, and black finish with pinstriped paintwork (factory option) are reminiscent of the legendary boxer of bygone years. And the centerpiece is the boxer engine: unmistakably BMW, a homage to classic engine construction – a sculpture in metal.
The classic bodywork features of the R 18 are also made of metal, as befits an authentic cruiser: the 16-liter fuel tank with its pear shape derived from the R 5, the front and rear fenders, the side panels below the seat, the fork sleeves and the housings of the headlights and circular instrument panel are all made of sheet steel. Also known as the painted part set, these features define the character and overall appearance of the new R 18, as does the impressive boxer engine. The deliberate design of the bodywork in the form of individual components reinforces the bike’s classic look, while at the same time allowing the ability of conversion, customizing and modification.


Base MSRP: $17,495
First Edition: Starts at $19,870
Excludes tax and title fees, in addition to Destination and Handling fee of $695.


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