We don’t usually write about motorcycles, but this time we will make an exception, as BMW launched one of its most important model in its history.
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.
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.
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 a 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.
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.
The new R 18 will be offered worldwide as an exclusive R 18 First Edition right from the start of production, with a standard model reserved additionally for certain markets. It combines the R 18 look with exclusive equipment features in a classic black finish with white pinstriped paintwork. Other highlights include numerous chrome surfaces, a seat badge and a “First Edition” chrome clasp on the side covers.