The Australian - Wish Magazine


Power, poise and a nod to a storied past: the BMW R 18


The year 2020 marked a turning point for so many reasons. Obvious ones aside – not least a global pandemic – it was also the year that BMW’s motorcycle division, BMW Motorrad, unleashed its highly anticipate­d R 18. It was a significan­t launch. BMW has been building motorcycle­s longer than it has cars, but the R 18 is the premium German brand’s first cruiser. The event marked BMW’s entry into a segment where well-establishe­d brands had long reigned supreme.

The R 18, despite being an all-new model, evokes several aspects of BMW’s storied and successful history. Both technologi­cally and visually, it borrows from famous models such as the BMW R 5 from 1936, and shifts the focus back onto motorcycle essentials: pure, no-frills technology and a mighty boxer engine as the epicentre of riding pleasure. It is a classic-looking machine for a modern age, combining retro style with contempora­ry technology to offer a riding experience as cultivated as it is emotional.

The centrepiec­e of the R 18 is a newly developed two-cylinder boxer engine – the Big Boxer. This huge power plant, whose 1.8-litre capacity exceeds that of many small cars, is the most powerful two-cylinder boxer engine ever used in series motorcycle production. Peak output is 91hp (67kW) at 4750rpm. Better yet, more than 150Nm of torque is available at all times, from 2000rpm to 4000rpm, to provide astonishin­g pick-up and response. And all this is accompanie­d by a throaty, resonant soundtrack.

BMW knows a thing or two about traditiona­l air-cooled boxer engines. It began developing them in 1923 and has continued to refine the formula over nearly a century. What we have today aboard the R 18 is a visually arresting piece of engineerin­g loaded with rider appeal as well as advanced technology.

The Big Boxer is complement­ed by numerous characterf­ul design aspects. The R 18’s double-loop steel-tube frame combines historic style with stability for modern use, while welded joints between the steel tubes and cast or forged parts exhibit incredible attention to detail. The swingarm, which sports a similar design to the R 5, surrounds the rear axle transmissi­on with bolted connection­s to add a further dose of style. As do the open-running drive shaft, teardrop tank and pinstriped bodywork elements.

Other mechanical elements continue the themes of authentici­ty and personalit­y. Instead of electronic suspension adjustment, the R 18 features a telescopic fork and a directly mounted central suspension strut with travel-dependent damping, which translates to a high level of road feel and control. In another nod to the R 5, the fork tubes are encased in fork sleeves.

The braking system comprises a twin-disc set-up at the front and a single-disc unit at the rear with four-piston callipers. Wire-spoked wheels meanwhile ensure a supremely stylish appearance. The adoption of mid-mounted foot pegs provides both a classic riding position behind the cylinders and a relaxed and ergonomic position for superior control. The R 18 allows you to look the part and also feel it, even after a prolonged time in the saddle.

While the R 18 might provide an array of retro touches and features that deliver maximum feel and connection wherever possible, it also embraces the present, integratin­g electronic riding modes along with stability control

(ASR) and engine-drag torque control (MSR) for added safety and stability.

The aptly named riding modes – Rain, Roll and Rock – adapt to individual rider preference­s. Customers can also specify Reverse Assist and Hill Start Control to aid in manoeuvrin­g the R 18 in tight spaces or on inclines.

State-of-the-art LED lights enable the R 18 to lead the way ahead and be clearly seen by other road users while delivering an utterly befitting design aesthetic. Riders will be also in for a treat when they glance down at the instrument­s, thanks to the adoption of a classicall­y themed circular cluster with integrated display and ‘Berlin-Built’ label.

The R 18 is available in Australia in two variants: the

R 18 and the R 18 Classic. The latter, which was launched in the first quarter of 2021, adds further iconic touches such as a large windshield and leather saddlebags.

Both models can also be optioned with the First Edition package, which combines an original look with an exclusive classic black finish and white double-lined paintwork. Other highlights of the package include chrome surfaces, a seat badge and a ‘First Edition’ chrome clasp on the side covers. A Heritage Ride Collection is also available from BMW Motorrad with featured items including the PureBoxer leather jacket and Heritage Bowler helmet.

The R 18 embodies BMW’s legendary engineerin­g, manufactur­ing and styling expertise. The distinctiv­e design acknowledg­es the brand’s past with its aesthetic qualities and renowned Big Boxer engine while also looking to the future by including advanced rider-aiding technology aspects.

The R 18 and R 18 Classic are available now in BMW dealership­s across Australia.

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Left: The sleek new BMW R 18 cruiser with its two-cylinder boxer engine. Above: The BMW R 18 Classic with additional luxe features such as a large windshield and leather saddlebags
Left: The sleek new BMW R 18 cruiser with its two-cylinder boxer engine. Above: The BMW R 18 Classic with additional luxe features such as a large windshield and leather saddlebags

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia