BMW has unveiled the R 18 cruiser motorcycle, after showcasing the Concept R 18 last May. In comparison to the concept bike, the production version looks beefier, due to the larger seat and rear fender, and lesser gaps between the chassis and the engine.
The R 18's design is mostly inspired by the R 5 BMW, and has a similar, minimalistic and lean design theme. For instance, the teardrop tank with a simple pinstripe detailing, or the conventional forks with sleeves, or the classic shape of the swingarm.
The exhaust canister although looks too bulky, which can be swapped with aftermarket Vance and Hines pipes in a black or chrome finish. The stock handle bars can also be swapped to monkey-bars and BMW has some more custom options that have been designed with Roland Sands. There are tons of extra options available, starting from the 21-inch front wheel ,headlamp designs, auxiliary lamps, a windshield and much more. BMW also offers a Bobber kit which has a barebones design and comes with a side mounted number plate. Customers also have an option to get the R18 built with a bagger design with the exhaust options, chrome packs, engine guards amongst other options.
It comes with double down-tube frame, which is suspended by 49mm forks up front, and a cantilever strut at the rear with 120mm and 90mm of travel respectively. Right below the fuel tank sits a 1,802 boxer-twin engine - the largest of its kind on any production motorcycle - larger than even the R 1250 GS. It produces a cruiser friendly 91ps of power at 4,750rpm and 150Nm of torque between 2,000-4,000rpm. The R18 uses a shaft drive to feed the power, which is mounted at the right-hand side of the motorcycle.
In terms of electronics, it comes equipped with three unique riding modes - Rain, Roll and Rock. In layman terms this means Wet, Comfort and Sport. The R18 also includes automatic stability and traction control, engine drag torque control which limits slip under hard downshifting, a reversing assist and Hill Start Control, much like the new GS.
Due to the on-going pandemic, BMW hasn’t revealed details regarding the availability of the R18. The R18 is priced at $17,495 (approx. Rs 13.34 lakh) and the First Edition is priced at $19,870 (approx. Rs 15.15 lakh) before taxes. The R18, if it comes to India, faces stiff competition from the Indian Scout and the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.