BMW Motorrad is very serious in its quest to take a significant piece of the cruiser market pie from Harley-Davidson. Their new R 18 now has a tourer and bagger version: the R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B.
“Bagger” motorcycles often refer to large-displacement cruiser motorcycles outfitted with large saddlebags to accommodate the rider’s (and pillion's) clothes and other stuff for longer interstate rides that often take days or even weeks.
According to BMW, the new R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B combine the thrilling power of the "Big Boxer" with a classic chassis concept based on historical models, exclusive equipment and a stylish design.
That said, the new R 18 Transcontinental could be an ideal travel cruiser over long distances on American highways. The R 18 B, on the other hand, is designed as a "rider’s machine" delivering emotional driving pleasure and is ideal for touring and cruising.
Like all modern BMW motorcycles, the new R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B also showcase tons of features that might not be available with other bagger motorcycles in the market.
For example, these new models both feature a 10.25-inch TFT color screen that can be connected to the rider’s smartphone via Bluetooth, which then allows the rider to control calls, music, and even navigation with just a few clicks and twists on the handlebar controls.
Riding modes also come standard. They're also supplemented with cruise control, traction control, torque control, hill start assist, and (crucially for heavy baggers) a reverse aid.
The reverse aid uses the power of the starter motor (via a manual switch) to assist the rider in reversing the big R 18. It should be handy for getting out of a tight parking spot or dead end.
Marshall sound system
Just a few days ago, BMW officially announced that they have partnered with legendary sound amplification and engineering company, Marshall. Now, both the R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B will be the first among BMW motorcycles to be equipped with Marshall sound.
These are found in its 2-way speakers integrated into the front of the fairing as standard. BMW also offers Marshall Gold Series Stage 1 and Stage 2 sound systems as optional upgrades to provide even more intensive listening pleasure. Up to 4 loudspeakers and 2 subwoofers with 280 watts of total output provide incomparable sound quality and "good vibrations".
PH availability and pricing
Though there is no word yet from BMW Motorrad Philippines, the R 18 models arrived in the country 8 months after they were officially unveiled abroad. Hopefully, we get them sooner this time.