BMW Motorrad has shown another bobber concept at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The Concept R18 is powered by BMW’s new air and oil-cooled 1,800 cc boxer engine and takes classic motorcycle design into the modern age of custom attitude. The new Concept R18 seems to combine the Bavarian brand’s 1,800 cc prototype engine with the trendy, retro bobber style seen on its supercharged R 5 Hommage shown back in 2016.
The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 was designed by Bart Janssen Groesbeek who decided to highlight purity and naked minimalism. It features a cradle frame with a triangular softail swingarm, universal shaft, teardrop-shaped tank, and embossed solo leather saddle. Its paint scheme’s black base is accentuated by subtle gold varnishing, metallic flaking, and pinstriped details. The motorcycle rides on spoked wheels (21-inch front, 18-inch rear) wrapped in Metzeler rubber.
This is the third BMW Motorrad custom project to use the 1,800 cc boxer prototype. The large-displacement flat twin previously appeared in the “Departed” bike by Japan’s CUSTOM WORKS ZON and the “Revival Birdcage” by Austin-based Revival Cycles. Now seen on the BMW Concept R18, the new boxer maintains a classic appearance with high-quality aluminum components and Solex dual carburetors. The exposed universal shaft is chrome-plated, while the machine’s simple electronics are limited to the starter and LED lights.
This direction further suggests that BMW Motorrad is growing its commitment to develop a power cruiser-style motorcycle powered by its 1,800 cc boxer. Some reports point toward a production model for 2020.
“With its clear aesthetics openly on display, the Concept R18 embodies for me what motorcycling, at its core, is really about. It is all about feeling instead of thinking, and not using technology for self-staging, instead giving space for imagination. This concept bike appeals to something deep down – you just want to just get on it and ride off. But when you get off it again, you don’t just put it in the garage and walk away – you turn around again and give it a final parting glance,” said Edgar Heinrich, head of BMW Motorrad Design.
“For me, motorcycles like the BMW Motorrad Concept R18 are a response to a growing need among the motorcycling community: instead of technology, the focus here is on simplification, authenticity and transparency. I observe an almost romantic yearning for real mechanical engineering. Our aim with this concept bike is to address this need and turn it into an analogue statement in a digital age. We have a rich history of iconic motorcycles, and they all bear the same design characteristics. We believe that this can still work well together today with the current technology.”