The BMW R18 is inspired heavily in various ways to BMW’s cruisers of the 1930s. What makes this the most apparent is the exposed shaft drive the R18 gets
BMW just took the wraps off the R18 and before the novel coronavirus pandemic a launch was expected early this month. Now, however, dealers are accepting bookings for the big cruiser. There hasn’t been any official confirmation yet, but reports suggest that deliveries are expected to start sometime around October.
The BMW R18 is inspired heavily in various ways to BMW’s cruisers of the 1930s. What makes this the most apparent is the exposed shaft drive the R18 gets. The company is also offering a lot of options to customise the bike from the single-piece seat to side panels to even the handlebar. The bike rides on a 21-inch front wheel, both spoked as standard but get alloy options as well.
The R18 is powered by a massive 1,802cc air-and-oil-cooled boxer engine that produces 91 PS of maximum power at 4,750 rpm and 158 Nm of peak torque at 3,000 rpm. Like BMW’s older cruisers, the R18 gets an exposed shaft drive which also hints at the retro inspiration.
The electronics on the R18 too are pretty up to date. The cruiser gets three ride modes, but unlike conventional bikes, the R18 gets Rain, Rock and Roll modes. It gets ABS, automatic stability control and engine drag torque control, which prevents rear wheel slip under aggressive acceleration or hard downshifts.
The R18 also gets optional extras such as hill-start assist, cornering lights, heated grips and an extra electric motor for a reverse gear. That reverse gear will be pretty necessary considering the mammoth 345 kg kerb weight of the bike.
BMW will be offering the R18 on two variants – Standard and First Edition. The First Edition gets some additions to make it stand out more. It gets more chrome embellishments, metallic paint shade, seat badge, copper screws, a pair of gloves, a tank emblem and a screwdriver to fix that emblem onto the bike.Competition wise, the R18 has no direct rivals but we are expecting a price range of somewhere around the Rs 18-20 lakh mark. This will put it squarely in the range of the big Harley-Davidsons and the Indians. Until the official launch, however, the BMW R18 can be booked for Rs 18 lakh at dealerships.